HCN News & Notes

Dakin Vet Joins Team for Spayathon Puerto Rico

SPRINGFIELD — Two dozen national animal-welfare organizations recently joined forces to help curb the homeless animal population in Puerto Rico by performing large numbers of spay/neuter surgeries as part of the Spayathon Puerto Rico project. 

Among several skilled veterinarians asked to participate was Dr. Sherri Therrien of Dakin Humane Society in Springfield.

“The Humane Society reached out to some of the best practitioners in this country to make the Spayathon a success, and we couldn’t be prouder of Dr. Therrien’s efforts in Puerto Rico on behalf of its animals and the people who care for them,” said Carmine DiCenso, Dakin’s executive director. “So many members of our community in the Pioneer Valley are of Puerto Rican descent, and we know that the hardships faced by the island’s population hit close to home. I traveled to Puerto Rico to give an animal-welfare presentation in 2016, before the hurricane hit, and saw firsthand the challenges animals faced and what services were needed.”

Therrien was part of a team stationed in Arecibo that spayed or neutered a total of 923 cats and 2,171 dogs during that week. Animals were provided with not only surgery and vaccinations, but also thousands of pounds of donated food and pet supplies.

Therrien’s motivation to participate in the Spayathon came from Edwin Padua, a former co-worker at Dakin and a native of Puerto Rico. “When we worked together,” she remembered, “he would talk about all the unaltered animals he saw on the island when he lived there, and how so many of them needed help.”