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Sunday, September 23, 2012 -  36 animals were sterilized today by
 Dr. Andrés Tello, our wonderful veterinarian. In addition to sterilizing a male dog, Dr. Tello performed a necessary amputation of the dog's leg. He also did exams of several already sterilized dogs and cats and removed a cancerous mammary tumor from a female dog.

We sterilized 23 dogs and 13 cats. Of the dogs, 17 were female and 6 were male. Of the cats, 12 were female and 1 was male. 

As I have mentioned before, the clinics were initiated so that low-income Panamanians could afford to sterilize their dogs and cats. The requested $20 per dog and $10 per cat does not cover my costs, and no one is turned away for inability to pay even that small amount. However, I have permission from Spay Panama to allow others in this area to bring their pets so they can have the benefit of Dr. Tello's expertise and caring. I ask expats (and Panamanians who can afford it) to pay more in order to help reduce my out-of-pocket expenses, and most of them gladly do so.

People who have never been involved in this sort of endeavor naturally have no idea about the amount of work involved in holding a clinic - before, during, and after - nor about the cost of the many medications and supplies that are needed, paper and ink for printing many hundrds of documents, plus the gasoline to go buy supplies and medications and to pick up and deliver animals, and rent for the building - plus paying the doctor. The $20 per dog/$10 per cat was my estimated cost when I first started the clinics in early 2006. Not long ago I raised the estimates to $22 per dog and $11 per cat. But we've all seen the inflation that has occurred and that continues to rise. Now the cost estimates are more realistically $25 per dog and $15 per cat. However, I will not increase the amount asked of the low-income Panamanians - they have also been hit by inflation.

I pay for sterilizing the dogs/cats of our volunteers (2 today). One young volunteer, before she knew about the clinics and became a volunteer, paid a local vet $30 to sterilize her female cat. This vet merely tied the tubes of the cat. So the cat still went into heat, still had sex, still got beat up by male cats. Dr. Tello properly spayed the cat today by removing her uterus and ovaries. The surgery is more difficult after the tubes have been cut because then he has to search for the ovaries instead of just locating them by the tubes.

I also pay for the sterilization of people's animals when I know they simply can't afford to pay anything at all. For this clinic, some friends told me about some very poor people with a female dog who had recently had puppies. I asked them to bring the mama and however many of the puppies they could and said I would pay for them. They brought the mama and 3 of the puppies to be sterilized. (She had had 10, and I don't know what happened to the others.) The puppies were born only 5 weeks before and the mother was so skinny that her milk had alread dried up. My friends said the people didn't even have the money to feed the mother dog - and she had abrasions on her neck from being tied up. I suggested that they ask the people to just let the dog loose so she could at least look for food. Sad, sad.

But there are also encouraging stories among the Panamanian people. For example, Enilda Gonzales is an elderly woman with a BIG heart. She has rescued numerous animals (all have been sterilized), plus she brings a needy dog to almost every clinic. These dogs either belong to someone else or are street dogs. Enilda is not wealthy but she almost always contributes $20 toward the sterilization of these animals. Enilda and people like her truly warm my heart.

I was physically and emotionally exhausted and I had considered either taking a long vacation from the clinics, or quitting altogether. But I've had a spiritual renewal because I'm getting some help - Don Binder volunteered to coordinate commitments for food and drinks for the clinics, and Azel Ames will coordinate getting the soiled blankets washed after each clinic. That lifts two tasks from my shoulders and I very much appreciate it!

I will continue to provide the coffee, cream, sugar and drinking water, and to finance the clinics and do the  planning, organizing, scheduling - then calling people a few days in advance to confirm their appointments, doing inventory of what’s needed for the next clinic and finding and buying those things (sometimes not easy to find), organizing the volunteers, cleaning and prepping the clinic building  before each clinic and cleaning it afterward, bringing home and washing the dishes, bringing home a 33-gallon bag of refuse and having it ready to be picked up by the trash people, doing the bookkeeping of expenses versus contributions, creating my web page after each clinic, making a list of no-shows who didn’t bother to call and cancel, printing 45 registration sheets, 45 after-care instructions and documents about the benefits of sterilization, printing and posting notices of the clinic all over town as necessary....etc., etc. (I am grateful to my employee, Jose, who helps me with some of those things.)

Also, I will continue to try to help sick or injured dogs when I find them and can get them to Dr. Tello.

Another project that I hope someone will start is to coordinate an effort to befriend and subsequently bring to the clinic for sterilization the approximate 15 dogs that congregate at the "dog feeding station" that someone initiated here.  I disagree with having a feeding program that is not coordinated with sterilization because these dogs continue to breed and spread venereal disease/tumors. Considering that in 6 years a female dog and her off springs can be the source of 67,000 puppies, having a "feeding program" without sterilization is like us trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. I will pay for the surgeries if necessary.

Along with getting these dogs to the clinics for sterilization, someone would need to coordinate volunteers for the fostering of these dogs overnight after surgery. They will still be woozy from the anesthesia until the following day and to immediately turn them back onto the street would leave them vulnerable to attack by other dogs or to being hit by a car.

Please donate! Your PayPal tax-deductible donations for Chiriqui go through Spay Panama's Animals YES in the USA and are eventually forwrded to me. Please send me an email if you donate by PayPal so I can thank you personally! 

If you donate via PayPal, it often takes a long time for the funds to reach me. (See income and expenses below.) If you are local to Panama, please consider donating directly to me. If you're not able to donate in person, I can give you information about how to deposit to my bank account, either in Panama or in the US. Thank you! I can give you a tax-deductible receipt for your US tax return.

Donors and amounts are reported on my web page for each clinic. Income and expenses are listed on each clinic web page. Thank you for your help! Your contribution helps make Spay/Panama-Chiriqui services possible.  PLEASE BE AWARE that if you donate through PayPal, I cannot credit your donation on my web page until I actually receive the funds. If you have donated through PayPal and your donation has not been credited on my web page, please contact me.

Anyone who is local to Volcan, PLEASE talk with your friends and neighbors, explain the importance of proper sterilization and tell them about our clinics.  My goal is to sterilize at least 30 animals during each clinic - and lately we have been exceeding that number. Our next clinic will be on October 21, 2012. 

MANY thanks to our wonderful volunteers and contributors. Without their help and dedication, ths important work simply could not be done. And by the way, with the exception of Don Binder who is a dedicated volunteer, all the rest are Panamanians.

Cristina Espinosa did a good job with registration. She is only 13 years old and is the daughter of my employee, Jose Espinosa. 
Don Binder and Jahir Costillo weighed the animals, administered the anesthesia, shaved and prepped the animals, and gave the pre-op injections of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory, put mineral oil in the eyes of the animals so they would not dry out, and performed whatever other duties were needed. 
Jose Espinosa, my permanent employee, helps weigh and tag the animals, provides transportation for animals when necessary, and helps with various duties. He also takes my car to pick up and deliver animals when necessary. Then Jose and I go to the clinic site on Mondays following the Sunday clinics to clean and organize for the next one.
Rosemary Rios, Maria Cristina Montenegro, and Francia Pinedo assisted Dr. Tello, gave post-op injections of B-complex and antiparasite. They dressed the incisions, took the temperature of the recovering animals, tattooed the ears of female dogs, gave flea and tick treatment, and generally checked the well being of the animals. 
We had a new volunteer today, Yiniela Rodriguez, and she says she will be a regular. Yiniela learned very rapidly and she is a welcome addition to our team.

Alejandro Espinosa, the youngest son of my employee Jose Espinosa, cleaned and sterilized the instruments.

Again, we had a great team of volunteers today and everything ran very smoothly!

We had a lot of delicous food for the doctor and the volunteers! Thanks to everyone who contributed: Don Binder made a crock pot of tasty chili and also brought drinks, Dorreene Reynolds provided a delicious dessert, and Amanda Rankin brought a fruit plate.

And many thanks to Azel Ames and Kate Stamm, who washed the blankets this month!

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

Income and expenses: 

$  549.00

contributions by guardians

       58.38      donation by Tara Reardon, Washington, D.C. (60.00-1.63 PayPal)
      48.60      donation by Mary Quish, Hartford, CT (50.00-1.40 PayPal fee)
        9.48         donation byCarolyn Price, Concepcion (10.00-.52 PayPal fee)
      48.60      donation by Rick Taylor, Boquete (50.00-1.40 PayPal fee)

At this September 23, 2012 clinic, Dr. Tello sterilized 23 dogs and 13 cats. With my average cost for sterilizations of $25 per dog and $15 per cat, expenses were $770 plus $100 for building rent, for a total of $870.  With contributions of $724.06, there was a deficit of $145.94. Therefore, my accumulated deficit is $1,965.15. My hearfelt thanks for all the generous donations of those who have contributed in the past and who will contribute in the future! 

I very much appreciate any and all contributions. They are welcome and needed! 

This little boy LOVES his dog!

Lots of great pictures were taken during the September 23, 2012 clinic. To see the rest of the pictures, click HERE.  

When you click on the first picture, it will enlarge and then you'll see the narrative at the bottom of the picture. There are arrows at the side (or the top, depending on your version of Picasa) to advance the pictures.


Here in Volcan, our small group has been responsible for sterilizing 1,747 dogs and cats to date. Added to the 129 animals that Spay/Panama (from Panama City) sterilized in in Volcan in February of 2005, we have sterilized 1,876 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.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our clinics today, and to those who had their pets sterilized. Always remember that TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Dorothy Atwater -  6517-8752 or muffiemae@gmail.com
skype US telephone: 281-725-6198
skype:  muffiemae

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