The Isabela Project, its on!
We spend last week on the mainland arranging a visa to be able to go back to Galapagos! Luckily it all went quickly and after a week we got a new visum (6months) for Ecuador and the transeunte for Galapagos!
This is really good news since we are, togethere with Darwin Animal Doctors and the Isabela Oceanographic Institute, starting up a temporary clinic on Isabela island for 3 months!
Since there hasn't been any veterinary care in over 3 years the owners and animals on Isabela are desperate to get a clinic! There are owners with over 7 animals that would like to have them all spayed and neutered. As well as looked at, treated for parasites et cetera!
We are really looking forward to going there. At the moment we are arranging all the medication and material to bring. On monday the first of July we are going there to set up the clinic and we will start receiving patients a week after that! We will keep you all posted!
Meet "Huessos" aka Bones,
Tjarda and I found this dog a couple of weeks ago
wandering the streets of Puerto Ayora.
He literally had no fat or muscles left.
Walking as a drunk dog he had to stop every 10 meters to sit down, knees
first. He just had no energy left to keep himself standing.Tjarda and I
took him to "our" clinic (the clinic of Darwin Animal Doctors, which is our
home base at the moment). Clinical exam and blood analyses showed us that
Huessos was healthy apart from complete starvation! So we started a special
The day after we could already see the results, the dog had more energy and
was very willing and interested in its surroundings.
After a week he had gained 1 kg (his weight needs to increase slowly but
steady..) and after 2 weeks he was able to walk around the block with us.
And that is how we found his owner! (or better: he found his owner).
This older woman was in tears when she saw him and told us that he was lost
for more than a month! His real name is Rex :-)Huessos is happy to be back
at his owner and is steady gaining weight.
Floreana Campaign (3-6 june 2013) After our meeting with the local ministery (about a month ago) we finally got the 'OK' signal to start a little campaign on Floreana Island. We spent the weekend packing everything and preparing the surgical instruments.
On monday the 3rd of June we set course to the small island, about 2 hours sailing from Puerto Ayora. Unfortunately, when we arrived, nothing was arranged (the idea was that the ministery had spread the word about the campaign before our arrival...). We were told that there would be a meeting at 7 that afternoon to inform all the residents, but given the fact that nothing was arranged we doubted that people would show up. So we spent the day setting up our mobile clinic in the local army base and going door to door talking to people about our program. Nobody showed up at the meeting, not even our guiding person from the ministery who 'organised' the meeting... Luckily we had already a few appointments for the next day. We started early and at 11 we got more support arriving from Puerto Ayora. In the afternoon we were able to capture 5 cats from the local hotel and we convinced more people to come the next day to get their pets spayed! Since we were with 6 people we were able to operate on all the animals in the morning. Unfortunately most of the people were afraid to bring us their animals, because projects in the past were not able to take good care of their pets. Lots of animals died in those projects. Therefore we were only able to help 14 dogs and cats but we went door to door to talk about petcare and animal welfare. Since all the animals did great after surgery, we hope that the owners are more willing in the future to bring their pets. We already saw a change in attitude within the first 2 days. After 2 days of surgery we left the island with a mixed feeling. As for the 66 animals we expected to see, there were already a lot more. And because of misstreatments in the past, the campaign turned out to be more about creating awareness and gaining trust than about actual neutering.
By talking to the people and showing them that Darwin Animal Doctors is not involved in erradication programs but actually helps animals, we managed to create a solid base for future campaigns. As for a primary visit we are very happy with the results and we hope that the DAD will continue to visit this beautiful island! Unfortunately our internet connection is not very stabel so pictures are comming up soon.....
We just had our last working day for this 2 month period on Santa Cruz! During this periode we heard rumors about problems with animal welfare on Floreana, another island here in Galapagos. So we went to Bioseguridad, the local government authority, to talk about this. They told us that on Floreana there are 100 people and 66 animals. These animals have never seen a veterinarian! And the amount of animals is increasing rapidly, which causes problems for the animals, the people and the environment.
We offered our service and made an inventory of equipment we would need to set up a temporary field clinic. Tomorrow we will have another meeting about this small program. If everything goes right we will be going to Floreana next week together with a veterinarian of Bioseguridad to do a spaying and neutering program and provide basic veterinary care!
We are really curious how the circumstances are there. Here on Santa Cruz most people take relatively good care of their animals even if they don´t have enough money. Although other people think of an animal as an object, which you can just treat any way you want. However over the last 2 months we have tried to change their minds!
Lets see what we can do to help out the animals and people of Floreana! We will keep you updated!