alt“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity.”– George Bernard Shaw

Each month in Louisville, scores of veterinarians and volunteers are recruited as weekend warriors for a strategic spay and neuter clinic, better known as the “Big Fix,” initiated by the nonprofit organization Alley Cat Advocates. Planned for 13 weekends throughout the calendar year, the work of capturing and registering felines on a Friday and Saturday culminates on a Sunday when an industrial warehouse becomes a makeshift OR. With an average of 50 volunteers, including five to 10 vets who perform the surgeries for no fee, the urgency and constant motion of the floor space evoke images of an Army MASH  tent. If it reminds you of a war zone, it is. The battle of over-breeding is being fought here. The weapon? Compassion.

It was almost a decade ago when Dr. Marie Gagnon, staff veterinarian at Fairleigh Pet Center, received a phone call from the director of Alley Cat Advocates, Karen Little.

“She told me I had a wonderful client who thought I would make a great volunteer for the Big Fix,” says Gagnon.

Considering it a compliment to both her and her Fairleigh staff – whose office had become established as a respected veterinary clinic in the Highlands and beyond – Gagnon wasted no time getting involved.