The SCAWC has served as the island’s only shelter for nearly 50 years, but in recent years, island-wide economic hardship has threatened the shelter’s existence. This, combined with our already staggering pet overpopulation challenges, has placed us in a critical situation. Additionally, many pet owners on St. Croix struggle with the cost of veterinary care and some are unable to seek care at all, leading to increased surrenders and abandonment. The low-cost clinic will provide an avenue to help keep pets in their homes and promote humane and responsible pet ownership.
We Have Already Seen Progress…
For several months, we have been operating a limited spay/neuter and wellness clinic which has already served hundreds of local pets. This has all been done just operating 2 days a week with little advertisement! Many of our clients have never been to a vet before. Combined with our new initiatives, we have DOUBLED OUR LIFESAVING in the past few months.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Dr. Michelle Mehalick, a veterinarian who started working on St. Croix in 2008 and for the SCAWC in 2009, where I fell in love with the shelter medicine and St. Croix. I left St. Croix from late 2012 to early 2015, during which time I opened clinics for non-profit organizations in Monterey, CA and southeastern PA. I moved back in May of 2015 to open a private practice and started helping with the shelter while I made my plans… I soon realized that another private practice is not what is needed, but a low-cost clinic is the best way to serve our pets and community.
I practice what I preach. All my pets are shelter adoptions (most from St. Croix) and I currently have 7 foster cats milling around on the couch “helping” me to write this. I use modern, high quality, high volume surgery practices and have worked with specialists in everything from ophthalmology to orthopedics. I have not kept a log of the spays and neuters I have performed, but it must be well over 5,000.
The low-cost clinic is the “missing piece” to tie together our new initiatives to decrease animals coming into the shelter and increase those going out. ALL money raised by this campaign will go directly towards medical equipment and supplies for the low-cost clinic to increase our services offered.
If you have ever worked with me, if you have ever visited this pretty little rock but saw a dog or cat eating from a dumpster, please support the shelter with your directed donation to this cause.