Animal Welfare League Conducts First Surgery in Vet Vehicle

Biscuit, an eight-year-old gray and white cat, was the first animal to ever undergo surgery…

Biscuit, an eight-year-old gray and white cat, was the first animal to ever undergo surgery at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) in the new Mobile Veterinary and Event vehicle. 

Biscuit was one of several animals to be operated on April 20; the animals received routine but critical care including dental cleanings and state-required spay/neuter surgeries, procedures that the AWLA provides to all its adoptable residents who need it. 

Watch a video about this momentous event HERE.

AWLA Staff Veterinarian Dr. Erica Caldwell was integral to the AWLA’s purchase and outfitting of the vehicle, and she performed the first surgeries. “We’ve been fortunate to work with several veterinary providers who’ve donated their time and expertise to ensure our adoptable animals receive the care they need,” said Caldwell, “But this mobile surgery will mean we can take on the routine surgeries, so our partners can focus on the animals needing specialized care.”

The vehicle, dubbed “Waggin’ Wheels” by the AWLA staff, will not only serve as a mobile surgery but will also travel across the city for community events. It has the capacity to hold and transport 10 or more animals, depending on size, who can soon be seen throughout the community for adoptions, educational events, citywide festivities and more. Waggin’ Wheels will make its community debut at “The Dog Days of Del Ray” First Thursday event on May 6, though for its first months, its primary focus will be on surgery at the AWLA.

“We’re looking forward to reconnecting with more of our community, and in locations where it’s convenient for them to find us,” said AWLA Executive Director Stella Hanly. “We can’t wait to host adoption events on the waterfront, swing by schools to help students learn more about animal welfare and just generally be where people want to meet us.”

Waggin’ Wheels will also play an invaluable role in the AWLA’s efforts to support not only homeless animals but also owned pets throughout the community.

“Biscuit was the first of many animals who will be helped in our mobile surgery vehicle,” said Caldwell. “As more and more animals come through our doors, having the capability to perform surgery onsite means we will be able to assist the greatest number of animals and help them find families of their own.”

The AWLA is grateful to local veterinary providers Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Hayfield Animal Hospital, Loving Touch Animal Hospital and VCA Animal Hospitals, which continue to provide additional surgical care to adoptable animals on their way to finding new homes.

Alexandria Living Magazine Staff

Apr. 22, 2021

6:05 p.m.