Saturday, June 12, 2010

Week 5 of the P.U.P.P.Y Project

Ginger, the mom, continues to gain weight, get healthier, and also bond with our other dogs.  It is funny though as any time one of the puppies is around she will have nothing to do with them.  The puppies continue to do well also.  We continue to give them monthly treatments of Ivermectin by mouth to keep the fleas and ticks away. 

Part of the agreement with the new puppy owners was that they would have the dogs spayed at the earliest possible point.  Statistics show that it is possible for one dog to have 67,000 descendents within a 6 year period and for a cat to have 420,000 in a 7 year period.  So leaving the puppies in their environment without fixing them would only perpetuate the problem.  The puppy owners seemed to understand and were very accepting of the puppies being spayed.

One of the main objectives of the AAAS (Associacion de Amigos por los Animales de Sosua) Association of Friends for the Animals of Sosua Dominican Republic is to provide free or low cost spay/neuter services for dogs in the area.  Spay/Neuter is one of the best ways to decrease the number of dogs walking the streets as well as to increase the overall health of the canine/cat community of the area.  The AAAS has a  facility just outside of Sosua where volunteer veterinarians and veterinary students come to perform surgeries with the assistance of a very dedicated volunteer group from the area.  Veterinarians from all over the world come to have a vacation, but also to do some great service for the animals of the area.

One of the first clinics that was available for the puppies and Ginger happened in mid-March.  So we piled the 5 puppies and Ginger in our car for the half hour drive to the AAAS facility.  My wife, Debbie, is a volunteer that helps out at the spay/neuter clinics so she followed the group through the entire process.  Because they have done so many of these clinics they really have a great organization in place.  All our dogs were first weighed to determine the amount of meds to be given to each. 

Each had a piece of tape stuck to their foreheads so there would be no confusion on who was who and what their weights were. The dogs were then put in a holding area until it was their turn for their surgeries.
Volunteers prepare the dogs for their surgeries by shaving them as well as administering medicines that consist of anesthesia, antibiotics, and pain medications for post operative pain.

The dogs are then intubated

Surgeries are then performed on each of the dogs by the volunteer veterninarians.  Here Dr. Alfano works on one of the puppies.  Dr. Frank Alfano of the Falmouth - Cape Cod area of Massachusetts has been coming to the Dominican Repbulic and volunteering for over 10 years. This was his third trip Sosua. 

Below, one of the dogs after surgery is monitored until they wake up.
Lassie (on the right) is returned to her Mom and Sisters after her surgery.  Gingerand all the puppies did fine through their surgeries.  All went home to their families the same day.  We checked on how they were doing the next day and all did well.

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