Saturday, June 19, 2010

"5ta Desparasitación masiva de mascotas"

Well, it's Monday morning (June 7) and an eventful day is ahead.
This day is the "5ta Desparasitación masiva de mascotas"
A number of us were requested to arrive at 8:15 for a meet and greet.
So I hit the streets at 7:45 for the 15 minute walk.

As per normal, this morning was hot and steamy.

Calle Obispo was quiet enroute to Convento Belen.

My introduction to Convento Belen was in 2003. We toured what, at the time, was a re-construction site for a wonderful social concept.
This massive structure dating back to 1712 now provides ...

Housing for the elderly

Health clinic and pharmacy

Shelter from natural catastrophes

Services for disabled youth

Choirs and bands

Mass and religious ceremonies

Eye care and glasses

Computer and internet training

Physical therapy and exercise

Occupational training for all ages

Art, music and cultural activities

Meals for those in need

Community outreach

Support for single mothers

Crafts, art and music workshops

Upon my arrival I came upon the morning exercise in progress.

Set up and ready to go to work were the Vets and Techs.
Four stations under two tent provided the treatment area.

The balloons were being filled using a bicycle pump.

As early as I arrived, so did the dogs and their escorts.

Each person was given a number to facilitate orderly treatment.

Some showed up with more than one.

No one got past Susana and into the treatment until a space opened up.

These people truly love their dogs.

Ana Lourdes - Directora Ejecutiva of Patrimonio Comunidad y
Medio Ambiente Sociedad Civil (SPCMA)
opened the event with introductions and recognition of contributors and participants.

As you can imagine, it takes a group effort to put on an event like this. Showing us she has all her fingers is Soledad Pagliuca of the St.Augustine - Baracoa friendship Association. In addition to the wonderful support they give to the Baracoa area, Soledad and her group delivered 1000 needles and syringes for this event.
The St.Augustine group, as part of their varied good works, publishes educational material including Spanish language colouring books on Cuban endangered species.

Mags was happy when I presented her with a copy of 'El Manati" upon my return home.
If you know of a publisher / print house that could help their cause contact Soledad

Dr. Fernanado Gispert, of Clinica Veterinaria “LAIKA”, is the Veterinary Director for this event.
Before the first dog was seen he briefed the crowd on the treatment, which dogs would be excluded, the potential side effects and where to seek follow-up treatment if needed.

Each arriving dogs and escort were registered and interviewed by a Veterinary Technician.

Information was recorded ...

...then it was over to see the Vet were measurements are taken to calculate the appropriate dosage.

Where you have dogs you will have .... well... you know.

Members of Covento Belen diligently kept the streets clean to the point I was only able to use my Poop 'n Scoop bags once.

Seeing that we were going to have a large group waiting we took the opportunity to distribute educational materials. These included the "Benefits of Spay & Neuter".

On display was artwork by school children with the theme being environment and animal welfare.

This art piece points out the need to vaccinate your dog.
They came in all ....


... and sizes.

Some, too young to treat.

It was all over, as scheduled, at the noon hour.
The final total showed 428 dogs registered as treated. Some showed up after the tents were taken down - no one was turned away.

By time the big bottle of Ivomec was put away.....

...I would guesstimate a number of 440 for the day.

On this day I made some new friends that I look forward to working with in the future.
Standing beside my dear friend and adviser Gladys Morales is Sergio Chan Valdes.
Sergio is the Bayer - Animal Health Rep in Cuba.
Bayer has sponsored previous mass parasitization events.

Juan Gálvez Anllo - Director del Grupo de Fauna del Centro Histórico.
If you see an animal in a hotel or tourist establishment in La Habana Vieja they are Juan's responsibility.
I look forward to taking him up on his tour offer my next trip.

Congratulations go to Anna Lourdes, Ulice Acosta and their SPCMA crew.
Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler; Director of the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana.
Dr.Fernando Gispert, Clinica Veterinaria"Laika", and all participating Vet & Techs
Everyone at Convento Belen and the surrounding community.
The dogs and those that care for them.

Special thanks go to Susan C. for the generous donation of 1000ml of Merial's Ivomec which made this event possible.

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