Woof, woof from Panajachel! This is Einstein, retired street dog reporting . . .
There is plenty to share on the animal front, so, noses in the air, let us get sniffing out the scoops!
The greatest news for the animals this week is that at long last the x-ray machine has arrived at Zoo Mascota! All of us thank those of you who contributed to this important addition to our clinic. We only have to wait a little bit longer for the shipment to arrive from Dr. Jim in the US with the developing tanks, hangers and other peripheral stuff. Kizzie, Tootsie and I are lined up and ready for a good look at what’s going on with us. Wag of the tail to all!
Another “giant leap” for animal-kind in Pana is happening on the Humane Education front. Program coordinator, Marilena de Perez told this reporter that “classes are scheduled to begin on 28 February in Capulin Elementary School. The team has developed 8 lessons plans that include such topics as bite prevention, human and pet needs for life, responsible care for a dog or cat and more, all presented in a playful but informative fashion”. The Humane Education team includes Joan Qualthrough, Helen Rosales and Carmen de Hunt, Capulin School principal. Wag of the tail for you wonderful volunteers!
More good news came out of Guatemala City earlier this month. The McKee Project, based in San Jose, Costa Rica coordinated a meeting between several nonprofit animal welfare groups, the University of Veterinary Medicine, the Colegio (the licensing agency for Guatemalan vets), vets and others active in animal welfare. McKee principals, Carla Ferraro, Dr. Gerardo Vicente and Christine Crawford presented the objectives of the Project and won unanimous support from all.
McKee is chartered to train vets throughout Latin America in small-incision spay and neuter surgical procedures. This technique requires less anesthesia and only one or two stitches for closure thereby reducing post-op infections and stitches opening. Animals recover quicker and with less side affects. It also enables vets to lower their prices on sterilization surgeries.
Mayan Families director, Selaine d’Ambrosi stated, “Due to the training Dr. Miguel received in Costa Rica, our post-op problems have dropped dramatically and the price for our low-cost clinics has been reduced from $30 – 50 per animal to a $25 flat fee for all. We are also fortunate to have other vets and students attending our clinics for training. Licensed, practicing vets are encouraged to participate and after thorough training, are allowed to perform surgeries during the clinics. Last-year vet students from the University attend primarily to observe and are offered practice on incisions and stitching only. They pay for their training through contributions of pet food that helps support the Food Supplement Program.
Dr. Andrea Portillo and Gina Illesca have been appointed co-coordinators for the McKee Project in Guatemala. A big WOOF WOOF and wag of the tail to all involved in this important effort towards better, less expensive veterinary care and reduction in overpopulation!
The Healthy Pets program is happy to announce two new members of the team! Marvin, a pre-med student began work on Monday. He is organizing a comprehensive database, promoting the clinics, assisting the humane ed team and helping out at Zoo Mascota in the mornings. Welcome, Marvin!
Ishmael, a ten-year-old charmer is also on board at Zoo Mascota in the afternoons. He works after school walking the dogs in long-term care or boarding. He also helps Juan clean kennels, the grounds, give baths as well as feed and water everyone for the night. Welcome, Ishmael!
Several good folks have dropped by to see me at my retirement home. It’s always good to see friends! Some asked if the municipality poisoned recently because they’ve noticed a decrease in the number of street dogs. Of course, I immediately jumped into action, called my buddy, Julio who in turn called the mayor’s office. The answer is NO, neither the Muni nor Centro de Salud is poisoning.
Do you want to keep these agencies from poisoning innocent, helpless animals? Do you believe that sterilization is the humane answer to overpopulation? Do you believe that humane education in our schools will help the next generation grow into more compassionate adults that will provide good care for their pets? If so,
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