SAFFORD — The no-cost spay and neuter veterinary team is returning to Graham County.

Asavet Charities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering low cost/no cost veterinary services to low-income pet owners.

This team will be returning to Graham County for the third year in a row, June 29-30, at the Graham County Fairgrounds.

Working on a first-come, first-served basis, the crew will begin accepting animals at 8 a.m. Those interested in bringing their animal to the clinic must not give their animal food or water after midnight the night before. All dogs must be on a leash or in a pet carrier, and all cats must be in a carrier. All animals must be at least 2 months old and weigh at least two pounds.

Asavet Veterinary charities was granted its 501©3 status four years ago. Since 2015, the group of licensed veterinarians has traveled throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

“We’re anticipating a really good turnout, and we’re excited to come because the people in the area are super nice and we like helping out the communities that need us,” said Maria Sinn, of Asavet Charities. “By spaying and neutering your pets, you’re helping with unwanted litters of puppies and kittens that either are released to shelters and rescues, or sometimes people release them out into the environment. It helps with disease control, preventing parvo and other diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines because we also have low-cost vaccines available.”

Using a grant through Petsplates and Petsmart charities, the Asavet Charities team brings veterinary care to rural areas. Last year, Asavet performed roughly 45 surgeries per day when it was in Graham County. If half of the animals that were seen by the team were dogs, and an average dog has three litters a year and seven puppies per litter, the ASAVET team prevented the overpopulation of 935 dogs in the Gila Valley area. If half of the animals seen by the ASAVET crew were cats, and a cat can have an average of three litters per year at four kittens per litter, the team prevented the birth of 450 local cats.

“We’re very appreciative of the community donating meals and providing lodging accommodations,” Sinn said.

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