With film crew on scene at the Cortez Fire Protection District station, Young and his wife, Dr. Petra Mickova, spayed and neutered 50 local dogs and cats. The clinic was held in partnership with the For Pets’ Sake Humane Society.
“It is for low-income families. We did an income qualification, and we also are helping some fairly unique situations,” said Cheri A. Valle, president of For Pets’ Sake. “We are being filmed for the sixth season of ‘Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet,’ and the Cortez Fire Department ... offered their station for free.”
“The problem I am seeing lately is people come down, and they pick up all these animals from the reservation and they take them up to Denver. They bring up sick animals and are just spreading disease around the state and not getting to the source of the problem,” Young said. “We wanted to come down and address this problem, and part of it is for the filming because it is unique land down here.”
Young also said spaying and neutering pets leads to a healthier and longer life. “We know that animals that are fixed are healthier, and they live longer – bottom line, that is just the way it is,” he said.
“There are two main reasons pets die in this country,” Young said. “One is due to over-population, and two is economic euthanasia – people do not have the money to take care of problems when they arise.”
Young said his team frequently conducts mobile visits and works with local humane societies to address each area’s specific problems.
In addition to spaying and neutering cats and dogs on Saturday, Young removed a tumor from an elderly dog’s leg.
“Our primary goal is always to spay and neuter, but if there is something else we can do that is not that hard ... we’ll try to address it,” Dr. Young said.
Most pet owners at the clinic learned about the event on Facebook. For Pets’ Sake signed up and made appointments for the first 50 inquiries.
Melissa Curley of Cortez took her two cats.
“It is nice that they give us the opportunity to get our cats fixed,” Curley said. “I have been wanting to do it for a while.”
The event began at 8:30 a.m., and Valle said they hoped to finish by 4 p.m.
Owners were called when their pets were ready for pickup, but in the meantime, For Pets’ Sake volunteers were on-site to sit with the pets as they came out of anesthesia.
Young said he and his team travel all over Colorado and hope to return to the Four Corners.
“I think there is enough of a problem here that I would like to do this on a more regular basis,” Young said.
Dr. Jeff Young’s name was corrected from an earlier version of this story.