When the pandemic hit South Florida in March 2020, many clinics, humane societies, shelters and rescues shut down which allowed the community cat population to explode. Without trap/neuter/return surgeries being performed, many litters of kittens were being born. The Miami Meow Mobile- the mobile surgical clinic run by The Cat Network, was unable to be used because of its small operating space that would not allow safe social distancing. The Meow Mobile team of veterinary technicians and lead veterinarian came up with a plan to safely perform surgeries while still maintaining COVID 19 safety protocols.
The Meow Mobile is housed in a large warehouse space - the team designed a clinic that would use the van only for surgeries and recovery, while using the rest of the warehouse space to set up prep stations. Feline patient check-in and check-out would be done outside in the parking lot with guidelines and signage to keep clients 6 or more feet apart while humans would be required to wear masks according to COVID 19 requirements. Since May 17, when the Meow Mobile began doing spay/neuter surgeries again, 556 cats and kittens have been sterilized and vaccinated through the end of July 2020. The Cat Network has received several grants specifically covering surgeries during the COVID 19 pandemic thus enabling Miami Dade county residents to safely get the community cats sterilized.