Billings man part of effort to spay, neuter 20,000 animals in Puerto Rico

Posted at 3:16 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 18:21:00-04

BILLINGS – A Billings man is on a mission to help change the lives of countless animals and people in Puerto Rico.

It’s the second time that Dave Pauli, senior director of wildlife response and policy for the Humane Society, has headed to Puerto Rico in the last year. It’s part of an initiative to vaccinate and spay or neuter 20,000 dogs and cats in the hurricane-ravished territory.

Pauli will be working in one of seven clinics set up across Puerto Rico when he arrives. He says the islands are still reeling from Hurricane Maria, and that a large percentage of homes still don’t have consistent power. The hurricane also forced many families to abandon their pets, adding to something that was already a problem beforehand.

He’ll be joining a number of colleagues with the Humane Society of the United States and dozens of other partners. Pauli will be working in one of seven clinics set up across Puerto Rico.

“I expect a little chaos. I also expect a lot of very happy pet owners who are getting services that they otherwise wouldn’t afford to get,” he said Tuesday.

Hurricane Maria added to a stray animal problem in Puerto Rico. Courtesy Humane Society of U.S.

This will be the second phase of the effort. During the first round of the Spay-a-thon for Puerto Rico, more than 5,500 animals were fixed. Pauli says when you help the animals, you also help the people.

“Not only are these dogs and cats are getting the medicines and the surgeries that they need, but there is also a huge public safety issue. So there is going to be less dog bites, there is going to be less un-neutered males roaming the streets, there’s going to be less conflict between dogs and horses. So from a baseline of helping the critters to a peak of really changing the animal dynamics of the islands is huge,” he said.

Pauli leaves for Puerto Rico on Thursday.

Story by Russ Riesinger – MTN News