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May 5, 2011

Spay Day 2011 Results

Humane Society International

  • A boy pets his dog, as she awaits spay surgery in an impoverished area on the Eastern Cape of South Africa. National Council of SPCAs

  • JBF (INDIA) Trust’s multi-faceted Spay Day campaign included bicycle billboards. JBF (INDIA) Trust

  • A skilled veterinarian volunteers her services at the spay/neuter field clinic of the Humane Society of Grand Bahamas. Humane Society of Grand Bahama

  • At a train station in Japan, passersby learned about the benefits of spay/neuter for cats from a friendly group of volunteers. Japan Cat Network

  • ADA’s week-long, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Bogotá, Colombia, proved so popular, it was extended to a second week. ADA

  • Two dogs recover post-surgery, helping the Esther Honey Foundation reach a milestone: the decrease and stabilization of the dog populations on two Cook Islands. Esther Honey Foundation

  • An ALLIANCE spokesperson in Baku, Azerbaijan, informs the press about the importance of humane street animal population control. ALLIANCE

  • A little girl in Belize knows why her pet should be spayed or neutered, thanks to her new coloring book. Hopkins Belize Humane Society

  • Transporting a cat in a two-day Trap/Neuter/Release event in Vilnius, Lithuania. Animal Welfare Charity PIFAS

On the 17th anniversary of Spay Day—February 22, 2011—and throughout the month of February, HSI and The Humane Society of the United States linked organizations together to create a wave of spay/neuter activity and awareness across the world.

This year, animal welfare organizations, veterinary professionals and others hosted more than 700 events in 47 countries. All of these efforts were aimed toward a common goal—a comprehensive global, united effort to end the euthanasia and suffering of companion animals.

Anecdotes from some participants included:

"This is the second year we have held this clinic and residents are e-mailing us and saying they are now seeing peacocks on their morning and evening walks like they use to many years ago when there were fewer dogs." - Bahamas Humane Society

"The local government authorities of Bangladesh regularly cull dogs in an effort to curb the stray dog population. Our organization, in collaboration with a local student animal welfare club called 'Hands and Paws,' organized a rally to protest dog culling in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The rally started at the gates of the National Press Club (to ensure media coverage) and ended at the gates of Dhaka City Coporation, the establishment reponsible for culling 80-90 dogs every day in Dhaka city. The students formed a human chain in front of the Dhaka City Corporation and chanted 'No more culling dogs.' We also held up placards and posters drawn by second grade students of a local school with messages promoting spay/neuter and to end dog culling. The rally made local as well as international news."- O-BAWS 

Make a difference for animals as a Street Dog Defender

"On February 26th, ARANI organized a Spay Promotion Morning in a crowded street that is closed every Sunday for people to go jogging, running, biking, walking their dogs, or any other way to exercise. The location is called 'La Ciclovía' and it attracts people of all ages and walks of life, all of whom received written information on the benefits of spaying their pets and on myths related to the surgery. With the help of three veterinary clinics, that offered their services free of charge, and the donation of many anti-rabies vaccines, around 80 dogs and a few cats received free medical attention while their owners were being informed of the benefits of spaying/neutering them. Many people became strongly interested, and many others who disagreed with the practice seemed to have questioned their beliefs. As a result, various spay/neuters were scheduled at discounted rates that the veterinarians were willing to offer as a special incentive that day. The event was a real success because of the number of people reached, many of whom asked us to have similar events in the place more frequently and signed up to become volunteers. To publicize the event, we used radio stations, Facebook and banners; and had a presenter invite people over and talk about the topic during the event, as a way to attract them. So we offered something worthy for them, like vaccines, to have them hear what we had to say about spaying their pets, and hopefully our message has continued to have its effect even after it finished." - ARANI

"On the 4th of February, 2011, Ghana Society for the Protection & Care of Animals as part of its Spay Day celebrations educated about 800 schoolchildren in Madina, a suburb of Accra, on the importance of spaying/neutering their pets. This humane education was carried out in two schools, namely Action Progressive Institute and Gospel International school. This was necessary because we know that a lot of Ghanaians lack [knowledge of] basic animal care issues, hence GSPCA wants to impact these to the children at their tender ages. The children were taught the various benefits of spay/neuter—how it will benefit them, their pets and their communities as a whole. They were also briefed on some animal diseases and their prevention. Rabies was mentioned and they were educated on its dangers and how deadly it is. We spoke for the voiceless. This is just the begining of a program that has been laid out for this year to educate the mass populace on basic animal welfare and care. The head teachers of both schools requested that the GSPCA team form Animal Welfare clubs at their schools." - Ghana SPCA

"The whole day was celebrated with multiple activities, beginning with a drawing competition at Rang Tuli Art School by schoolchildren. Other activities of the event included a mass awareness campaign on benefits of spay/neuter, with distribution of handouts, projection of video footage, slides, photographs of spaying/ABC operations, educational presentation on the advantages of spay/neuter, free health check-up & anti-rabies vaccination for dogs and cats, pre-booking for spay/neuter of pet dogs and cats, display of banners on advantages of spay/neuter in different locations of Guwahati and other parts of Assam. The main attraction of the event day at ARC, Guwahati was a special spay/neuter session in which neutering was performed in the centre for demonstration and media coverage for general publicity to the public. In addition, 101 animals were spayed or neutered during February. The JBF team thanks their volunteers and the public for making this event possible and successful." - JBF (INDIA) Trust

"The concept of animal welfare in Liberia is still a new phenomenon... Introducing spay/neuter as best means of controlling overpopulation in pets, it was like a dream to people. Most of the people who took part in the celebration said they have been killing most of their dogs as a means of reducing the number because they are unable to provide food for all of the dogs if they keep them. At the same time, the people said that when the dogs become pregnant in the community, people become exposed to rabies. They usually kill dogs every year because every year the dogs continue to reproduce. So telling them about our spay/neuter program was like a dream that they want to see the effect of. This was the first time for event of this nature to be celebrated in Liberia. The event created real awareness among pet owners in Lofa County about an Animal Birth Control Program. Lofa County does not have a veterinary clinic. The whole county lacks trained vets. LAWS is looking for institutions that can help to train some of its volunteers in various veterinary services including spay/neuter. - Liberia Animal Welfare Society

"It was clear that people were not aware of the surgical sterilization option. While we were out catching dogs in a municipal truck, community people were hiding dogs as they thought we were picking up dogs for poisoning. One small boy had hidden his dog on seeing the municipality truck as, in the past, this vehicle had picked up dogs for culling and had brought poison and fear. This time it brought a check over, relief from unwanted reproduction, an anti-rabies vaccination and some kindness to the dogs... The event was reported on TV, local radio and in the national press, and has made the community aware that there are better and brighter options for the animals that live among them. Spay Day has highlighted just how much work needs to be done throughout Nepal. Every town has its own population of animals in dire need of care and concern who, to date, have had no attention at all. - Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust 

Fundacion Spay/Panama, Spay Panama's Animals Yes, USA and Los Angeles de los Animales joined the cause with the goal to sterilize 500 animals in 40 hours. The Panamanian Olympic Committee and the Civil Defense also supported the effort. The plan was to go to the east side of Panama and start by sterilizing the strays at the maximum security prison of La Joya, then go to two locations in Chepo. Unfortunately, the Panamanian government modified the mining laws and the indigenous groups were in an uproar to protect Mother Earth. The road to the prison and Chepo was blocked. Civil Defense and a small part of the staff went up to meet with the Ngöbe-Buglé to let us pass. It was a startling sight—the Ngöbe-Buglé were armed with bows and arrows and were blowing horns. The leader said the veterinarians could pass but not the volunteers. We came up with plan B at the spur of the moment being able to sterilize 550 animals in four locations. As soon as people heard about the sterilization campaign, they brought their pets and helped bring the strays dogs and feral cats. Volunteers give their time to work in horribly hot conditions, having to clean up after the animals and fight the fleas and ticks. They all do it gladly to help the less fortunate animals. The animals have their ears cleaned and are sprayed against fleas and ticks, injected with vitamins, and de-wormed. The dogs over three months old get the rabies vaccine. The sterilized dogs are identified with an "S" tattooed in one ear and the cats get one ear notched. If needed, they go back home with medication to treat a condition. Spay/Panama's veterinarians use the Quick Spay Method which includes small incision, early sterilization and use of stainless steel suture because it is strong and non-reactive. Eight veterinarians participated in the event. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. - Fundacion Spay/Panama 

"We had eight black and white cats who looked like they were all twins. We had three volunteers who helped us through the campaign. We spayed nine pitbull dogs; some of them might have been used in dog fights, as they had scars and wounds on their bodies. One of the dogs also had an ear operation while spayed." - SPCA Paarl

"Volunteers came out again to greet people at train stations and to pass out fliers explaining the benefits of spay/neuter. We were happy to see a better reception from the public this year, with more people stopping by, and showing a real interest in talking with us about the spaying and neutering of feral cats. This is wonderful news, as we continue to loan traps and provide other assistance to those starting TNR projects in their Japanese communities. Funding is always the problem, particularly in low-income communities, so we really appreciate the chance to raise funds especially for spay/neuter projects, by way of the Humane Society Photo Contest! For the first time, we actually got a few donations at the event this year—around $60 total. This is enough to neuter a male cat and to give him a parasite treatment. Though it may not seem like much, it shows a significant improvement in the public attitude towards this topic, and it gives a great deal of hope, to those of us working so hard to help Japan's stray and abandoned cats. - Japan Cat Network

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