Mobile spay and neuter clinic reaches out to pet owners


Nisha Marino

Teresa Faasolo’s dog, Nico, waits quietly in line at the East Palo Alto clinic.

Nisha Marino, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

According to the Humane Society of the U.S., 23 million pets live in underserved communities in the nation. Of that number, 87 percent are not spayed or neutered, and 77 percent have never seen a veterinarian.

Spaying and neutering pets are becoming necessities due to animal overpopulation in the U.S. According to the nonprofit organization American Humane, “Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters.”

The Peninsula Humane Society is working to fix this. They offer a free spay and neuter clinic for low or fixed-income pet owners around the Bay Area. The clinic is held in a van and travels to different communities. According to their website, PHS/SPCA alters about 1,000 dogs and cats through this mobile clinic program annually.

“My mom heard about this around the community,” Teresa Faasolo, an attendee, said. “We brought one of our dogs here and I came back today for one of our other dogs.”

Most pet owners also know about the clinic through their communities. Between July and December, the van makes several visits to Daly City, San Bruno, East Palo Alto, Redwood City, and San Francisco.

We count on local businesses and volunteers to help put up our flyers. People also can get information off our website or by calling the shelter,” Angela Washington, the clinic’s coordinator, said.

According to their flyer, the Humane Society allows one animal per family at each clinic. The clinic is open for an hour, and at some locations, pet owners line up before the clinic opens.

“On average, six to 10 people usually attend in each location,” Washington said.

Some locations are more popular than others, which can be an issue as the clinic operates on a first come, first served basis.

“We were going to go last time, in Redwood City, but there wasn’t enough space,” Tania Zavaleta, an attendee in East Palo Alto, said. “Still, it’s really convenient. They’re willing to go to different communities and they don’t charge anything, which makes them better than other options.”