Poochino, a Shih Tzu Poodle mix, travelled in a suitcase on two trains and a bus to get to PetFix Canine and Feline Wellness Day. The Sept. 14 event gave his owner, Julie York, the chance to provide him with free health services, including microchips, vaccinations and health check-ups that York, and many other low-income pet owners, would not have been able to afford otherwise.
The biannual event provided health services to 363 pets like Poochino, all with the help of 175 volunteers. Case Western Reserve University brought twenty of the volunteers to the event, thanks to the work of Debbie Jacobson, director of International Education Programs at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
PetFix is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending “pet overpopulation” in the Cleveland area by making spay and neuter surgeries affordable and accessible. Aside from Canine and Feline Wellness Days, PetFix’s other services include a mobile veterinary clinic and a spay and neuter clinic.
“I wish it was my full-time job,” said Amy Kidd, a volunteer at the event who has been working with PetFix since 2011.
Another volunteer, Officer Carl Hartman of the Cleveland Police Department, said he started working with PetFix after he was part of a team that rescued 27 pitbulls from a dogfighting ring in 2011.
Hartman said that attendants care about their pets, which is why they bring them.
Jacobson’s involvement with PetFix began a year ago when she learned about the organization from a former student. This is the first time that CWRU has worked with PetFix, but Jacobson hopes that CWRU will be able to provide more volunteers for the organization in the future.