Our mission is not to just continue doing what we have always done, our mission is to change the way many animals on St. Croix are treated, to help the many animals in need and to promote proper pet care practices in our community. Many pet owners in St. Croix struggle with the cost of veterinary care and some are unable to seek care at all. When a pet becomes sick it is often abandoned or surrendered instead of taken for treatment. A once loved pet gets thrown outdoors at the first sign of mange or forced to suffer through a treatable condition. The SCAWC low-cost community clinic expands care beyond spay and neuter centric programs of the past, and includes medical care and treatments, encouraging individuals to keep pets in their homes and to promote humane and responsible pet ownership in our community. The result is healthier, happier animals that live longer lives in their homes and a community that seeks care for their pet instead of abandoning.
In 2016, we operated a limited spay/neuter and wellness clinic which already served hundreds of local pets. We were just operating 2 days a week with little advertisement and many of our clients had never been to a vet before. Combined with other new initiatives, we were able to more than DOUBLE OUR LIFE-SAVING of animals in 2016 alone! We continued our efforts into 2017 with even greater success.
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 was needed, but rather a low-cost clinic that would serve the needs of the community. Welcome to the COMMUNITY ANIMAL CLINIC, offering a low-cost option for the animals and people that are part of the island 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 donated specifically to the Community Clinic goes 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.