Program Offers Barrio Logan Pet Owners Free Services
By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña
Hundreds of pet owners gathered at Chicano Park on Sunday, Feb. 18, to receive free to low cost pet services provided by PAWS San Diego, a program of the San Diego Humane Society.
The event, which is intended to keep pets in their homes and out of shelters by providing often-costly veterinary services and pet supplies for free or reduced prices, went on from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Director of PAWS San Diego Geraldine D’Silva said that this is the second event they have hosted in Barrio Logan and had a greater turnout than the first event, with over 100 pets treated in just the first hour.
The program provided free vaccines, microchipping, licensing, and giveaways for pet supplies like shampoo, leashes, collars, and food. Pet owners could also schedule free appointment for spay and neutering of chihuahua, pitbulls, and cats, and 50 percent off appointments for other breeds.
“Our goal is to keep people with their pet and keep pets out of the shelter,” D’Silva said. “We try to give them whatever resources they need so that the pets can stay in the home.”
PAWS San Diego hosted the event, which they host all over the county, in Barrio Logan as a response to the demand in the community.
Lizzie Rodriguez, co-owner of Chicanista Boutique, a pop-up shop in Barrio Logan, said she saw a flyer for this kind of event in a different part of San Diego and it occurred to her that this was an event that he community of Barrio Logan needed.
She reached out to PAWS San Diego and encouraged D’Silva to hold the event in Chicano Park.
“A lot of people don’t have access to transportation to take their animals to the vet, a lot of people don’t have the language skills to be able to speak with a vet, and a lot of people in this area don’t have the financial resources to take their pet to the vet, which they love just as much as anyone else,” Rodriguez said.
Event attendee Ervin Reef took his husky Athena to get her rabies shot, microchip and license.
He said events like this one help community members because some people do not have the means to pay for them.