It really was all go in Goa during the month-long spay-a-thon, vet nurse Farida Kapstein tells us more in her final blog post.
October was the month when WVS joined forces with Mission Rabies in Goa to reduce the stray animal population by sterilising animals and vaccinating as many dogs as possible against rabies. The sterilisation campaign was held at 2 different locations: The WVS Hicks International Training Centre and the Mission Rabies mobile clinic, which was present in the town of Aldona for the whole month.
It has been amazing that I was able to be part of this massive spay-a-thon thanks to the bursary granted by Centaur Services.
I am very proud that the great team from WVS was able to help more than 1000 dogs! That is truly an amazing number!
We had 2 dog catching teams that went out every morning to catch dogs for spaying or neutering and rabies vaccinations. The guys from the catching teams are real professionals in catching and it is really the most humane way of catching dogs. Once the dogs were brought to the WVS Hicks International Training Centre, they were prepared for surgery.
All dogs that are sterilised will get their ear notched, it is a very effective and cheap way to make it easy to recognise them in the future so they will not be caught and go through the whole procedure again. So if you see dogs and cats anywhere in the world with an ear notch, you know that they have been fixed, which is great!
The WVS team was really international from all over the world - New Zealand, UK, Germany, India, Italy and myself from Holland. In the beginning, we all had to get used to each other and the way of working which is a bit more basic than back home ,but after a few days it was working like a well oiled machine. Everybody was super motivated to help as many animals as possible!
All dogs which were caught were given a token number and their exact GPS location was tagged in the WVS app, so we were 100% sure each single dog will be taken back to the exact same location as where they were initially caught. This is important for the dog population, but also these dogs know these areas and most of the time have some people who are feeding them. It would be super stressful for the dogs to be released in an unknown area. Dogs are also marked, so it is clear which dogs has been vaccinated once the survey team checks.
Besides our catching teams, the Mission Rabies teams were out vaccinating against rabies every day from 6.00 in the morning. If they would come across injured animals, they would bring them to us so we could help them. Once the animals had been helped by surgery or other treatments, these teams would also bring them back once again to the location they were originally picked up from.
One of the patients we saw was a tiny cat that had been found with a severely injured leg, but is doing great after surgery! We were delighted to hear that this cat has even been adopted! A very happy end to the bad start in life of this cat.
Looking to volunteer with WVS and make a difference to animals lives? Why not visit our volunteering section now?