ASPCA Community Veterinary Clinic Gives Brooklyn Pet Owners a Boost

June 1, 2022

Shirley S. didn’t grow up with pets, but she has a houseful today. Her current “pet projects” include Bear, a five-month-old white German shepherd; Mountain, a young beagle mix; Jaymes, a once-stray female cat; Buddy, a rescued male cat; and Shirley, another young feline named after her owner.

Shirley, a single mom, says that vital assistance from the ASPCA Community Veterinary Clinic (CVC) in Brooklyn enables her to keep and care for her pets.

“I’m so grateful,” says Shirley, a college student who works part-time. “If it weren’t for the Clinic, I would not be able to have these pets. And it’s great for the community because there are so many animals out there in need.”

Spay/Neuter for All

Shirley first heard about the CVC from her mother, who had visited the facility with her own dog and recommended Shirley make appointments there to have her pets spayed and neutered. 

Mountain was neutered late last year and Bear in February.

Shirley’s dog Bear, and with Jaymes in the background, right.

During the pandemic, Shirley and her 13-year-old son rescued Buddy, a cat whose paw pads had been burned. Later, while riding their bikes, they came upon another stray cat and took him home.

“We thought she was a he until she had six kittens,” Shirley says.

They named the cat Jaymes and the kittens Shirley, Sweet, Sahara, Hamilton, Claire and Willow.

Jaymes, left, and right with Shirley the kitten.

Shirley made appointments at the CVC to have all eight cats spayed and neutered and found homes for all but one of the kittens.

“I only agreed to part with the kittens on the condition they be altered first,” says Shirley, who kept her namesake. 

Helping People Care for Their Pets

Veterinarians at the Brooklyn CVC spay and neuter 35 cats and dogs per day, five days a week, according to Erin Robinson, Operations Manager at the facility, which celebrated its first anniversary April 5, 2022. The Brooklyn CVC is one of two ASPCA Community Veterinary Clinics in New York City. The other is in the Bronx, and a third CVC is planned for Queens in 2023. Each CVC makes veterinary care more accessible and affordable to residents like Shirley, who is grateful for the help.

Bear, with a grown-up Shirley.

“We can’t live without our animals,” Shirley says. “And being in a single-parent household, it’s therapeutic to have pets. It also enables my son to be sympathetic and open with his feelings. I really appreciate that.”

Access to the Brooklyn CVC’s services has also made it easier for Shirley to buy more pet supplies like food, toys and bedding. She enjoys giving her pets all she can because of how much her family receives in return.

Shirley’s cat, Buddy.

“Our animals keep us grounded,” Shirley says. “Having these pets—especially during the pandemic—helps us focus on the good in everything and learn how we can give back.”