Expanding our Reach to Save More Animals:
July 2017 ABG Spay and Neuter Campaigns on Isabela and San Cristobal Islands
Isabela and San Cristobal, Galapagos
In partnership with the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galapagos (ABG), Darwin Animal Doctors participated in two multi-day domestic animal care clinics on the islands of Isabela and San Cristobal. ABG is the government body tasked with protecting the delicate ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands and Darwin Animal Doctors provides support with their animal care efforts.
In Isabela, Doctor Daphne, clinic coordinator Sacha, and volunteers Juliette and Raphaëlle joined the ABG team from Monday, June 26 to Wednesday 28, 2017. From July 4 to 5, the San Cristobal team consisted of Doctor Daphne and Sacha. Isabela and San Cristobal have much smaller human populations than Santa Cruz, where the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic is located. While this may mean smaller populations of cats and dogs, the risks to wildlife the growing cat and dog populations are the same.
As Dr. Daphne conducted the spay and neuter surgeries and Sacha weighed and prepared each animal for surgery, volunteer vet students Juliette and Raphaëlle alternated between helping Sacha and Dr. Daphne. On the first day of the campaign, the team conducted 13 spay or neuter surgeries. At the end of the day, Dr. Rita (ABG) and Dr. Daphne treated the special cases.
On the second day, Dr. Lisette of ABG joined the Darwin Animal Doctors team in the morning. Dr. Daphne worked in conjunction with Dr. Lisette, showing her some additional surgery skills as they conducted surgeries together. Dr. Rita from ABG returned in the afternoon. Together, the teams completed another 20 surgeries.
For the third and final day of the campaign, the group went to the highlands of Isabela, bringing their supplies with them in two 4X4 pick-up trucks. The ABG/ Darwin Animal Doctors team use a classroom without running water or electricity. The teams worked through the morning and, with a small town to serve, they completed their nine surgeries by lunch time.
In total, 42 animals were spayed or neutered during the three-day campaign.
The following week, Doctor Daphne and Sacha joined the ABG on San Cristobal. As the ABG/ Darwin Animal Doctors team arrived at the small clinic on the island, people were already lining up outside with many animals in tow! The teams quickly unpacked, prepared, and began working.
The ABG San Cristobal team where incredibly organised and supportive. The small clinic space was cramped but the ABG team provided crucial assistance, helping to weigh animals, administer medications, and cleaning equipment.
San Cristobal was a busier operation than Isabela. The ABG/ Darwin Animal Doctors team completed 41 spay and neuter surgeries and did not finish until 8:00 PM on the first day. The second day saw another 40 animals undergoing surgery. While the doctors operated on so many animals, there were still more animals awaiting surgery. The teams will return for another campaign soon.
A huge thank you is due to the ABG team for their organization of the campaigns to Isabela and San Cristobal. It was wonderful to support such an important aspect of the protection of the Galapagos Islands. Darwin Animal Doctors looks forward to more productive campaigns with ABG to treat domestic animals and protect wildlife.
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