Parque Artesenal, Galapagos
Recently, the Darwin Animal Doctors’ team headed to the highlands, to an area which had been identified as a possible “problem area” for un-spayed or un-neutered animals. This area would mark the first, in the plan to reach more families in the greater Santa Cruz Island.
With the support of ABG, Sacha and Keyla, a representative of the Kemahe group, went into the “Parque Artesenal” to talk with the local community about sterilization and its importance. While there, they also asked the community members about why their, or other, animals weren’t sterilized, to identify potential barriers to accessing the free services at the Darwin Animal Doctors’ clinic.
The community’s president and vice presidents were extremely supportive of the team’s plan, having actively encouraged sterilization themselves. They were forthcoming with advice, information and assistance throughout the program.
After the questionnaire was complete, it was evident that one of the barriers faced by the community was not being able to bring their animals to the clinic in Puerto Ayora. In response to this, the Darwin Animal Doctors’ team brought the clinic to the community.
With the permission and support of ABG, the entire DAD team, including Dr. Daphne, Sacha, Dr. Richard, Katie, Ximena, Lydia and Tifany, set up a temporary clinic in the area. ABG vet, Dr. Rita, and some support staff also joined the DAD team, bringing microchips and registration technology to ensure every animal that was sterilized was also registered and chipped.
Two invaluable team members were Keyla and Lauren from the Kemahe group. These active young locals walked through the community to speak to any owners who mentioned that their animals were not sterilized to convince them to bring them to the temporary clinic. The community president also provided essential support, accompanying the girls to talk with the families.
By the end of the day, eight dogs and one cat were sterilized, and one dog was brought back to the DAD clinic to treat a broken leg which he had sustained some time ago. According to the community, these were all the owned animals which were previously unsterilized in the area.
Alongside the surgeries, the main goal of the program was to begin moving into the highlands and educating the wider community of Santa Cruz about sterilization. For that reason, the biggest achievement of the campaign was that 86 out of 89 families were reached, communicated with directly and given information on the importance of sterilization.
A huge thank you to ABG, the Kemahe group, Ros Cameron and to the local community presidents, and the community themselves for such wonderful support in the first step of this program. Check back in with us to hear about how it continues!
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