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Dottie Atwater

116th Spay/Neuter Clinic in Volcan

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On May 20, 2018 at our 116th clinic, Dr. Tello spayed/neutered 47 dogs and cats. In addition, Dr. Tello performed several other procedures, including amputation of a dog's leg. http://spaypanama-chiriqui.org/116th.html

See the information on my web page about the new law that could mean prison for animal abusers. They recently held a big training session for the Bocas del Toro area about preventing abuse of animals. In a picture, slide shows were presented and dozens of people were in attendance.

Also good news is that the corregidurias, political appointees who have no real power, are being replaced by Justices of the Peace. They have more broad-reaching authority, including the power to levy fines and actually order people to jail.

The clinics are a full-time job for me, but the work is a project from my heart, something I can't NOT do. I'm still bothered greatly when I see a suffering animal, or a female dog with big milk-filled teats. It's difficult for me to internalize the fact that we can't save them all. But we are making progress, both with the number of dogs and cats spayed/neutered and the fact that Panama is now serious about preventing animal abuse.

As I created the web page for this 116th clinic, I happened to look back at the 8th clinic, which was on March 16, 2008-- exactly two years after we began the clinics. I was really excited to have rented the building that I still rent today. It is ideal for our purposes. http://spaypanama-chiriqui.org/Eighth.html. It is a very long web page but interesting to see where we were then and where we are now. As of that date, we had sterilized 378 animals, and to date the number is 4,417.

Among the changes since then, the volunteers are all different today. In that web page, I mentioned the costs of certain medications and supplies. Like everything else, those costs are much higher now. And my phone numbers and email address are not the same as then.

Also different from the earlier days: I walked door to door all over town each month, handing out literature about the benefits of sterilization and trying to sign people up for appointments. After I was able to stop doing that, then for a long time I put up 60 notices all over town each month, inviting people to register for the next clinic. Now, for a long time, it has been just word of mouth and clinics are full two months in advance. Good news in a way, and in another way, while people wait, puppies and kittens are being born to unsterilized dogs and cats. We will have two clinics in August to try to help this situation.

Big thanks to Dr. Andres Tello, to all our volunteers, contributors whether financial or otherwise, and to the people who bring their animals to be sterilized. It is heartwarming to witness so many Panamanians who dearly love their pets!

Big hugs,
Dottie

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