VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The “Neuter Scooter," a mobile spay-and-neuter clinic, is no longer sitting idly outside of the Virginia Beach SPCA. It was out of commission for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We wanted to bring it back into operations as soon as we possibly could because spay-and-neuter initiatives are critical to our mission,” Kate Baldwin, the Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer for the Virginia Beach SPCA, said, explaining how their mission is to end homelessness and also emphasized that adoptions are one aspect to that mission.
The camping bus-turned spay-and-neuter-clinic rolled out earlier in May. The service stopped after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam implemented a temporary ban on elective surgeries to preserve personal protective equipment, or PPE, for medical workers confronting the coronavirus in hospitals and medical centers.
"As soon as the ban on elective surgeries was lifted, we started scheduling our locations out in the community," Baldwin said, explaining how they were low on PPE themselves and wanted to preserve their own supplies. "It's been tough for all of us because we had to rethink everything we're doing and also still try to serve our mission."
The Neuter Scooter can perform around 24 spay-and-neuter operations in day. It also provides vaccines and clinical exams for pets.
"People are relieved to start to begin to find some sense of normalcy and to begin to move forward with things they've been waiting,” Baldwin said when asked how pet owners have felt after the service started again.
Though they have scheduled some appearances throughout Hampton Roads right now, they're hoping to find more locations where they can set up on different days.
"We are looking for ways we can continue to be open to the public,” Baldwin explained, “continue to introduce animals to people and continue to serve care to the people who need us."
The Neuter Scooter operates on certain days and at certain locations. Check out the Neuter Scooter’s website to check when it will be nearest you, where and for more information.