Spay And Neuter Clinics
Spay Neuter Operative in Boca Chica
with Caribbean Spay Neuter
2/12 – 2/16/2020
This was our first cooperative with a large American veterinary organization. The goal was to spay and neuter 500 animals.
All we knew so far about American organizations was that they send large teams that stay only a few days whereas we work with small teams that stay one or two weeks. But we hadn’t been completely aware of what a logistic challenge it would be for our Dominican partners to receive, accommodate and cater for 20 people.
Caribbean Spay Neuter sent a team of 7 surgeons and 11 vet technicians and non-medical volunteers and raised the funds for medication and materials.
Our task was to finance transportation back and forth to the airport, accommodation and food and Emily Espinosa from Cat Lovers RD organized the clinic locally with her volunteers.
Preparations began in July 2019. Already the search for a shipping company to ship materials from the US to the Dominican Republic wasn’t easy and took a lot of time. The greatest difficulty was to make sure that enough anesthesia would be available for the expected number of surgeries. Permits were needed for both export of the drugs from the US and import into the Dominican Republic. The necessary documents couldn’t be handed in in time and the alternative to purchase the medicaments in the Dominican Republic in such a quantity proved equally difficult, a problem that was solved in the last minute.
Mara Brasola had arranged accommodation with breakfast at the Neptuno’s Refugio, a really beautiful hotel, where already Anja Heß and her team have stayed in 2018 and 2019. Here the American vets with the hotel’s owner, Doña Rita.
Scarlett Grillo met the team at the airport and brought them to the hotel.
Emily Espinosa and Mara Brasola had found a beautiful location
for the clinic very close to the hotel.
Here we want to commemorate the late mayor of Boca Chica who had been very supportive of the animal welfare project Boca Chica and who had wanted to provide the location for this operative personally.
We see in general a very positive attitude towards our project in the community of Boca Chica which makes us very happy. During the preparations for this operative Emily Espinosa was contacted by two restaurant owners with an issue of cat overpopulation that they wanted to solve with spay and neuter. In December our vet Dr. Josef Beisl flew to the Dominican Republic and spayed and neutered 145 cats.
His Dominican colleagues continued the work until the goal of 200 spays was reached. The photo of cat No 200 reached us shortly before the American vets arrived.
The restaurant owners, Bocana and the catering service Ivelisse, kept their promise and donated each night foods for 20 people from which a cook prepared delicious dishes:
Mara Brasola provided lunch.
The clinic was set up on 02/12.
Surgeries took place from 02/13 – 16.
20 tables provided space for prepping…
Instrument sterilization was set up on every table.
The first day 87 animals were spayed and neutered.
The second day 103 animals were done…
…the third day 108…
…and 88 on the last day.
Everywhere sleeping animals, also outside…
…near the reception area.
Elsa, a Dominican volunteer, received the patients and filled in the forms for each animal.
The successful work of Emily Espinosa, her Dominican Scouts
and the two previous operatives of our vets were noticeable.
People came in droves and brought their animals.
They arrived in cars…
…and in cardboard boxes.
Many of them were very young.
Dra Lourdes Ripley lent the kennels.
They were large enough to hold several dogs at a time.
The dog catchers of Mara Brasola did a fantastic job.
Especially this gentleman deserves mentioning.
He brought more than fifty dogs with his truck.
Also the members of Rescate Nefertiti volunteered…
…and participated in animal transportation.
Apart from spay and neuter there were the usual issues to deal with;
pregnancies and pyometras…
…and skin diseases like ringworm.
The sign reminds that this disease is contagious.
This little bitch had a benign mammary gland tumor which was removed.
And although this was a clinic for dogs…
…there were lots of cats among the patients.
Also Moyse, the dog of Neptuno’s Refugio was neutered.
He recovered quickly from the surgery.
Doña Rita loves her dog very much. The hotel‘s cats were already spayed. Neptuno’s Refugio will appear shortly on our site Animal-friendly hotels.
There were also some happy endings.
This young bitch was brought in a miserable state.
She recovered quickly…
…and became everybody’s darling, too cute to be sent back to the street.
She travelled with one of the vets to the US.
And this tiny puppy, only a few weeks old, was found at the beach,
showing already signs of mange. It is now in foster care.
The goal of 500 spays wasn’t reached but also 386 animals that don’t reproduce anymore will be noticed very positively in the community of Boca Chica.
A great Thank you to Dra Lourdes Ripley who does herself many clinics in the Dominican Republic with her organization Pets Breeding Control and who didn’t only supply kennels but came to replace an American surgeon who hadn’t been able to come. And of course also a huge Thank you to everybody else who participated in this operative either by donating or working!Summing up we must say that despite the great result of 386 spays and neuters the cooperation with such large teams is not suitable for us and will remain an exception. The organization of such clinics and the accommodation of groups that size, even for a few days, are a great strain for our local partners and we are well-advised to continue our work with our small teams of German vets that stay for one or two weeks, whose transportation and accommodation can be managed far more easily and who can operate in a lot more places because they adapt much easier to given circumstances. Also financially operatives with such large groups are a challenge. Without additional benefactors on the location like hotels, restaurants, companies that sponsor accommodation, meals and transport costs can easily explode. Our own financial participation in this operative remained within the limits of our budget but adding up what all participating parties invested we arrive at a price per surgery of more than double the cost we usually have.
How will things continue in Boca Chica? The operative has shown that there is progress but a lot remains still to be done.
One of the most important things is to form an own, small but efficient animal welfare organization in Boca Chica so that Emily Espinosa can continue to work towards her goals; reducing animal overpopulation, abandoning and strays by providing spay and neuter, teaching appropriate ways of pet keeping in the community, taking care of the beach animals in a feeding and monitoring program.
To realize all this will take (many) years. We will accompany this process with annual spay neuter clinics.