HARLEM — East Harlem residents can get their dogs and cats spayed or neutered and attend a free dog grooming workshop sponsored by the ASPCA at Thomas Jefferson Park Saturday.
The spay and neuter mobile clinic will begin check-in at 8 a.m. and will be open to the first 75 East Harlem residents.
"We want to help people be more responsible pet owners," said East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who is co-sponsoring the event.
With area shelters already over-capacity, the spay-and-neuter event, which aims to keep pet populations in check, is especially important, Mark-Viverito said.
"The more pets that are brought into our shelters, the more pets that will have to be put down," she said. "We want to help people become more responsible pet owners."
In order to qualify for the spay-and-neuter event, dogs must be on a leash and cats should arrive in carriers. The pets should not have food after midnight.
The clinic is free for pit bull and pit bull mixes and East Harlem residents who live between East 96th and 119th streets. It will be low-cost for everyone else.
There will also be giveaways of collars, leashes, pet food and pet tags. From 10 a.m. to noon, celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky will host a free dog grooming workshop at the Jefferson Recreation Center located at First Avenue and 113th Street.
Bendersky, who has appeared on Animal Planet's reality show, "Groomer Has It," and is the new grooming expert on "Dogs 101," will give participants a lesson on how to properly brush their dogs — which can lead to the early detection of disease.
"There are basic things you can do to care for your pet without going to the veterinarian," said Mark-Viverito.
Thomas Jefferson Park is located on First Avenue from East 111th to 114th streets. Visit www.aspca.org/mobileclinic or call (877) 772-9692 for more information.