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August 17, 2008 -28 animals sterilized 
today by Dr. Tello, our wonderful veterinarian from Costa Rica!

Today Dr. Tello sterilized 16 dogs and 12 cats. Of the 16 dogs, 12 were female and 4 were male. Of the cats, 7 were female and 5 were male. One male dog had a venereal tumor, which Dr. Tello removed. There were no pregnant animals today. We are indeed making progress!

Scheduling is difficult because many people who have appointments don't show up or bother to call and cancel their appointments, nor are we able to reach them by phone on clinic day. And people who have appointments often arrive either hours before or hours after their scheduled time. Sometimes several people arrive who do not have appointments. Most of the time we go ahead and accept them,  but we have them wait until we have a lull in the action. 

Also, when scheduling, we allow a specified amount of time for each animal. But when we have a female dog that is very large, and/or in heat, and/or is pregnant and/or has a venereal tumor (or sometimes more than one of the above conditions), the surgery takes a lot longer than the time we have allocated.  We never know in advance. With all these (always) unknown variables, people frequently have a long wait even when they arrive on time for their scheduled appointment. For this we apologize, but we haven't found a solution...and probably will not be able to find one.

MANY thanks to our wonderful volunteers and contributors:

Betsy Boeve, who served as registrar, helped give injections, took a woman to buy medicine for her very sick dog, acted as a "taxi" to take people and their pets home, etc. 
Yina Ortiz, who administered the anesthesia.
Fariza Castillo, who performed pre-op treatment and injections. Fariza is now working in Panama City, but she still comes home to Volcan to help with our clinics;
Brenda Paulson, who gave the post-op injections of antibiotics and pain/inflammation, Rabies vaccine, flea and tick treatment, and tattooed the ears of female dogs to indicate they have been sterilized;
Jose Espinosa. He is my permanent employee and I donate his time and work for the clinics. He helps weigh and tag the animals and give the anesthesia; he and I go to the clinic site on Mondays following the Sunday clinics to clean and organize for the next one;
Bob Wald, who is our main "regular" for shaving and pre-op cleaning of the animals.
Yimel Caballero and
Eymi Pitti Arcia, high school students, who cleaned and sterilized the surgical instruments. Today the person who said she would help in the recovery area did not show up. So Yimel and Eymi pitched in and helped take temperatures and make sure the animals were doing well at all times after surgery as they recovered from the anesthesia.
Francia Pinedo, who assisted Dr. Tello and helped wherever necessary, including translation. Francia is a good friend and I know her to be an excellent - and honest - real estate agent in Volcan. Her web page is http://www.volcan.paradisepanama.net 

Thanks very much to Lynn and Jerry Longbons for contributing $50 to sterilize their female dog "Loki," for providing sandwiches and drinks, and for donating several medications to the clinic. Lynn is a nurse. She is one of our regular volunteers but is in the US to work for a few months. Because Lynn is a dedicated volunteer, I had told her that they could pay only $20 to sterilize Loki, which is my cost. But they contributed a lot more than that, both in money and other contributions. 

Heartfelt thanks to Betsy Boeve. She also was a nurse in the US and she is one of our dedicated volunteers.  When an animal comes to the clinic with an existing illness and needs medication afterwards, Betsy volunteers to go to the owner's home each day and give the injections. At this last clinic we had a Rottweiler with severe breathing problems. Dr. Tello prescribed three different medications, and Betsy will go give the injections every day for seven days.

Thanks to Sharon Borgman for contributing egg salad sandwiches; Mary Binder for a big pot of delicious chili; Dana Larson for soft drinks; and as mentioned above, Jerry Longbons for sandwiches and drinks; Linda Weldon for Black Forest Cheesecake and double chocolate chip cookies. (Linda accepts orders for her delicious baked goods; contact her at lindadenisew@yahoo.com for a list of items and prices.)

Please forgive me if I have neglected to mention any volunteers or contributors! 

Income and financial donations:

$   398.00

contributions by owners and/or guardians for surgeries 


  cash donation by anonymous 

       20.00       cash donation by Bob and Lynn Wald

  cash donation by anonymous


At this August 2008 clinic, we sterilized 16 dogs and 12 cats. At my average cost of $20 per dog and $10 per cat, expenses totaled $440, plus $100 for building rent, for a total of $540. With total contributions of $488, this left a deficit of only $52.00 for this clinic. Thanks very much to everyone - the deficits are getting to be more manageable than they were in the past. Since October of 2006 to date, the accumulated deficit is $3,733.25. 

Following are a few pictures taken during the August 17, 2008 clinic:

This is Loki, the puppy of Lynn & Jerry Longbons, still snoozing from the anesthesia after surgery.

Betsy Boeve with "Spot."| Spot needed a new home. See the success story about
Spot below. 

Jose Espinosa wears welding gloves to take a cat out of a cage. Some cats can be vicious!

Fernando Concha. He and Claudette brought their dog Cindy to be spayed.

Another cute picture of Spot. 

This is Molly, not awake yet. She is my new adopted dog - my 10th! 

Dr. Tello hard at work.

Eymi Pitti babysits a recovering cat.

People waiting. From the rear, Francia Pinedo pets a dog; then there is Jane Grove from Caizon, Dana Larson and her husband, and a young man in the foreground with a Rottweiler.

People caring for their pets post-surgery. Mary Binder (foreground) came by to deliver her donated chili and sits with Loki. Jerry Longbons, Loki's "dad" is in the background.

Two cats waiting their turn. Both of them are named "Brisa." Their tags said Brisa#1 and Brisa#2.

Click on the thumbnail above to see a larger picture. The amount of blood shown here is not abnormal during the spaying of a mature female dog. In fact, there is sometimes a lot more. This is why we urge people to sterilize their dogs and cats while they are young. Dr. Tello is trained in pediatric sterilization, and we take animals as young as 8 weeks. When they are young, there is virtually no blood and the surgery is much easier on the animal. 

Eymi Pitti with "Spot."

Yina Ortiz, another of our regular volunteers. See explanation of the picture at the right.

IMG_0019-x4.JPG (48586 bytes)

Click on the thumbnail above to view a larger picture. At the end of the day at a previous clinic we took a picture of Yina napping with her puppy. Brenda Paulson, a very talented artist painted this picture and presented it to Yina as a gift.

Success story regarding Spot:  He is deaf, which I learned is not uncommon with Dalmatians. Spot is a very sweet and energetic dog.  Eymi fell in love with Spot and took him home with her after the clinic. Spot will have a good home with Eymi and her family. (They have several other pets, all of which have been sterilized at our clinics, and they love them and take very good care of them.)

Here in Volcan, our small group has been responsible for sterilizing 527 animals to date. Added to the 129 animals that Spay/Panama (from Panama City) sterilized in in Volcan in February of 2005, we have sterilized 656 dogs and cats! There are many more to go, but we are making progress!  Our goal is to sterilize at least 75% of the dogs and cats in the Volcan area, and thus almost completely solve the problem of homeless dogs and cats, and the terrible venereal disease suffered by so many dogs, both male and female, which is eventually fatal.

Dorothy Atwater - 771-5883 or 6780-2565 or viajar2566@yahoo.com

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