November 25, 2008
Humane Society International Assists Spay/Neuter Clinic in Patagonia
CHILECHICO, Chile — Humane Society International has teamed up with local organizations and assisted in the spaying or neutering of hundreds of animals last week in southern Chile.
Chilechico has never had spay/neuter services, and shortly after HSI arrived, people lined up with dogs and cats in all manner of "cages." They came in baskets, boxes, sacks, backpacks, even a fishing net. Some of the dogs came on leashes, but most came loose or held by crude ropes. The owners sat patiently, while faint meowing came from sacks and boxes.
Clinic staff explained the benefits of spaying, neutering, vaccination and parasite treatment. The residents nodded their heads when animal care staff talked about how many puppies one unaltered female can produce. Every female dog or cat over a year of age had borne at least one litter. Some had even given birth to four or five litters of puppies or kittens. Because the community simply can't support that many animals, most do not survive to adulthood.
"I'm always impressed with people's commitment to their animals," said HSI's Jessica Higgins, a program manager who was there for the clinic. "Even in the most remote places on earth, with few resources, people care for their canine and feline friends and want to do what's best for them. The success of this program proves once again that compassion is a universal human instinct."
HSI began working with Rescate y Protección de Animales (REYPA) in 2007 to bring spay/neuter services to remote areas like Chilechico, in southern Chile. Using veterinarians from partner organization Red Informativa del Movimiento Animal (RIMA), they have fine-tuned their clinics to reach up to 60 animals per day using two highly skilled surgeons.
In all, more than 400 animals were spayed or neutered. These communities received important information on animal care and welfare. Some of them are so remote that even their access to human medical care is limited.
REYPA has been working in Coyhaique, capital of the Aysen region, for many years, and has sterilized more than 1,200 animals there. Now HSI is continuing to help them expand their services throughout the region.
Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at hsi.org.