The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has opened a new community veterinary center in East New York.
The New Lots Ave. center is the second ASPCA community veterinary center in the city, after one was opened in the South Bronx in 2020. There are plans for a third in Queens in 2022.
The centers aim to create better access to affordable veterinary services for underserved pet owners with limited existing resources for veterinary care, ASPCA said in a statement.
The East New York center will exclusively treat the pets of Brooklyn residents whose household income is less than $50,000 per year or who qualify for public assistance.
ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker said the new Brooklyn center would provide vital resources to residents and pets who needed them more than ever during the public health and economic crisis.
“The Brooklyn Community Veterinary Center is another symbol of our deep and longstanding commitment to the welfare of New York City pets and people,” he said.
“Providing accessible and affordable veterinary services for pets whose owners face financial challenges sustains the health and safety of those animals and helps keeps families together.”
The center will offer partially and fully subsidized basic and preventive care to dogs and cats, including vaccinations, treatment for infections and other minor issues, in addition to spay/neuter surgeries.
It will also provide high-volume spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations to homeless dogs and cats being cared for by animal rescue organizations.
At least half a million cats are estimated to live on the streets of NYC, with thousands euthanized yearly, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem. Due to state guidelines, many clinics that neutered street cats suspended the procedure in March 2020.
The process known as Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) is one of the key tools in reducing the cat population at a neighborhood level. Any person can get certified to catch cats in their area, take them to a clinic to get neutered and vaccinated, and then release them back into the wild.
ASPCA currently operates mobile veterinary care clinics in East New York and the South Bronx, and it provides services to the animal rescue community through its spay/neuter clinic in Queens. It also operates a fleet of mobile spay/neuter clinics that provides low-cost spay/neuter surgery to pet owners in the five boroughs.
The center, which is supported by the Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust, with additional donations from PetSmart Charities® and other supporters, will have a meaningful impact on thousands of Brooklyn area pets and their owners each year, ASPCA said.
The East New York center will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with services by appointment only.