February 26, 2013
Three Days of Spay/Neuter with "Let's Live Together"
A World Spay Day 2013 event in Bangalore
In February 2013, Let's Live Together and HSI/India partnered to offer a free spay/neuter clinic in Bangalore, India in celebration of World Spay Day. In three days, we completed 63 surgeries—of 62 dogs and one cat.
"Stopping pet overpopulation has to start with pet owners!" stated LLT. "There are thousands of homeless dogs on the street, and these dogs are not always the offspring of homeless 'street' animals—these are the puppies of cherished family pets and unwanted puppies from breeders.
Spaying and neutering is the only 100 percent proven way to reduce these numbers and save animals’ lives... It is every dog owner’s responsibility to spay and neuter their pets since it good for their dogs and the community. Thus, to encourage responsible ownership of dogs, we are offering FREE Spay and Neuter (animal birth control) services to owned Indian dogs for three days, in Bangalore."
Spreading the word
The first target was dogs previously adopted out by Let's Live Together. Next, LLT opened up the event to people fostering dogs in preparation for adoption. Then, the general public was welcomed to bring their pets.
In the final and most exciting phase, a team of volunteers visited a nearby low-income neighborhood, where hundreds of animals and people were living in very close quarters. They spoke with dog owners and convinced them to get their animals sterilized.
This was particularly gratifying, the group felt, since these were the people most in need of a free event, with no extra money to spend on vet treatment. On just the first day, 15 families registered to participate, including one household with two male and two female dogs, who will now have no more puppies!
Organizing for success
The LLT team split up, with two volunteers assigned to deal with registration, two in charge of pre-op handling and two more in charge of post-opt care/handling. One volunteer served as a vet nurse to assist during surgery and others did door-to-door outreach.
Volunteers helped transport the dogs to the clinic for surgery and rabies vaccination. Once an operation was done, each animal was wrapped in a clean cotton cloth. The owner was given a donated collar and leash, along with some dog food and a certificate from LLT and HSI, and escorted home.
All three days saw a mixed crowd of adopters, rescuers and the people from the slum. Most of the dogs were Pomeranians or Pomeranian crosses, with one Labrador and one German Shepherd. One homeless four-month-old female puppy was spayed and found a home that same evening.
The event was covered by both radio and television reports.
A worthwhile endeavor
LLT hopes to make spay/neuter drives an ongoing activity because not just street dogs, but owned dogs living in Bangalore need to be sterilized in order to prevent their contributing to overpopulation.
"This spay/neuter drive has been the best thing that has happened to Let's Live Together," wrote Achala Paani, LLT's founding trustee. "Watching your team perform was an experience in and of itself. I’m extremely honoured to have had this opportunity."
This World Spay Day event was successful in both actual surgeries done and perhaps even more importantly, in raising awareness among local pet owners of why spay/neuter is so important.