Rockaway is getting a big fix—for pets. Itty Bitty City Kitties, Zion’s Mission Animal Rescue, Catfixerny and The Toby Project are teaming up to bring free services from spay and neuter to vaccinations, microchips and food for pets and their owners who could use some help.
The local rescuers put out the call in the last few weeks about “The Big Fix,” a day in which the team would offer a free workup for pets by appointment only. According to Samantha Knox of Itty Bitty City Kitties, on Sunday, June 6, The Toby Project and Zion’s Mission are going to sponsor 16 animals to get spayed and neutered, and the other groups are sponsoring vaccinations, deworming, microchipping and well visits for another 50 animals. “My rescue is sponsoring all of the medication and the location and we have some volunteer vet techs coming to donate their time,” Knox said.
And while that is plenty, Knox says they wish they could do more. She says they received more than 300 applications for the free services, but they had to limit what they could offer. “We had to put a cap on it. It’s fairly expensive and a lot of it is out of pocket, so we had to put a cap on what we can accomplish financially,” Knox said. They also limited the services to just residents of Rockaway and Broad Channel, particularly those who are low income and could provide proof.
Knox says they’re providing the services to support the overall cause of helping animals in the Rockaways. “I believe you can’t rescue unless you’re doing it full circle and bringing it back to pet parents and right now there’s a significant wave of pet owners surrendering animals because of the pandemic causing financial stress,” she said. “We decided to combine our financial resources to give back to the community and help pet owners in need. The peninsula has a serious animal problem with dogs being tied up and cats being dumped, so we’re trying to stave off some of this stuff. There’s nowhere to go in Rockaway for low-income pet services and we want people to be able to keep their pets.”
With such a high need, Knox says this won’t be the only opportunity for those who may have missed out. “Hopefully we can fundraise again so we can offer even more,” she said. “We’re hoping to do this again in August.”
The services are made possible through various fundraising efforts from the rescues, one of which is taking place this Friday, June 4 at Rockaway Brewing Company (415 Beach 72nd Street). From noon until closing, all are welcome to stop by and show their support by bringing donations of pet food that will be given away to those in need. “I’m hoping the community comes together and provides us with enough food supplies to help us give back,” Knox said. The Rockaway Brewing Company’s feline mascot Pidge will be on hand to “host” the event and Knox says she may bring one of her popular rescue kittens, Gilbert. There will be some beers dedicated to the event and $1 to $2 from each sale will go towards supporting the rescues to help offset the costs of The Big Fix. “This is one of those times where Rockaway does what Rockaway does best,” Knox said.
By Katie McFadden
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