The ASPCA® Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Community Veterinary Center in Liberty City, Caring for More Than 2,500 PetsAs a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASPCA data shows that 170,000 dogs and cats in Miami-Dade County are at risk of entering poverty, highlighting the importance of affordable and accessible veterinary care
MIAMI – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the ASPCA Community Veterinary Center in Liberty City, where it has treated more than 2,500 pets in Miami-Dade County in its first year of operation. The Center, which provides affordable and accessible veterinary services in the Liberty City area, a critically underserved community with limited access to veterinary care, was built in partnership with Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) and Miami-Dade County to improve the health and welfare of dogs and cats in the area. Since opening last October, the Center has treated 1,936 dogs and 632 cats, with approximately 65 percent of the clients coming from the Liberty City area.
“In the space of a year, our ASPCA Community Veterinary Center delivered on its promise to Miami-Dade County—specifically the Liberty City community—by providing accessible and affordable veterinary services to more than 2,500 local pets. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to create unprecedented challenges, we have adapted our services and protocols to safely provide a broad range of care,” said ASPCA president and CEO Matt Bershadker. “Keeping pets healthy and in their homes is critical to keeping animals safe, preserving family bonds, and helping animal shelters best serve local vulnerable animals. We thank the Liberty City community for committing to the health and welfare of their pets and are very proud to help them meet their pet care needs.”
The ASPCA Community Veterinary Center offers partially and fully subsidized basic and preventive care to companion animals including vaccinations, treatment for infections and other minor issues, and spay/neuter surgeries. In March, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center shifted its operations to address changing health and safety concerns, as well as the changing needs of pet owners. Currently, the Center is focused on treating sick animals in immediate need of veterinary care. Before March, approximately 65 to 70 percent of appointments were for preventative care visits, and now, in response to the pandemic, approximately 65 to 70 percent of appointments are for sick care and urgent visits.
“Financial challenges and a lack of access to care should never threaten the deep bonds between people and their pets, especially during a crisis, and we’re proud to play a pivotal role in keeping animals healthy and families together here in Liberty City,” said Sandra Halaby-Soyer, Director of ASPCA Miami Operations. “It has been a tough year, but the Miami-Dade County community and the ASPCA have both responded with amazing dedication to local animals who need and deserve it.”
New ASPCA data shows that more than 4.2 million pets are at risk of entering poverty across the nation as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including more than 170,000 dogs and cats in Miami-Dade County. With the potential for sustained national unemployment rates of 10 percent, the total number of pets living in poverty with their owners would rise to more than 24.4 million dogs, cats, horses and other animals, a 21 percent increase of pets living in poverty compared to pre-COVID estimates (February 2020).
The ASPCA Community Veterinary Center in Liberty City is part of a larger commitment the ASPCA is making in Miami-Dade County to improve the health and welfare of dogs and cats. In addition to operating the Center, the ASPCA works in Liberty City to bring critical resources to pets and people, including pet food and supplies. The ASPCA recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its partnership with Farm Share, where together we provided more than 18,400 pounds of dog and cat food to Liberty City residents.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the ASPCA also launched a $5 million COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to bring lifesaving supplies and veterinary care to struggling pet owners across the country, and in Miami-Dade County provided more than 619,000 pounds of dog and cat food to over 36,000 animals in need through its pet food distribution efforts.
For more information about the ASPCA’s work in Miami, including how to access services at the ASPCA Community Veterinary Center, please visit ASPCA.org/Miami.