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Dogs and cats sterilization campaign

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Project date: November 2016, October 2019, December 2020

Just like in a lot of Ecuadorian cities and villages overpopulation of dogs is a big problem in Guamote. It leads to aggression towards people and other animals, garbage disposal problems with dogs searching through the litter bins, and dogs in very sad conditions roaming around looking for food…. Some dogs have owners, but in general people don’t have the financial means to get veterinarian aid for their pets. Castration costs minimum (during campaigns in cities like Riobamba) $25 per animal, which is too expensive, besides that, there is also the difficulty to get with their pets to Riobamba.

The best solution is castrating and sterilizing, to prevent further propagating and to make the animals more docile. Thanks to Eva´s (Inti Sisa coordinator) big love for dogs and the good contacts she has with Diego Barrera, the head veterinarian of the PAE Ambato sterilization/castration program, Inti Sisa managed, in November 2016, to organize a free campaign for the first time in the history of Guamote. Ten American veterinarians and vet assistants, and 3 Ecuadorian veterinarians from Ambato, came two days to Guamote. We were a bit worried that people wouldn’t bring their animals, because most of them didn’t even know what sterilization/castration was but our expectations were exceeded. And we were absolutely stunned by the outcome. People from all over Guamote, and from further communities came to get their pets sterilized or castraded for free. In total, we managed to operate on 204 cats and dogs.

Over the last years people kept asking when we would do it again. Apart from changing these animal lives, we managed to change the mentality of people. So we planned something bigger this time. In October 2019 we organized a second, even bigger campaign: 3 days in Guamote and 2 days in Cebadas (another village at 20 minutes from Riobamba) with the same motivated team of veterinarians. The ones who were here in 2016 loved their stay so much last time and managed to convince more vets to come. This time we got a total of 430 animals spayed and neutered.

Because we still received many requests about sterilization, we organized another campaign. It wasn’t as big as we would’ve liked because of corona, but with a team of 3 veterinarians, local youngsters that volunteered, and the help of Soul Dog Rescue, we managed to castrate and sterilize another 100 dogs! (and we still have many more dog-and cat owners on our waiting list)

Now, several months after the campaign, we still have people saying thank you and asking when we will do it again.

Alltogether, with the animals we did during a mini campaign around Christmas 2018, and all the dogs and cats that we took on several occasions to campaings in Riobamba, we managed to change the lives of roughly 700 animals. A lot, but not enough.

A new campaing was planned in April 2020, but due to measurements taken because of the COVID-19 emergency, we will have to postpone it. However, we keep raising awareness and donations. And we are optimistic that we will come back bigger and better: with new campaigns reaching yet more remote regions and even more needy animals.

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