FITCHBURG — The Jeffrey P. Stephens Low-Cost Pet Vaccine Clinic at Fitchburg Fire Department was a knock-out last Saturday, with 47 cats, 79 dogs, and 126 pets vaccinated altogether. This low-cost vaccine clinic began in 2011 when Jeff Stephens, who worked for Fitchburg’s Board of Health, co-found the clinic.
The bi-annual event was sponsored by Second Chance Animal Services, of East Brookfield.
Sally Cragin, director of Be PAWSitive Therapy Pets and Community Education, helped produce this bi-annual event with the Friends of Fitchburg DOGS, Inc.
“Back in 2011, we were thrilled to have 37 pets get vaccinated,” said Cragin. “But this clinic brought in 126 pets – a record number getting their shots since the start of COVID.”
More than a third of the pets came from Fitchburg, with more than a dozen other communities represented. Visitors came from nearby towns, such as Leominster, Lunenburg, Westminster, Townsend, and as far away as Concord, Worcester and Palmer.
“We love to help a great cause,” says Fitchburg Fire Department Chief Dante Suarez. “Fitchburg Fire Department is very happy to help support pet owners keeping their pets healthy.”
Deana Stephens, Jeff’s widow, said he cared very deeply for pets.
“Along with all the work he did for the Fitchburg Board of Health, Jeff was extremely proud to help establish an affordable vaccine clinic for residents and their pets. Not only did he do whatever was possible for people but his caring nature extended to their four legged companions,” said Stephens. “All pets found a soft spot in his heart and even though we are still devastated by his sudden passing, we continue to carry out the efforts he put in place many years ago to help our furry friends.”