Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Navajo Nation-focused mobile spay/neuter clinic launched at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Navajo Nation-focused mobile spay/neuter clinic launched at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

KANAB, Utah – On Friday, April 26, the Best Friends Animal Society launched its new mobile spay/neuter clinic in the Navajo Nation to provide low-cost veterinary services to pets and their owners.

Celebrating with staff, volunteers, and supporters, Best Friends CEO Julie Castle was among the speakers.

“Navajo Nation is so vast, with 16 million acres, yet it only has four veterinarians,” she said. “Best Friends has done work on the Navajo Nation since I’ve been here in the mid-1990s. The difference is that today, we have a partnership.”

That partnership includes working with former Navajo Nation first lady Phefelia Nez, who is on the Best Friends Animal Society Board of Directors.

Nez, a lifelong animal lover, was excited to be part of the team that brought the project to fruition. “You don’t see many of these units out there. This is such a huge help for our communities and their pets,” Nez said. “Thank you on behalf of Navajo Nation.”

Julie Castle introduced Navajo Nation graphic designer Aurelia Yazzie, who created the look of the mobile unit, which will provide 1,250 additional spay/neuter surgeries annually in the area.

“It’s important to have input from the community,” Castle said. “This clinic will save so many lives and propel us forward to building a better world through kindness to animals.”

Before touring guests aboard the clinic, Michelle Weaver, the director of Sanctuary Outreach, and Paul Kiel, the maintenance manager of Best Friends, cut a ribbon, along with donors and volunteers Marty, Brenda Winnick, and Nez.

The clinic was dedicated to the late Dr. Bill Christy, a local veterinarian who had cared for Sanctuary animals for many years since Best Friends’ inception in 1984 and whose family was in attendance. As founder and chairman of the Board, Francis Battista noted, “There would be no Best Friends without Dr. Christy.”

The Best Friend’s work on the Navajo Nation is part of its goal to make America a no-kill country in 2025. Best Friends partners with dozens of rescues and animal welfare organizations to help the four Navajo Nation shelters with pets needing homes. About 2,000 dogs and cats are transported to lifesaving partners yearly, including Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and a foster program focused on saving more is in the works in Phoenix.

Information: bestfriends.org.

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