Spay-Neuter Campaign St. Maarten 2024 | SOUALIGA NEWSDAY

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - United People’s UP Party Member of Parliament, the Honourable Francisco Lacroes, announced on Easter Monday that he will assist pet owners with microchipping and Spay-neuter surgeries in collaboration with Dr Edward J. Lee, several American-trained veterinarians from 4 Leaf Rover, and the St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic. A release issued on Monday states, “4 Leaf Rover will be offering and providing again for the island a temporary reduced-cost spay and neuter campaign for cats and dogs on 6 May - 10 May, 2024.”

MP Lacroes has committed to working with American-physician Dr. Edward J. Lee to help to diminish the exponential breeding, suffering, and euthanasia of stray dogs and cats on the island. Dr. Lee has again joined forces with St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic and several American-trained veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and volunteer-assistants from 4 Leaf Rover to prepare for a one-week visit to St. Maarten 4 May - 11 May, 2024.

One year ago, last March, 4 Leaf Rover, an internationally-known, USA-based nonprofit group of nine American-trained veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and assistants, performed 287 free spay and neuter surgeries on local cats and dogs over the course of five days at a temporary pop-up surgery centre next to St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic in Cay Hill.

They will work with local non-profit animal rescue organizations (Animal Defenders, Animal Welfare Foundation, I Love My Island Dog Association, SXM PAWS) and local businesses (Nature Animal, Stefy’s Pet Sitting, Freegan Food Foundation, Tito’s Vodka) and local restaurants (Dinghy Dock, Domino’s Pizza, Pineapple Pete’s, St. Maarten Yacht Club Bar and Restaurant) to offer spay and neuter surgeries for only $25.

The funds will be used to help to defray the costs of medications, anaesthetics, supplies, and travel expenses. Dehka Swanston of St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic and local veterinarians Dr. Virginie DeCeuster of Animal Care Clinic and Dr. Ruth Wright of The Island Vet will be assisting with the logistical operations of this upcoming campaign.

St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic will be graciously offering use of their facilities and equipment in addition to providing staff and volunteers.

For last year’s campaign, MP Francisco Lacroes donated 500 microchips which were then implanted in each pet having a spay or neuter surgery in order to assist with the tracking and location of sterilized pets in the future.

Once again, Mr. Lacroes will be assisting with microchipping pets having their upcoming spay-neuter surgeries.

Lacroes said, "Dr. Lee's journey is an amazing one. He returned to St. Maarten after studying as a Medical Student in 1999 and has graciously offered to give back to the community, which was his home for several years and soon to be his permanent. Being a lover of dogs myself with seven, I am happy to be able to champion this initiative again”.

Dr. Lee has visited the island countless times since 1999 and said he has frequently encountered hungry and skinny stray dogs and puppies. “Based on my interactions and conversations with some of the animal rescue organizations on the island, the stray animal problem has become exponentially worse since Hurricane Irma," said Dr. Lee.

He is an animal lover who in October 2021 lost his 14-year-old 30 kg terrier mix, Abby, he had rescued and adopted 13 years ago.

Owners can book their spay-neuter surgery for their pet(s) with this URL: