On an unseasonably warm Sunday, 4 R Friends, a non-profit started by veterinarian Jean Rabinowitz, held their third Neighborhood Pit Bull Days at the Colonial Heights Library, an area of town where low-cost vaccine clinics do not come. There were long lines of people with their pets, water bowls, pop-up tents and dogs as far as the eye could see. The clinic helped 479 dogs, who received free rabies and puppy shots, microchips, I.D. tags, collars. Twelve dogs were spayed and neutered and a couple hundred put on a waiting list. During the three free clinics this year, they helped 1,200 dogs. The Sacramento city shelter on Front St. donated vaccinations, microchips, ID tags, collars, the Spay and Neuter mobile trailer and supplies for the event. About 80 volunteers helped the organizers run the event. It was something else. All volunteer. All free.
The event idea was born of Rabinowitz’s experience as an emergency veterinarian in south Sacramento. On any given night, she might see four pit bulls or chihuahuas brought in by animal control or their owners. The ailments varied from parvo for the pit puppies, which is preventable with vaccinations, and adult pits and chihuahuas who had been hit by cars with severe injuries that were cost prohibitive for the owners. She wondered what she could do to help. So she made a Google map of all the low-cost vaccine clinics held in the city of Sacramento and found that there were 252 held annually by the city and county shelters, the SPCA and VIP, but none were held below Highway 50 and east of Freeport, a low-income area. Seeing the need, she organized the basic care event with the idea to hold a series of three, which would bolster the parvo vaccines for all the puppies and build relationships with the community.
The neighborhood arrived in droves with their dogs. The response overwhelming. Many people walked. There were litters of puppies in cardboard boxes brought by bicycle, others pushed their pups in carts, and some arrived by motorized wheelchair. There was ooohing and aaahing over the puppies, squealing while being vaccinated, and lots of appreciation.
It’s wonderful when someone like Jean sees a need and fills the void – and orchestrates it so well.
There will be another series of clinics in the fall when the weather is cooler.
Everything at the event is free and so donations are very welcome and much needed. You may donate through their website – http://4rfriends.org To keep up with what they are doing, you can “like” 4R Friends on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/4rfriends.
Below is a slideshow of some of the people and their pets who came yesterday. Looking forward to the next one.
More dog photos may be seen at http://annechadwickwilliams.com.