The animal sterilization clinic was scheduled to start at 7:00 am and by 7:10 we had our first customer.
One by one, children, adults, and then whole families came in to register their dogs and cats for the free sterilization clinic. Both the animals and their humans had scared looks on their faces when they came in.
The operations took place in one of the classrooms at the San Diego school. Three veterinarians worked side by side throughout the day operating on as many animals as possible. First, the animal’s overall health was checked. Animals were then given an anesthetic injection, operated on, and then taken to the recovery room. Elisa from ADAN – a network of NGOs in Nicaragua, supervised and cared for the animals in the recovery room. From the time the animals were injected to when they woke up in the recovery room was about 1.5 hours.
Outside, owners talked to their neighbors while waiting for their pet to emerge from the recovery room or to be called in for surgery. Snacks and water were provided for everyone waiting.
Family happy to utilize the free service
Getting the Word OutLeading up to the event, we advertised the sterilization clinic to the community in a number of different ways: hiring a vegetable seller with a bullhorn to drive up and down the streets announcing the event, fliers posted in shops throughout the communities, WhatsApp messages for those with cell phones and of course, word of mouth. I also went with one of the teachers to the nearby community of San Bartolo and walked door to door, letting people know to bring their pets in for this free service.
This clinic was made possible because of fundraising by Julie Burke, ADAN – an NGO network in Nicaragua, Lester Tapia, and his team of veterinarians from Orprovet, as well as support and volunteers from Gran Pacifica Resort. Vanessa Angulo registered all of the animals, Julie Burke kept things moving along, and several volunteers, including Álvaro Gutierrez, gave people and their weary pets rides to and from the clinic (one pet was wheeled home in a wheelbarrow).
Dog going home in a wheelbarrow
Katy Davila assisted in the operating room, all day, as well as helping set up, and cleaning up. We were very lucky to have such great volunteers and could not have done this without their help.
This was the second clinic of its kind and was geared toward minimizing the overpopulation of dogs and cats in the area. The clinic was a success. By 11:00 am, 30 animals had been sterilized, and at the end of the day, 54 dogs and cats had been brought in for sterilization. The cost for each dog was approximately $16.00 to sterilize, and each cat was $11.00.
Dr. Tapia getting ready to perform a sterilization procedure as owner watches
People Love Their Pets
It is evident from this particular clinic that people in these communities care about their pets. In rural communities in Nicaragua, veterinary care can be hard to access for many families. In addition to sterilizing the animals, the vets were also able to diagnose other unknown illnesses including a female dog, who had four puppies at home, that was diagnosed with a severe urinary infection. The doctors told the owner that if they had not brought her in, she would have died in the next week. Dr. Tapia stated, “You could see the love for their pets on the people’s faces.” Julie Burke, the lead organizer of this clinic, said that she is, so happy that the people are bringing in the animals for these operations, which will enhance their quality and longevity of life.
The group plans for another Clinic in February. Dr. Tapia would also like to hold a horse health and education clinic in the area. For more information about the clinics, visit the Orprovet Facebook page.
If you would like to bring a veterinarian group, or volunteers down to Gran Pacifica, we can assist in your planning and travel arrangements.
Excellent volunteer from Gran Pacifica, Katy Davila
ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.
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