The animal shelters of Puerto Rico need a helping hand, and the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at UF is lending one.
Dr. Julie Levy, Dr. Cynda Crawford, Dr. Sarah Kirk , and Cameron Moore are currently on the ground in Puerto Rico at the Villa Michelle Albergue Animales in Mayagúez. Villa Michelle has an intake of around 8,500 animals per year, making it one of the largest shelters on the island.
The visit is part of an ongoing collaboration with mainland animal welfare organizations. The UF team is there to work with shelter staff and the board of directors on shelter medicine issues, including disease prevention.
“We’re really excited to be here,” said Dr. Levy. “There are so many compassionate people and so many great animals. We’re so glad we can provide them with information on shelter medicine, including an overview of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines, which we believe will provide them with a solid foundation going forward.”
“Villa Michelle is stuffed full of animals that people would line up to adopt in many places on the mainland,” said Dr. Levy. “There are lots of fantastic animals, including small dogs, puppies, and kittens. Currently there’s a limited adoption market, and we’ll work on growing that, but right now in this post-hurricane situation, transport is crucial.”
Some of the pets and the Adoption Center at Villa Michelle: