SPRINGFIELD — Second Chance Animal Services reached a new milestone in its history of helping pets in need by performing its 60,000th spay/neuter surgery earlier this month through the low-cost program offered at all Second Chance Community Veterinary Hospitals.
Amanda Normandin, the hospitals’ chief operating officer, is proud of the accomplishment and the work the spay/neuter teams have accomplished despite the challenges of the past year. “We know just how important spay/neuter services are. Not only does the program help control pet homelessness, it also improves the lives of pets receiving the surgery. Week after week, Second Chance hospitals perform emergency surgery for female pets suffering from pyometra, a potentially deadly infection of the uterus. Routine spays and neuters can help protect pets from many life-threatening conditions, including pyometra and testicular cancer.”
Second Chance’s spay/neuter program was paused briefly at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to conserve critical supplies for emergency surgeries as both human and animal hospitals dealt with supply shortages, she added. “When we were able to resume spay/neuter, we faced a significant backlog, and our surgical team has been working hard to catch up, adding additional days to the surgical schedule to help as many pets as possible.”
Second Chance’s low-cost spay/neuter program began in 2005 at the East Brookfield shelter to help stem pet homelessness in the surrounding community. Today, hundreds of pets come to the three nonprofit hospitals in Springfield, Worcester, and North Brookfield each month for spay/neuter surgery in state-of-the-art surgical suites made possible by grants and generous donors. Pets check in early morning and are discharged later the same day so they can recuperate in the comfort of their own homes with their owners.
“Thanks to these surgeries, less pets are ending up in Massachusetts shelters, which means more pets in shelters are getting a second chance,” Second Chance founder and CEO Sheryl Blancato said.
Pet owners who would like to take advantage of this program for their pet can visit www.secondchanceanimals.org and fill out a S.P.O.T. application under the ‘vet care’ tab.