CLINIC STORIES

February 9, 2009

 

Successful clinic again in Pinders Point

 

The fourth major field spay/neuter clinic in the HSGB’s ongoing project was held February 2-6, 2009 at the Church of the Good Shepherd’s Parish Hall in Pinders Point, Grand Bahama. This clinic topped all others held thus far, with a total of 277 dogs and cats sterilized. This figure includes 237 dogs and puppies, 39 cats and kittens and one raccoon! It does not include the 8 additional surgeries performed on already sterilized animals, which included a bladder stone removal, a leg amputation, several eye surgeries and various wound repairs.  It also does not include minor treatment of an additional 20 dogs or puppies for various ailments or basic deworming and vaccinating of pups too young or small for surgery.

 

Many thanks are owed to Reverend Ambrose, Anne Penn, and the kind parishioners of the Church of the Good Shepherd, who understand the need for this important community service, and turned over their parish hall to this project for the second time in 15 months.

 

As always, all the dogs and cats received flea/tick preventative, vaccines if needed and deworming, which will lead to a healthier overall pet population. They also had their nails trimmed and ears cleaned while in recovery.  Pet owners received educational information on how to better care for their pets.

 

Some of the animals sterilized also required further surgical attention; such as hernias and wound abscesses. Some of the animals were in poor physical condition to begin with, yet thanks to the dedication and skill of the volunteer veterinary team, none were lost, and these animals will no longer have to go through the trauma of bearing litter after litter of puppies or kittens. It is the hope of the HSGB that more pet owners will provide better overall care for their pets in the future. It is a shame when a three year old dog has the appearance and health deterioration of a dog much older due to poor care and lack of attention.

 

At least eight dogs were also treated for Transmissible Venereal Tumors. This is a sexually transmitted disease, very common on Grand Bahama, spread entirely through sexual contact. It causes painful tumors to form in and about the genitalia of the dog; which, untreated, continue to grow and abscess and will eventually kill the dog. Dog owners should be aware of the prevalence of this disease, and are urged to spay and neuter their pets before they reach sexual maturity, to prevent the spread of this deadly and highly contagious disease.

 

10 dogs and puppies were surrendered to the HSGB during the clinic. 8 critical care patients remain under the care of the HSGB until they are healthy enough to return home.

 

All services provided during this clinic were provided free of charge to the public. The goal is to reduce pet over-population on Grand Bahama, as well as achieve a healthier pet population in general, and encourage and educate pet owners in being more responsible and better pet care-takers for the future.

 

This clinic was funded by The Pegasus Foundation (www.thepegasusfoundation.org), The Kohn Foundation (www.thekohnfoundation.org), a private individual from the U.S., and Amigo’s Fund (www.amigosfund.org).  The HSGB is seeking funding for the next clinic, scheduled tentatively for November, and hopes that local corporations, government, and individuals will support this project, which thus far has been funded largely from abroad.  Grand Bahama’s pet over-population is a local and civic issue, and the HSGB (a private NGO) is the only organization on this large island working on it.

 

This clinic was staffed by an expert team of 15 U.S. volunteer veterinarians and technicians:  Chief vet and organizer Dr. Robin Brennen, NYC, Dr. Bridget Barry, Ithaca, NY, Dr. Leo Egar, Phoenix, AZ, Dr. Deborah Sonnen-Campbell, Boston, and Dr. Karen Iovino, Virginia, Dr. of Pharmacy Elaine Lust, Nebraska.  Veterinary Technicians and assistants were Angela Cherry, New Mexico, Austin Figueroa, Arizona, Chris Slowiak, Illinois, Tracy Darling, California, Gregory Carastro, New York, Dee Curran, Florida, Kate Finneley, Illinois, Andy Raduechel, Nebraska, and Heath Grone, Nebraska.

 

Invaluable local volunteers and supporters who assisted with intake processing, animal handling, recovery care, discharge, instrument cleaning and sterilization, providing breakfasts, lunches and dinners, accommodations, and transportation include Beth Hatfield, Caraline Myatt, Gloria McGlone, Ivy Elden, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, The Crithfields, Dottie Cox, Barb Stollery, Bev Hall, Liz Franklin, Jeff Morasco, Bill Grimmer, Judy Rose, Susan Taylor, Mary Ann Samsell , Missy Aiello, Judy Zuber, Ashley Murphy, Linda Sawall, Maureen Ross, Bev Clifford, Beverly Hall, Richard & Monica Bates, Silk Café, Agave Restaurant, Colleen Davies, Aggie Biswanger, Martha Cartwright, Melanie Darville, Vicky Stafford, Martine Carey, Jacqueline Laker, Chris Johnston, Erika Gates and Tiffany Dennison.

 

The goal of this project remains an island with no roaming, diseased, starving dogs and cats and it is within reach, with the support of the entire community.  For information on how to sustain and support this vital and successful programme, please call the HSGB at 352-2477.  Pet owners who missed this clinic should know that the ongoing voucher programme is also free and available to them year round.

 

 

April 21, 2008

 

West End Spay & Neuter Clinic

 

The Humane Society of Grand Bahama, in partnership with The Kohn Foundation, is pleased to report their third successful field spay/neuter clinic, which was held in West End from April 14 – 18, 2008. This clinic had a few new challenges, which included a mad scramble at the eleventh hour for a clinic venue, and the distance from Freeport. All were overcome in the end and the clinic ran very smoothly.

 

The clinic was held in the Burrows Investment building on the back road of West End; in what was formerly a small grocery store. It was a bit smaller than our previous venues but it worked out very well. The HSGB thanks the Garvey-Burrows family for making the space available and supporting this project.

 

A total of 189 dogs and 25 cats were sterilized during the week, for a total of 214 animals. 222 were checked in, 8 were either previously spayed or too sick for surgery (but treated and HSGB will follow up for future surgery). 3 dogs were treated for transmissible venereal tumours. One little dog was successfully treated for a horrendous abscess on his side, which required daily treatments and care all week. Numerous eye and skin ailments were also treated. One dog had a badly injured paw; two of her toes were amputated.  She will be able to get around just fine; left untreated, she might have faced leg amputation or even death.

 

All the dogs and cats received flea/tick preventative, vaccines if needed and deworming, which should lead to a healthier overall pet population. They also had their nails trimmed and ears cleaned while in recovery.  Pet owners received educational information on how to better care for their pets.

 

15 dogs and 40 puppies were surrendered to the HSGB during the clinic. 8 dogs were euthanized, which were too sick, or too feral or aggressive to potentially rehabilitate or re-home.  The rest are at our shelter. 12 puppies are going to Florida Tuesday, April 22, to a rescue group that has been standing by ready to assist.  More puppies will be going to Florida and New York in the next week or two.  The HSGB is pleased to have the support of several rescues and shelters that are willing to help save these puppies while we work very hard to eliminate the surplus through this project.  Local residents who have been thinking about adopting a dog or puppy; we have never before had such a variety of gorgeous puppies so please come in and have a look.

 

The total of 269 animals either sterilized or relinquished means that we have (conservatively) prevented at least a thousand unwanted puppies and kittens born in the next six months alone.  Sterilization is the proven, best answer to a pet-overpopulation problem. The HSGB asks all pet owners to be responsible and spay and neuter their pets.  Our ongoing voucher program is still active and any residents we missed can call the HSGB at 352-2477 to schedule their pets for surgery.

 

The HSGB is grateful to the West End Foundation for funding this clinic, and to Old Bahama Bay for providing accommodation for our visiting veterinarians and technicians. Our Freeport volunteers were amazing and tireless; and provided invaluable assistance and support, as always.

 

Veterinarians for this clinic were chief vet Dr. Robin Brennen of New York City, Dr. Bridget Barry of Ithaca, NY, Dr. Louis Lembo of Columbia, TN, Dr. Deborah Sonnen-Campbell of Boston, MA, and Dr. Kristi Crass of Madison, WI.  Technicians/assistants included Gregory Carastro of Amity Harbor, NY, Sloane Smith of Columbia, TN, Stephanie Neufeld of New York City, Amy Brinkman of Stoughtman, WI, Dustin Dennis of Ithaca, NY, Kristin Dennis-Peralta of Rio Rancho, NM, and Martha Kohn of Syosset, NY.

 

The HSGB is overwhelmed once again at the generosity of these professionals who willingly give up their precious vacation time, and even pay their own way here, to help Grand Bahamas’ animals.  The goal is an island with no roaming, diseased, starving dogs and cats and it is attainable with the support of the entire community.

 

 

24 January 2007

 

The first inaugural spay/neuter clinic of the BARC-ANEW (Bahamian Animal Rescue Committee - Animal Neutering Education & Welfare) project was completed last week in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama.  The project is a joint effort between the Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB) and The Kohn Foundation (TKF).

 

Thanks to the generosity of Father Cooper and the parishioners of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, their parish hall was transformed into a literal field hospital for the week.  The original plan called for six days of surgery, but as the church needed the hall for an event on Sunday, the plan was adjusted and five full days of surgery took place.  In those five days, 253 dogs and cats were sterilized, thus preventing thousands more unwanted puppies and kittens from being born in the coming years.  Leg amputations were also performed on three dogs, with the consent and gratitude of their owners, none of whom could have afforded the surgery.  Those three dogs would likely have been euthanized without these life-saving operations.

 

The animals at the clinic whose owners do not have a regular veterinarian were also treated to basic preventive care such as deworming, flea and tick preventatives, nail trimming and ear cleaning while they recovered from surgery.  This will help to ensure an overall healthier pet population which lessens the risk of infection to humans by certain parasites and skin conditions.

 

Several volunteers visited all of the schools in the Eight Mile Rock settlement during the week and handed out informative fliers and educational materials.  As a result the afternoons often saw an influx of interested schoolchildren at the clinic doors, and they were given tours of the clinic and talks on responsible pet ownership and humane treatment of animals.

 

A huge debt of gratitude is owed the volunteers, who not only paid their own travel expenses and in many cases, took their own vacation time, but donated their expertise.  These amazing professionals worked 12-14 hour days tirelessly and cheerfully.  Dr. Robin Brennen, from New York, was the head veterinarian for this clinic, and worked very hard over the past four months overseeing the logistical aspects.   She was joined by Dr. Leo Egar, Arizona, a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) veterinarian, Dr. Bridgett Barry, Dr. Heidi Franco, New York, Dr. Kelly Sattman, Ft. Lauderdale, and Dr. Jack Gleason, New Hampshire.  Veterinary technicians were Gregory Carastro, New York, Suzanne Rodenhiser, Massachusetts, Judith Blanchette and Michelle Ronayne, New Hampshire, and Liz Yohn, Wisconsin.  U.S. volunteer assistants were Debbie Shields, Royal Palm Beach, Leigh Burdett, Jacksonville, Paul Greenhow and Mary Kelly, New York, and Kathryn McDonald, California.  Veterinary student Martine Carey of Nassau flew in and spent the entire week assisting.

 

HSGB staff were assisted all week by wonderful local volunteers who donated their time to help with everything from picking up animals to working the intake table to cleaning kennels.  This clinic could not have happened without the generosity of local supporters, HSGB board members, and volunteers who provided housing, extra vehicles, delicious lunches, snacks and beverages.

 

The Humane Society would like to thank the people of West Grand Bahama for their willingness to participate in this clinic, thus doing their part to reduce our pet over-population problem.

 

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