VHS is the only open admission shelter and low-cost veterinary clinic open year-round on Vieques, an island off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico. All dogs and cats are accepted and vetted, regardless of temperament, need, or medical condition—and regardless of the ability of a client to pay for service. Historically, Vieques has severe pet health and animal overpopulation problems, compounded by poverty (45.9% of the population live in poverty), cultural norms related to animals, and a lack of awareness and education about animal welfare.
A grant from the Grey Muzzle Organization makes it possible for Vieques Humane Society (VHS) to identify, assess, and treat owned senior dogs, most of whom have not seen a veterinarian since they were puppies. VHS also vets, shelters, socially enriches, and actively promotes homeless senior dogs for adoption. Thanks to Grey Muzzle, VHS supports happy endings for abandoned dogs like this mom and pup bonded pair—Serena and Venus Williams. Venus became pregnant and had her first litter when she was very young. The two lived outside for eight years until neighbors noticed their owner had moved and brought them to VHS. Grey Muzzle’s support makes it possible for VHS to shelter them until a forever family is ready to accept two senior girls with a lot of life and love to give.