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May 22nd, 2011 - 24 animals were sterilized today
by Dr. Andrés Tello, our wonderful veterinarian. 

We sterilized 18 dogs and 6 cats. Of the dogs, 13 were female and 5 were male, with two dogs having very serious and life-threatening venereal tumors. Of the cats, 3 were female and 3 were male.

Every animal counts, but I still wish we could do more at each clinic. Even though I put up 60 notices all around town before each clinic, and I'm always mentioning the clinics to people and inviting them to make an appointment for their dogs and cats, we never have the number of animals I'd like to have. The clinics at Boquete are always full, and so are the clinics in David. Dr. Tello operates at those clinics also. Yesterday he sterilized 51 animals in David.

We also have a "no-show" problem here in Volcan. Yesterday there were 10 "no-shows" who did not bother to come. If they had all come, we would have sterilized 34 animals and I would have been very happy with that number. (I had called every single person the day before the clinic, and they all assured me they would be there.)

We had an interesting situation this month. My phone number and that of my employee, Jose Espinosa, are on the notices for the clinics. Just after I had finished posting my 60 notices around town, Jose received a call from a man who identified himself as "Dr. Santamaria," supposedly a vet. He told Jose that Dr. Roberto Crespo, head of the veterinary association for this area, and other vets in the association were opposed to our clinics. He said that they were going to come to our May clinic and demand to see Dr. Tello's official authorization to operate in Panama; and that if Dr. Tello  (who lives in Costa Rica) didn't have official authorization, they were going to "deport" him.

Well, the whole thing is absurd. Of course Dr. Tello is licensed to operate in Panama. When I think of the great benefit we are extending to the animals and to the community with these low-cost clinics,  I find it appalling that other vets are so envious of Dr. Tello's skill and expertise that they would want to stop us. Without Dr. Tello, we simply could not offer the clinics. And even more sad, any of them could come to our clinics for Dr. Tello to train, free of charge. Besides learning how to perform proper sterilization, they could also learn to operate better and faster. 

I was not surprised that no one showed up to try to "deport" Dr. Tello but if they had, I would not have let THEM in the door unless they showed ME official authorization to question anyone. This is not the first time we've had rumblings of discontent. Another time the veterinary association, perhaps under the assumption that I am making money from the clinics (HAH!) wanted to stop the clinics. But when they learned that I am authorized as the western branch of Spay Panama, an NGO in Panama, there was nothing they could do. Dr. Tello is so committed to the welfare of the animals that he is willing to work for a pittance compared to what he receives in his busy private practice; and unlike most large organizations where donations have to also pay salaries of personnel, neither I nor any of the volunteers receives any compensation. Every penny of donations goes toward the welfare of the animals.

We had still another female dog at the clinic, near death from an infected uterus and a huge venereal tumor, because some vet had simply tied her tubes. When the uterus and ovaries are not removed, it can cause massive infection in the uterus. In addition, the female dog still goes into heat, still has sex, and still is vulnerable to venereal disease/tumors. Dr. Tello saved the dog's life but the surgery to do so was time consuming and complicated.

Nine days before the clinic, I saw a BIG male dog lying right in the middle of the main busy street. I had seen him in the area for a couple of weeks. He was very skinny and I had given him food several times. I called to him but he wouldn't get up, even though he had been very friendly to me before. I knew he would soon be hit by a car, killed - or worse, painfully maimed - if he hadn't been hit already. He finally did get up when I offered him food. I decided to help him. Jose and I brought him to my house and I fed him three times a day for the nine days before the clinic. Of course I had to keep him in a place separate from my 14 dogs. At my house, I saw blood drip from his penis so I knew he had a venereal tumor. At the clinic, he weighed 72 lbs. and he still needs to gain more weight. His venereal tumor was huge. He had a lot of bleeding after it was removed, and it took him almost all day to stabilize. I will keep him at my house for several more days to take care of him and feed him well. He's SO sweet. I wish I could keep him, but I already have too many big dogs. But at least he has been neutered and his venereal tumor removed. (The tumor would have killed him before long.) I didn't pictures of the tumor in the main album, but if you want to see what a venereal tumor looks like, click HERE. Click on the first picture to enlarge it, then click the arrow above it to advance to the next picture.

It really warms my heart to see more and more Panamanians at the clinics who really love their dogs. Besides helping the overpopulation problem, the clinics are making a difference in other ways as well....raising people's awareness that their pets are not just "things," but that they need love, shelter, food and water.

On April 30th a group of us went to Divala (Quebrada Negra) for a clinic at the indigenous village.  Dr. Tello operated there as well. It was the idea of Billie and Allan Rosen from David to have the clinic - they are helping the people of that village in other ways as well. I donated the anesthesia, some medications, and some of our equipment and supplies. Our volunteers who went were Jose Espinosa, Rosemary Rios, Francia Pinedo, Don Binder, Deirdre Doyno. The clinic was held in a school with no electricity and no running water. We didn't get started until about 9:30 because at first no one had the key to the school, and then the key wouldn't work. Sigh...anyway, after we started, we worked really fast. We didn't have to register anyone because no one paid anything. We did make tags for each one so we could note the weight and know how much anesthsia they received at what time, and so we could note that they received injections for antibiotics, pain meds, antiparasite, B-complex. Jose Espinosa weighed the animals by standing on a bathroom scale and then subtracting his weight from the total. (That reminded me of the "old days" when we were just starting the clinics in Volcan.) Don Binder and I gave the anesthesia and pre-op injections as fast as we could go. We finished by 2:00, with 33 dogs having been sterilized. Whew! Click HERE to see the pictures.

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! 

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. Our next clinic will be on July 3rd, 2011. Normally, our clinics are on the next-to-the-last Sunday of each month. In June, that's the 19th, which is Father's Day in Panama. I don't want to have it then. Dr. Tello has a meeting on the 12th and can't come that day, and he operates in Boquete on June 26th. So we'll have our "June clinic" on July 3rd. 

MANY thanks to our wonderful volunteers and contributors. Without their help and dedication, this important work simply could not be done. 

Jacky Suna handled registration.
Mary Binder and Dana Larson administered the anesthesia and the pre-op injections of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory. 
Don Binder performed pre-op shaving and prepping, plus helped to anesthetize the animals. 
Jose Espinosa, my permanent employee, helps weigh and tag the animals, provides transportation for animals in my car when necessary, and helps with various duties. Jose and I go to the clinic site on Mondays following the Sunday clinics to clean and organize for the next one.
Francia Pinedo assisted Dr. Tello and helped with translations. 
Besides "anal gland duty" and tooth care, Rosemary Rios performed post-op care: cleaned the surgical site, tattooed the ears of female dogs to indicate they have been sterilized, gave injections of vitamin B-12 and antiparasite, and administered flea and tick treatment when necessary, monitored the temperatures of the animals. Sharon Phelan, a new volunteer, was going to do those duties but instead she did another very special job - taking care of the male dog all day after Dr. Tello removed a huge venereal tumor.
Anne Bakke, a new volunteer, did a great job of cleaning and sterilizing the surgical instruments. 

Thanks to Phil Huebner for donating $20 to Ruthie and Peter at Daly's Restaurant for them to provide the main dish. They really went all out with a HUGE wok of chicken/rice/vegetables that everyone raved about, plus a bowl of potato salad that everyone enjoyed. Also thanks to Dana Larson, who brought a big bag of candies and provided the soft drinks; and to Jerry Longbons for a BIG quantity of various delicious fruits.  

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

Income and expenses: 

$  352.00

contributions by owners and/or guardians

      60.00      cash donation by Dana Larson
      20.00      cash donation by Anne Bakke
      15.00      cash donation by Jerry Longbons
     10.00      cash donation by Deirdre Doyno
       5.00      cash donation by Sharon Phelan

At this May 22, 2011 clinic, we sterilized 18 dogs and 6 cats.  With my average cost of $22 per dog and $11 per cat, expenses were $462 plus $100 for building rent, for a total of $562. (Amazing - if I didn't have the building rent, the "income and outgo" would have been exactly equal this month.) With contributions of $462, there was a deficit of $100.00 Therefore, my accumulated deficit is $3,990.99.  (I began the clinics in March of 2006 but it didn't occur to me to keep financial records until October of 2006.)

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

Lots of great pictures were taken during the May 22nd, 2011 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 top to advance the pictures.

Here in Volcan, our small group has been responsible for sterilizing 1,269 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 1,398 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 -  6780-2565 or viajar2566@yahoo.com
skype:  muffiemae

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