John and I had the opportunity to volunteer on Sunday at the VIDAS Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic in Playa del Carmen. As always, it was an amazing experience!
This clinic is completely free to pet owners who would not otherwise be able to afford sterilization for their pets. It is said that just one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years!! So, this annual clinic definitely makes an impact on the pet overpopulation problem here.
We started off our day by transporting three pups from the Peanut Pet Shelter to the clinic. Say adios to your huevos, boys!
The clinic was held at a public secondary school in the Colosio neighborhood. School was out this week, so unlike past clinics, there were not many children around to help out and learn about pet care and safety. I definitely missed that aspect of it.
Andy from the Peanut Pet Shelter and John wait to register some of the dogs.
Here are some of the dogs I found waiting for their surgeries.
The operating room was set up in a classroom. The volunteer vets from VIDAS bring down all the equipment and medications! They had 6 surgeons plus vet technicians/assistants.
Over 80 sterilizations were performed the day we were there! That’s a huge jump from last year, when about 50 were done each day. The clinic is really growing from word of mouth. Participants from past years encourage their friends and neighbors to attend, and some even round up dogs and bring them in themselves.
In addition to the sterilizations, all the dogs receive an examination and are treated for any conditions when possible. One dog I know of even had a tumor removed! Many dogs are sent home with much needed medications.
When a surgery is completed, the animals are brought to the recovery room. They’re still pretty drugged up, so it’s the perfect time to clean their ears, check for ticks and trim their claws/nails.
Some pictures from around the recovery room. Click any of the images on this blog entry for a larger image.
John’s made a new friend!
Over the four days of the Playa del Carmen clinic, more than 350 dogs and cats were sterilized! What an incredible success! A big thanks to all the people who made this possible!
Sherry Stevens, the Organizer, makes this whole thing come together. She arranges the vets’ transportation to and from the airport, their accommodations and the clinic. She solicits free accommodations for the vets. She coordinates meals and drinks for the vets during clinic hours. And many other things. She has donated countless hours of time and her own funds to make this work.
VIDAS (Spanish for lives) is a Boulder, CO non-profit organization made up of veterinarians dedictaed to improving the lives of animals. Each year, they organize clinics in Quintana Roo, not only in Playa. Later this week, they will be in Puerto Morelos.
The Vets volunteer their vacation time to work! How many of us would be willing to do that?! They work hard in hot and humid weather, less than ideal conditions for 10-12 hours a day, and I’ve never heard them complain! Many of them keep coming back for more year after year!
Sandra Valdez, Director of Animal Control for Solidarid, for coming in and performing sterilizations along with the vets from VIDAS.
Recovery Room Volunteers – Quite a few locals make time out of their busy schedules to help in any ways they can. Amazingly, volunteers from abroad also come during their vacations to help! Marilyn and Bruce have been doing this for several years!
Mexico Vacation Villas for donating accommodations for the vet volunteers.
Blue Parrot for providing lunches to all the volunteers.
Contributors- Vet clinics in the states and animal lovers have donated equipment, medications and cash to make this clinic possible!