Veterinary Ventures offers free SNIP service
Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
In an effort to decrease the population of stray dogs and cats on the island, the San Pedro Saga Humane Society partnered with Veterinary Ventures, a group from the United States, to host their biggest spay/neuter campaign since 2012. Over the course of ten days starting on May 4th, Saga members, volunteers, veterinarians, and technicians visited local neighborhoods including DFC, San Pedrito, and San Mateo to offer free spay/neuter services, check-ups, consultations, and other medical surgeries to pet owners with limited means.
The number of domestic animals on the island are high due to unregulated breeding, so Saga has made it their mission to spread awareness on the benefits of spaying and neutering pets. This process helps to alleviate the number of excessive animals being born, resulting in a more controlled dog and cat population.
Pet owners from the communities were very cooperative, and freely handed their pet to the care of these volunteers. The Saga team visited homes and assisted in transporting animals to the clinic and returning them to their owners after the surgery.
Of course, without the lending hands and assistance from the Veterinary Ventures, the clinic would not have been successful. The group dedicates their veterinary services to the under-served and mistreated animals in the needy areas of the world. This year, their team was comprised of Dr. Byron Maas, Dr. Carol Courtney, Ross Fischer, Jennifer Betz, Jennifer Brown, Sig Nottingham and his wife Kathy, Jessica Rivard, and Colleen Prapok, who performed surgeries on close to a hundred dogs and cats on the island.
Beginning in February 2016, the team sought donations through a fundraising website, YouCaring, to accumulate donations for individual spay and neuter surgeries in Belize. They met their goal of $9,000 US from generous donations, and were able to fund the costs of pain medications, anesthetics, antibiotics, and surgical supplies for all pets treated.
Also partaking in the campaign was local veterinarian from the Hopkins Belize and Belmopan Humane Society, Dr. Orlando Baptist. His love for animals and their well-being brought him to assist the crew in performing surgeries. Baptist mentioned how careful all the vets were in treating the animals, even using a safer type of anesthesia from gas. “As you know, the goal of Saga is to do their best to help out animals, whether they have owners, are stray, or feral. We feel that we are contributing something positive to the community and will continue our spay/neuter campaign,” said Baptist.
So far, there has been a positive and great turn out from the campaign. Thanks to the team of experts, many dogs and cats now have a better quality life. At the end of the campaign, the crew will be heading to Belmopan to complete the second phase of their mission in Belize.
The Veterinary Ventures project in San Pedro would not be possible without the support of the Saga staff: Ms. Ingrid, Ms. Noemy, Omar and Dr. Sam. Saga will like to acknowledge and thank their host Sandbar, their golf cart supplier Ultimate Rentals Belize, Blue Water Grill, and Sandy Point Resorts for donating lunches to the crew. Also, Joe Anthony Myers, Dawn, Dr. Orlando Baptist, the team from Belize Agricultural Health Authority, the Veterinary Association of Belize, and Mr. Yovani Tzib for helping to support the travel team. Owners needing additional information may contact Saga Humane Society at 226-3266.
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