ASPCA Team Members Visit Community to Provide Free Vaccines, Spay/Neuter Services

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 3:30pm
ASPCA Team Members Visit Community to Provide Free Vaccines, Spay/Neuter Services

Just days before the ASPCA’s free vaccine clinic in Lincoln Terrace Park in Brooklyn, as three team members taped flyers to windows and knocked on doors, they ran into Jessica Velez and her very skinny 4-month-old pit bull puppy, Nevesa.

Jessica told the ASPCA team that the pup was from a litter born to her dog Maddie, and she was now “stuck” with three puppies. Not only that, but Nevesa, though eating well, remained underweight and thin.

“Right then and there, we had a discussion about de-worming and the importance of vaccinations,” says Maria Hertneck, Public Outreach Coordinator for ASPCA CARES (which stands for community, advocacy, resources, enrichment and service). Maria and her team visited Jessica at her home a few days later, armed with de-wormer and puppy care information, then followed up a week later.

“All three puppies were housed in a small crate,” Maria remembers. “Jessica told us she couldn’t house train them and found it difficult to constantly clean up after them. By this time, Maddie was also fed up with the pups so they had to be separated, especially during feeding times.”

Maria’s team provided a larger dog crate and a giant bag of food. “We talked again about the dogs getting their first round of shots and invited Jessica to our upcoming vaccine clinic,” says Maria. “Jessica said she would definitely come. And she did.”

After her dogs were vaccinated, Jessica signed Maddie up for spay surgery. Maria expressed relief and excitement.

“It took the leg work of all our advocates to get Jessica there, but we did it,” says the ASPCA’s Richard Encarnación, who is now helping Jessica re-home the pups in order to keep them out of the shelter system. He’ll also arrange to have them neutered. In the meantime, Maddie won’t have another litter—another sigh of relief.

Latrece Brown (pictured here with her daughter) brought Lucky, their 6-year-old Yorkie

This is the crux of the ASPCA CARES team’s work: To spay and neuter every pet, especially large breed dogs and cats. It’s what keeps them motivated, inspires them to do more, fuels reward and pride. The team stays in constant contact with clients to ensure that they have the resources and services they need: food, toys, leashes, collars, ID tags, even a free ride to the mobile clinic. They also work cross functionally with the ASPCA Animal Hospital and Cruelty Intervention Advocacy (CIA) staffs and frequently host “tabling” events in underserved neighborhoods to promote their work and book spay/neuter appointments on the ASPCA’s mobile spay/neuter clinics.

On the day of the Lincoln Terrace vaccine event—one of 12 the ASPCA will host in 2014—153 vaccines were administered, and fully subsidized spay/neuter appointments were made for 33 cats and dogs the next day.

Doodles the dilute calico cat receiving care at the clinic

Latesha Coleman and her brother Davon, along with their neighbor, Marlene Forde, brought Doodles, a sparkly-eyed dilute calico, for vaccines. “If they hadn’t knocked on my door, I wouldn’t be here,” said Latesha of the ASPCA CARES team.

9-year-old Karissa hugging Sophie

Jacqueline Pinto and her 9-year-old daughter, Karissa, who learned about the clinic through the ASPCA team’s grassroots outreach, brought Brownie and Sophie, a pair of Chihuahuas. “They’re my babies,” says Jacqueline, who gave Brownie a big kiss after his inoculation.

In the coming weeks, Richard, Maria along with team member Isadora Peraza-Martinez will personally visit clients who attended the vaccine event to assess if their pets have other needs.

“We want to make a difference and offer solutions,” says Maria. Then she adds, with a dose of optimism and pride, “It may take awhile, but we’ll get there.”

Doodles in a carrier post checkup

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What sweet, adorable little dogs and beautiful pussycat. Thank you to the ASPCA for helping these wonderful animals and their very happy and smiling families who obviously love their animal companions very much.


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karen Morgan

I salute you and have been a member for years..You are a hands on organization and the money is well spent..

Susan Evans

GREAT job with the outreach. It is critical and vital to knock on doors and educate people to spay and neuter to reduce the epidemic number of animals being born that are homeless or languishing away in shelters.


I wish I could donate but I can't. I would adopt several animals if I had the room and the resources. I have a cat Lucy which I adopted from a shelter at 5 years old she is now 13-she is the love of our lives. She gets all the loves, hugs, and rubs, and she
Knows kisses and she gives them. Please adopt if you can, and love your animal.


I am an ASPCA "Guardian", but what am finding is that my "Guardianship" helps in places other than local areas - it's like, nobody knows what ASPCA is or does. The local shelter is pitiful and if one NEEDS it, you are met with "Sorry, we have no room". Am sure too, they probably have not enough food, etc., to care for the animals they already have. What really upsets me is they will sit outside the local supermarkets asking for donations, yet nothing ever improves. ??? ASPCA works well in big cities ... what one reads about and "sees" on the Animal Planet channel are "wonder stories" that never reach the smaller areas such as where I live. I also support Alley Cats, but it really bothers me that what I do doesn't "reach out" far enough. =(