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58 animals sterilized on this date!

Our fifth sterilization blitz was held on March 4, 2007, again at the offices of Francia Pinedo (Bienes Raices Volcán).  Our three vets were Dr. Andres Tello from Costa Rica, and Dra. Letty de Guajardo and Dr. Rene Guajardo from Panama City. 

We sterilized 44 dogs and 14 cats. Most of them belonged to lower-income Panamanians; therefore contributions were minimal. Surgeries for big dogs take the longest; and as usual, we had a lot of VERY BIG dogs, some of them pregnant or in heat and/or having venereal tumors, in which cases the surgeries take even longer.  Remember, venereal tumors among dogs are rampant in Panama. The tumors for both male and female are eventually fatal; however, the tumors are internal at first and are not noticeable until they become so large that they become evident externally as well

During recovery, we had to give one small dog a subcutaneous saline  solution because she was very slow to wake up. (No problem; she recovered just fine.)

MANY thanks to our wonderful volunteers:

Bill Fulleton (registrar), with the help of Ruby McKenzie from Boquete;
Dr. Chely (from Boquete) and Manuel Caballero who did the weighing of animals and gave the anesthesia;
Wally Ewan and Gene Robinson who did the shaving and pre-op cleaning of the animals; and Eymi Pitti Arcia, a young volunteer who helped clean the tables and animals and whatever else she could do in pre-op;
Yina Ortiz, who gave the pre-op injections  of antibiotics and pain prevention;
Gene Robinson also used his pickup and served as a "taxi" to deliver owners and their animals when it was too far for the animals to walk right after surgery;
Yimel Caballero and Maria Nillireth, who kept the operating tables clean, cleaned the surgical instruments, and operated the autoclave;
Judy Odom (from Boquete) and Fariza Castillo, who did the post-op cleaning and care of the animals and gave the post-op injections of anti-parasite and vitamin B-12;
Francia Pinedo, who graciously allowed us to use her offices for the clinic, plus assisted in the recovery area; her young nephew Kevin was also a big help;
Janet Robinson, who took 128 pictures of the event; (I had a difficult time choosing just a few for the web site, which appear below);
Jennifer Taylor, a new but very important part of our team. Jennifer went to the airport in David on Saturday and brought Dr. Letty and Dr. Rene to Volcan. She also took them back to the airport on Monday morning. Jennifer also made and donated 30 sandwiches for the clinic. She helped in the operating area and did anything else that was asked of her - and paid $40 for her neighbor's dog to be sterilized; 
Steve Borgman, Jose Espinoza, Jennifer Santamaria, Ramses Rongel, all of whom did anything that was needed at the time. (I hope I read the sign-in sheet of their names correctly; there were others who helped but did not sign in - so thanks to everyone.
Also, thanks to Super Berard for donating the soft drinks for our doctors and volunteers, and to Anne and Ken Reid for making and donating 30 sandwiches.

Income and financial donations:

$  297.00

contributions by owners/guardians


cash donation by Ken and Anne Reid


cash donation by Judy Odom


cash income from calendar sales


cash donation by Gene and Janet Robinson


cash donation by Jennifer Taylor


other cash donations (see *note below)


cash donation by "anonymous"


cash donation by Sharon and Milt Borgman


total income

*Note: The $691 was donated to Spay/Panama in Panama City to be used for Chiriqui. Donors were:  Susan Garcia, $48.25; Marny Hohl from Canada, $160.13; Jeanne Brantingham, $23.97; Ruth King, $400; Linda English, $38.54. (Totals are after deducting Paypal fees and in the case of the Canadian donor, after currency conversion as well.)

Costs for this clinic were $2,180 (including $1,030 paid to the veterinarians), leaving a deficit of $887.

Great news: Tom and Linda English, who have a TV show "Pet Talk" in New London, CT, interviewed me during our clinic and did some filming, which will be shown on "Pet Talk." They will send me copies of the film and we hope to have some Panama TV stations show it. Also, David Dell interviewed me for an article he will write for "The Visitor" here in Panama.

Ruby McKenzie from Boquete donated about 75 laminated tags to attach to each animal. Initially someone writes with a felt-tip marker the weight of the animal, the name and/or owner, whether it's a dog or cat, male or female, and the amount of anesthesia given (according to weight). Then as the animal moves through the "line," the pre-op person makes a notation  after giving the shots for antibiotics and pain. In the operating room, the vet notes the name, species, and sex of the animal on his or her individual tally sheet. (That way, we can always compare the tags with the vets' tally sheet and see which vet operated on which animal.)  After the animal goes to post-op, the person there makes a checkmark beside the proper line after giving injections of B-12 and anti-parasite (and Rabies vaccination if we have it available), flea and tick treatment, clipping nails and/or cleaning ears. They also note the time they finished the post-op treatments. That way, we can tell if an animal is slow to wake up and needs extra attention. Our after-care volunteers monitor the animals, keep them warm, and massage them to help wake them up. If an animal shows any indication of a problem, the after-care volunteers take the animal's temperature every 10 or 15 minutes and monitor their heartbeat and breathing rate. On the back of the tag, they note the temperature and the time it was taken. (That way we can tell if the temperature is approaching normal or not.) If an animal is too cold, it is placed on a heating pad and monitored so that it doesn't get too warm. The animal is turned from one side to the other every 10 minutes. In a few cases, an animal is given saline solution or dextrose subcutaneously - or via IV when occasionally it is advised. 

These tags are invaluable in helping us keep track of the animals, what injections they have been given, and monitoring their condition at all times.   After the clinic, the tags are cleaned with paint thinner to be reused for the next clinic.

Following are pictures taken by Janet Robinson during the clinic:

Above, registration table. Center, Bill Fulleton and Ruby McKenzie, registrars.

Tags being prepared for animals. 

Two dogs wait their turn.

Wally Ewen in pre-op shaves an animal.

Gene Robinson in pre-op shaving and prepping a kitty.

Steve Borgman & Gene Robinson "taxi" a large dog from pre-op to the operating table.


Here I'm taking our latest adopted street dog (the 9th!) for his anesthesia. Manuel Caballero is on the right; Gene Robinson's back is to the camera.

Yina Ortiz gives pre-op injections. (Big dogs must be shaved and prepped on the floor; the tables simply aren't big enough for these large dogs.)

David Dell interviews Dottie Atwater for article in "The Visitor"

Dr. Letty performing a sterilization.

Dr. Letty's husband, Dr. Rene, performing surgery.

Above: Dr. Rene and Dr. Tello perform an abortion before spaying a female dog.

Left: still another venereal tumor, smaller than many of them that we see...highly contagious and passed from dog to dog to dog... (Sorry for the graphic details, folks, but this is real life for these neglected animals in Panama!)

Kevin Pinedo and other volunteers help "taxi" a dog from surgery to post-op. Yimel Caballero is in the background.

Judy Odom and Fariza Castillo perform post-op duties.

Two dogs ready to be moved to the recovery area.

Left: Jennifer Taylor ready for action; Above: caring for a kitten in recovery.

Francia Pinedo (right) and others caring for animals in recovery.

This row: more people attending to their animals in recovery.


This little lady is receiving a sub-Q administration of saline fluids.

Time for the volunteer "taxi" to take this doggie home.

A young man with his happy dog. 

Thanks so much for all of our wonderful volunteers and everyone who has participated in the sterilization process for these dogs and cats. We simply could not provide this vital service without you!  I love you all - and so do these fortunate animals! Together we can make a difference!

Here in Volcan, our group has been responsible for sterilizing 200 animals to date. Added to the 129 animals that Spay/Panama sterilized in in Volcan in February of 2005, we have sterilized 329 dogs and cats! There are many more to go, but we are making progress!

Dorothy Atwater - 771-5883 or 6780-2565 or

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