Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cisco's Amigos - Spay/Neuter Clinic in Melaque

Yesterday, I took the bus early in the morning to a nearby town called Melaque to help out Cisco's Amigos with their free spay and neuter clinic. This is a local not-for-profit charity organized by La Manzanilla ex-pat, Julie Wagner-Shuetz and has a similar mission to PATA, the organization I volunteer for in Manzanillo. They promote sterilization and offer free spay/neuter clinics for stray animals and animals of low income families to lessen the over population problem and reduce the number of stray animals on the streets. They had three veteranarians come from Mexico City that volunteered their time for this wonderful cause. The rest of the tasks like sterilization of instruments, post-op recovery, cleaning kennels, getting supplies, feeding volunteers, housing the vets, etc were all performed by the amazing group of local volunteers.

I was immediately put to work in the post-operation recovery area where the animals are laid out on mats and covered in warm towels because their body temperature fluctuates as they come out of anethesia. We would watch over them and turn them every 5 minutes or so. In addition, we would make sure they were still breathing, clean their ears, remove ticks, give vaccinations and de-wormers, etc. Once they started moving and coming out of the anethesia, we would move them to a kennel. On average, the three vets were doing 30-42 animals per day! Yesterday morning, it was mostly cats and we could barely keep up with the high number coming out of surgery.

The post-operation area and the small room where all three vets performed the surgeries (through the small window). You can see the 12 or so animals post-surgery recuperating under the warm towels on the mats.

The post-op area and crew

One of the dogs pre-surgery!

One of the volunteers in charge of cleaning surgical instruments

Some small kittens that just came out of surgery. They were so tiny (less than a kilo), I kept checking to make sure they were still breathing.

Overall, it was definitely an inspirational and rewarding experience. I am sure the vets back home would be amazed at what could be accomplished in a matter of a few days and in a bare-bones surgical environment like the one we had to work with. By the time I had to catch the bus to go back to La Manzanilla for my Spanish class at 4pm, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. It was a very rewarding experience and I am glad that I was able to help out. I met the other amazing volunteers - a collection of foreigners and locals that clearly love animals. I was also had the opportunity to practice my Spanish with some of the local volunteers. Both PATA and Cisco's Amigos will be doing another large clinic each in late March - PATA in Manzanillo and Cisco's here in the Melaque area. I will definitely be helping out with the next clinic. If anyone is interested in helping out with the next clinic in Manzanillo, send me a note. We need all kinds of volunteers, we also need kennels to use on the days of the clinic, we need drivers, etc.


Steve Cotton said...

I will just miss the next clinic. But I am certain there will be plenty more.

I was just chuckling about the "word verification" for this post: WORMO. I think the computer is developing a sense of humor.

New Beginnings said...

Steve - Yes, there will definitely be more opportunities to help out in the fall again.