The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons has hit the road with its first spay/neuter van, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
The 26-foot van is equipped with a heated hydraulic lift surgery table, an exam table, a sink, sterilization equipment and 14 recovery cages.
The van will be utilized for ARF’s Operation Cat program, in which feral cats are spayed and neutered to humanely reduce the stray cat population. The new capability to go mobile will allow ARF to expand Operation Cat across Long Island, wherever need is greatest.
Free and low-cost spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping will also be scheduled for pet owners.
Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation got its mobile spay/neuter van earlier this year through a grant.
“Having an ARF spay/neuter van will allow us to ramp up the work we are already doing in collaboration with the Southampton Shelter,” ARF’s Operation Cat Coordinator Rita Del Rey said. “This extra capacity will save more lives.”
Additionally, the van can be transformed into a mobile adoption unit when needed. ARF already has one mobile adoption van and just adopted its 1,000 animal off that van in just over 2 years.
ARF’s Senior Director of Operations and Partnership Programs Michele Forrester and her husband Jamie Forrester picked up the custom made van in Gahanna Ohio for its maiden voyage back to Wainscott. Not wishing to arrive home in an empty van, they met up with partner organization Rescue Road Warriors and loaded up nine dogs just rescued from a Missouri Puppy Mill. Among the dogs were a English bulldog puppy, a Yorkshire terrier, a silky terrier, a long-haired Dachshund, Chihuahuas and a Bichon Frise. The dogs range in age from puppy to 8 years old and are now adjusting to their new home at the Animal Rescue Fund’s Adoption Center, and will be made available for adoption once they are neutered and medically cleared.