Recently, members of a new group called Animal Lovers of MV waited in line at the Steamship Authority. Their travel companions? Nine dogs, split between three vehicles, heading to the Spay Waggin’ in Falmouth.

Spay Waggin’ is a mobile spay and neuter unit that travels across the south shore and Cape Cod providing affordable services for pet owners. Kym Cyr of Second Chance Animal Rescue uses their services frequently, taking cats off-Island almost weekly for spaying and neutering. This was the first trip for a group of dogs.

Early this year, after learning of the Spay Waggin’, Barbara Prada, the Edgartown animal control officer, gathered animal control officers, staff from the Animal Shelter of Martha's Vineyard, and members of Island animal rescue groups from around the Island to meet and discuss the possibility of bringing the unit to the Island. “We were trying to get it to come over here for a couple of days, but that was going to be way too expensive,” Ms. Prada said.

Barbara Prada, Kym Cyr, Marcia Weir, Kerry Scott, Gordon Healy and Lisa Hayes lend a hand to help pet population. — Alison L. Mead

So they reached out to some animal loving friends to raise funds for a trip off-Island. “They were very generous,” she said. “I outlined what we were going to do and they said come get the check.”

Those funds, along with Massachusetts Animal Fund vouchers, helped with the round-trip travel costs and the medical services, so that the service was completely free for pet owners. Ms. Prada said that animal control officers are often aware of which pet owners are struggling with the financial cost of spaying and neutering. The owners are able to feed and care for their pets, but additional medical services can be challenging. Animal Lovers of MV aims to help absorb the costs for pet owners, especially for a critical procedure like spaying and neutering.

“For the most part we're just doing this because we love animals and we want to help people who need help,” said Ms. Prada.

While the group waited for their patients to finish their procedures, they met with the Falmouth animal control officer and Spay Waggin' staff. They also spent time getting to know the volunteers from Friends of Falmouth Dogs.

One of the passengers. — Alison L. Mead

“Their volunteers came just in case we would need a hand,” said Kerry Scott, owner of Good Dog Goods. “They all parked down on the road so we could take over their parking lot with our vans and dogs and the Spay Waggin’.”

“It was so satisfying to see this done, to be able to help a lot of people,” said Ms. Prada.

It is a relationship that Animal Lovers of MV hopes to continue. Their goal is to make three or four trips a year to the Spay Waggin’. After the success of their first trip, Ms. Prada and Ms. Scott are optimistic.

“Barbara called me from Falmouth at around two-ish to tell me how completely fantastic the day was. How smoothly everything went, how well-organized, how supportive the folks were,” said Ms. Scott, who stayed on-Island. “It was such a wonderful start to what we all hope will be a long engagement, and another way for all of us to serve the community.”

Back on the Island, all nine dogs are recovering well. The group is already preparing for their next trip to the Spay Waggin’, ideally in September before female dogs go into heat. They hope to have a Facebook page for the group up and running soon.

“Our first goal was to get the maiden voyage done with and see where it went from there,” said Ms. Prada.