Maui Humane Society Celebrates Record Breaking 800 Spay/Neuter Surgeries in Wake of Pandemic Disruption
The Maui Humane Society Veterinary Department is celebrating a record breaking achievement of conducting 800 spay/neuter surgeries last month, as they try to make up for lost time during the organization’s COVID closure.
The accomplishment comes as the organization observes National Animal Shelter Appreciation week, which is Nov. 7-13.
“Maui Humane Society is grateful for the opportunity to highlight the tremendous work of the Veterinary Team in response to the pandemic. The passion, commitment and dedication of all shelter staff is ceaseless, but the good works are only possible through community support, donors, volunteers and foster families. MHS extends appreciation to all who contribute to the betterment of Maui’s animals,” organization leaders said in a press release announcement.
“Maui Humane Society Veterinary Clinic staff are known for their dedication to serving our community’s animals with passion and professionalism. What’s remarkable is how they manage to juggle the medical needs of the shelter’s average population of 150 animals, a “virtual” shelter of an additional 75 animals in foster care homes, a high volume low-cost spay/neuter clinic, specialized Hope Fund surgeries and spontaneously respond to trauma cases requiring immediate emergency care,” according to organization leaders.
“The Veterinary team regularly performs with precision; every minute is pre-calculated to determine the number of animals they can treat while maintaining the highest standard of care. Spay/neuter surgeries are choreographed down to the second with staff prepping and delivering animals onto surgery tables like a conveyor belt. Due to the space constraints of MHS’s Veterinary Clinic, there is literally no more room to increase the capacity for care,” according to the organization.
CEO Steve MacKinnon said, “We want to further our impact on the community cat population and animals who need medical care, however we are limited by the size of our vet clinic. We have a waitlist of Hope Fund animals requiring major surgeries and the demand for low cost and free spay/neuter is continuous. Unfortunately, our physical limitations are restricting the impact we could be having. If an animal requires a dental, this results in less animals being spayed or neutered that day because a surgery table is in use. Regardless, our team is consistently producing outstanding results despite these limitations.”
The onset of COVID required MHS to temporarily stop performing elective surgeries like spay and neuter for public animals. The ten week hiatus meant that more kittens were born, adding to Maui’s community cat overpopulation. Since reopening in July, Vet staff have worked to make up for the disruption in service.
The standard monthly spay/neuter goal is in the high 500’s. This October, all previous monthly records were surpassed and a new record high of 800 spay/neuter surgeries was achieved.
Director of Veterinary Services, Kelly Maguire said, “We were crushed when we had to limit surgeries due to COVID. When we were able to return, our team was dedicated to make up for lost time. In the past we were able to hold large scale MASH clinic events, which involved recruiting numerous vets and volunteers to boost our capacity to spay and neuter a few hundred more animals. Due to COVID safety, we obviously couldn’t do that. Instead, for the past four months current vet staff and a few dedicated surgery volunteers have worked harder and longer, pushing themselves to spay and neuter hundreds more animals.”
As a result, the Maui Humane Society has spay/neutered over 3000 animals compared to its goal of just over 2000.
“This was done in addition to all the hundreds of animals we also assisted with other life changing surgeries and treatments,” said Maguire. “I have never been prouder of our community, our awesome volunteers and our tremendously dedicated staff who all came together and worked their hearts off. With this continued teamwork we can truly save lives and continue to make a difference in pet overpopulation.”