It seems that we kicked off a momentum in the Mexican community, maybe a form of peer pressure, for the locals to take advantage of the free spays and neuters and help end the extreme pet overpopulation problem. Extermination had been the only way to deal with packs of homeless dogs digging through garbage cans trying to survive. It had been the norm for the police to come by every couple of months rounding up dogs at night and killing them. “What else could be done, that’s just how it is.”
Through http://www.sayulitanimals.org and a lot of dedicated volunteers, with the exception of a veterinarian, they were determined to find another way. After returning from my trip I have been spending a lot of my time networking trying to find other veterinarians to go down and volunteer. I have had no luck and the spring reproductive season is coming quickly. Although I hope to find other veterinarians for them in the future, I have agreed to go back for one more strong push to spay and neuter as many animals as possible. I fly out March 19 and will do surgery for three days straight, returning on the 23rd. I am going by myself. This is not a beach vacation.
One of the problems in making this a successful trip by doing large quantities of safe surgery is that I have to take my own good quality suture, anesthetic drugs, and some other surgical supplies. I hope to do at least 75 animals in these three days. These supplies alone will cost about $700, not including travel costs.
Once again, I am hoping for some financial support from anyone who thinks this is a worthwhile project. Donations can be made at our Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic. To track where these donations go, feel free to contact Sara Briner at http://www.sayulitanimals.org. Ask her what she thinks of my work.
Dr. Chris Holmes, DVM, is the owner of Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic in Lakeport.