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73 animals sterilized on this date!

Our sixth sterilization clinic was held on August 12, 2007.  Many thanks to Jorge Acosta, Director of the bi-lingual school "Paulletino," for allowing us to use the school for the clinic. It is an ideal setup and Jorge told us we can continue to use the school for future sterilization clinics.

Of the 42 dogs and 31 cats sterilized, three included surgeries on lactating mother dogs/cats; plus repair of a hernia and removal of four massive venereal tumors were done. 

Our veterinarians were Dr. Andres Tello of Costa Rica and Dr. Norman Alexis Escrucería of Panama City. The 73 animals were our record number of surgeries done in one day - and all 73 were done by only TWO veterinarians! A third vet (from Volcan) who had committed to be there was a "no show." This was the first time we had invited this particular vet to participate. Our standards are high and we don't allow untrained vets to operate, but this vet has had some training by Dr. Escruceria. We knew Dr. Escruceria would be here to supervise. It's unfortunate that this vet chose not to come or even to notify me that he would not be there. With a great number of animals scheduled for one day, we must be able to depend on our vets to show up when they promise to do so.

The sad part is that by having only two vets - with animals booked for three - everyone suffered a long wait, plus we had to turn people away who had made appointments.  By 2:00 p.m., despite already having sterilized 43 animals, we still had an additional 30 registered and in the queue.  Understandably, the people we had to turn away were not happy, but all we could do was ask them to schedule for the next clinic.

In the past we paid round-trip plane fares for two vets from Panama City and Dr. Tello's travel expenses from Costa Rica, plus we paid each of three vets $20 per dog and $10 per cat for the surgeries alone....we supply all equipment, anesthesia, medications, gloves, gauzes, etc.  Now we are able to reduce our actual cost per animal considerably. Dr.Tello has agreed to work for $10 per dog and $5 per cat....(but we pay him $15 for a dog when he also removes a tumor because it is very time consuming). His travel expenses are minimal. Dr. Escrucería is paid by the McKee Foundation in Panama. We pay only for his plane fare and expenses, which totaled $192. 

Therefore, our actual costs for this clinic were reduced to approximately $20 per dog and $10 per cat, much less than our previous costs. 

MANY thanks to our wonderful volunteers and contributors:

Diane Fessenden (from Boquete) and Janet Robinson who did registration and other tasks. (Gene and Janet Robinson also contributed 20 sandwiches for the clinic.)
Dr. Chely (from Boquete) who administered the anesthesia;
Roger Imerman (from Boquete) and Gene Robinson who did the shaving and pre-op cleaning of the animals;
Ruby McKenzie and Jakki Champ (from Boquete) who helped with anything and everything. (Ruby heads the sterilization clinics in Boquete, and she is a real pro.)
Yina Ortiz, who gave the pre-op injections of antibiotics and pain prevention;
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;
Yimel Caballero and Eymi Pitti Arcia, high school students, who cleaned and sterilized the instruments;
Jeanie Friedman, who provided Roger Imerman from Boquete a place to stay on Saturday night, and also helped at the clinic;
Sharon Borgman, who helped at the clinic, provided lodging for Dr. Escrucería on Saturday and Sunday nights and took him to the airport in David on Monday morning...and contributed 10 sandwiches for the clinic; Sharon and her son Steve also helped us transport equipment and supplies to the school on Saturday; and Sharon helped with the many loads of laundry necessary after the clinics;
Nina Stephens helped us transport equipment and supplies to the clinic on Saturday; Nina also did a super job in after care, checking the temperature and vital signs of the animals as they recovered from anesthesia. She also contributed 20 sandwiches.
Francia Pinedo, who also assisted in after care;
Angel and Synthia David, who helped at the clinic, and also contributed the soft drinks;
Jennifer Taylor, who contributed 20 sandwiches;
Luis and Gabriel, friends of Fariza Castillo, who helped at the clinic.

Thanks also to those who helped us clean the school afterwards and get all the equipment and supplies ready to move. The building had to be in tip-top condition and ready for classes at 6:30 on Monday morning.

Please forgive me if I have forgotten anyone. Several people did not sign the "Volunteer" sheet; and one name I can't read.

Income and financial donations:

$  488.00

contributions by owners for surgeries


cash donation by "anonymous"


cash donation by "anonymous"


cash donation by "anonymous"

$  758.00

total income

         Costs for this clinic were $1,150 (including $627 paid to the veterinarians for fees and/or expenses), leaving a deficit of $392. (This was our smallest deficit ever!)

Following are a few pictures taken during the clinic:

People waiting with their pets. Today there was a long wait.


Above is the male dog that had a horrible tumor removed. (Picture of tumor is below.)



Gene Robinson shaves a kitty in pre-op.

Dr. Tello performs an abortion on a mama cat while doing the sterilization. 

Judy Odom in post-op.

Above: Eime Pitti Arcia and Yimel Caballero clean instruments before sterilizing in the autoclave.

Left: still another venereal tumor, this one was removed from a male dog...venereal disease is highly contagious and passed from dog to dog to dog... 

After care. Nina Stephens is in background, far right.

Owners tending to their pet.

Jorge Acosta with his kitty.


More people with their pets that were recovering from anesthesia.

Thanks to 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!  We love you all - and so do these fortunate animals! Together we are making a difference!

Here in Volcan, our group has been responsible for sterilizing 273 animals to date. Added to the 129 animals that Spay/Panama sterilized in in Volcan in February of 2005, we have sterilized 402 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.

Dorothy Atwater - 771-5883 or 6780-2565 or

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