Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team
About PAW Team
Portland Animal Welfare (PAW) Team provides veterinary care to companion animals of residents who are homeless or living in extreme poverty. The Oregon nonprofit organization holds monthly clinics that offer exams, vaccines, medications, and food to between 80 and 100 animals per event.
PAW Team introduced Zeuterin to its monthly clinics in November 2012 and has since “Zeutered” about 210 dogs at clinics and special “Zeutering” events. PAW Team has found that “most clients with Zeuterin-eligible dogs opt for Zeuterin instead of surgical neutering.” PAW Team has used traditional media and social media to publicize their zinc neutering service, as well as specific Zeuterin events. Collaborations with 15 community partners have also helped to "spread the word" about Zeuterin and other PAW Team services.
PAW Team has found that using Zeuterin allows them “to alter more dogs and focus surgical resources on female dogs.” The organization has also observed that some guardians who resist castration due to cultural preference or negative perceptions of surgical neutering are amenable to Zeutering, increasing the number of dogs that are altered.
Non-surgical sterilization has distinct benefits for PAW Team clinic clientele, as well. Dogs can sometimes be sterilized on the same day they attend a clinic, important for clients who are transient and may be unable to return for a future appointment. In addition, explains PAW Team, aftercare is simpler than for surgical neutering, something that is “important for clients without a permanent home.”
Not only does PAW Team provide veterinary care for the pets of people "going through the toughest times in their lives," but transitional housing options often require that animals be vaccinated and sterilized. Consequently, the organization's services, and specifically zinc neutering, play a vital role in helping once-homeless residents find a permanent home.
How PAW Team applied the prize
As a winner of the “Prizes for Pioneers” contest, P.A.A.C. received a grant in the amount of $1,000 from the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs to put towards spaying and neutering more dogs and cats, either surgically or non-surgically.
The PAW Team reports that the grant was used to pay for the sterilization of fourteen pit bull-type dogs, seven of whom were male and seven of whom were female. One of the fourteen dogs was Zeutered, while the rest were surgically sterilized at partner veterinary clinics or using donated surgery space with volunteer veterinary surgeons and technicians. Despite this lone Zeuter, The Paw Team has found that, “most clients prefer Zeuterin if their dogs qualify, especially since we now have a history of successfully Zeutering over 200 dogs with no serious complications.”