Last month offered an extraordinary volunteer opportunity at the RAM clinic held at Seattle Center. It was so rewarding that we just couldn’t pass up the chance to help some furry four footed folks at their clinic this month.
Isla Animals is holding a 5 day spay/ neuter clinic next week
Smiley Dog has made small donations of money, products and time to Isla Animals over the past few years. It’s a challenge to squeeze goodies into checked baggage, but there’s always a way. This year we’ll be bringing some sorely needed stainless bowls, ear cleaner and a volunteer effort for their spay neuter clinic.
We’ve been going to the island for the past 5 years, and in that time there’s been quite a change in attitude towards the dogs and cats roaming the streets. Much of this change is the result of the work done by Alison Current and her tireless volunteers at Isla Animals. Their efforts have been slowly changing the attitudes of some residents as well as addressing the animal overpopulation problem.
This clinic will span five days
The clinic is made possible through donations of time, money and expertise. It will be held in a large space made available by the local government. Spay and neuter services, vaccines, bathing, worming, flea and tick control and medical care will be offered free to any island resident and their pet.
Stray dogs that are brought to the clinic will also get spayed or neutered. Between controlling the wild population and educating the residents, progress comes slowly.
Among the challenges is the traditional attitude of many residents towards dogs and cats. They are often considered property, with no rights. The traditional view holds that neutering “ruins” a dog, so education is all important.
Education will be included in this clinic
An additional day has been added to the clinic to emphasize education for both children and adults. It will include education on pet care as well as general information of quick and easy solutions for using household items to economically care for pets.
There is also talk about organizing informal pet care education in the schools as well. This is a critically important step to help to raise awareness and change long held beliefs.
It’s heartbreaking to see the condition of the animals roaming the streets and confined in dusty yards by a short tether. This clinic is not a warm, fuzzy, comfortable undertaking. It’s a gritty, seemingly unending battle to bring humane treatment to the animals on the island. And it is what Allison and her volunteers face each day.
Why support a cause in Mexico and not locally?
Good question. And there’s a simple answer. It’s not one or the other. We all help wherever and whenever we can. Over the years Smiley Dog has faithfully supported dozens of local efforts and will continue to do so.
In Mexico the need is different. Small actions go so much further and have far greater impact because of current conditions. Resources are scarcer, which leads to extraordinary creativity. An example of this resourcefulness is seeing a discarded laundry basket used in place of an E-collar following surgery.
If you’d like to help support the clinic, but can’t make the trip, you’re welcome to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign for the event. And of course, donations to Isla Animals are appreciated any time!