Dr. Jose Armando Cruz Rivera
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
The 2015 ASPCA Presidential Service Award is presented to Dr. Jose Armando Cruz Rivera, whose Cruz Veterinary Mobile Clinic provides spay and neuter services and preventative medical care to pets in low-income communities as well as to those without access to veterinary services in his native Puerto Rico.
While working on his doctoral thesis, Dr. Cruz became acutely aware of the immense animal overpopulation crisis in Puerto Rico’s streets and shelters, which endangers the lives of these animals and threatens the spread of rabies. With unwavering determination, Dr. Cruz committed himself to making a difference, focusing on spay and neuter as an effective means towards addressing the challenge.
In order to go where services were most needed and least accessible, Dr. Cruz created his mobile clinic in 2012. Today it provides services ranging from sterilizations and vaccinations to blood tests and dental cleanings. But alongside his direct care, Dr. Cruz also educates the community about the necessity of spay/neuter surgery and properly caring for pets, which are critical to keeping community animals where they are safest – at home.