SAN JOSÉ—During February and March, Humane Society International/Latin America, together with the National Animal Health Service, the College of Veterinary Doctors and the School of Veterinary Medicine of the National University, participated in health fairs organized by the Asociación Costa Rica Indígena in the indigenous communities of Daytonia and Cachabri, in Talamanca.
This project provides free veterinary care to not only dogs and cats but also to farm animals such as pigs, cows, horses and chickens. Dogs and cats are spayed or neutered for free.
Amanda Chaves, manager of the Companion Animal Program for HSI/Latin America, sees the health fair as an excellent opportunity to collaborate closely with state institutions and other stakeholders in areas where there is very limited access to relevant services. “Since we started this project with the Asociación Costa Rica Indígena, we have participated in five health fairs and provided medical care for more than 1278 animals that had never received any veterinary attention. We hope to continue this work for the benefit of animal welfare in Costa Rica,” explains Chaves.
The first of these fairs in 2019 took place in February in Daytonia. Over the course of a single weekend, 227 animals received free medical care, including general veterinary checks, deworming and vaccinations against rabies. In addition, veterinarians performed spay/neuter procedures on 35 dogs and cats.
In March, the team visited the indigenous area of Cachabri, where inadequate access to health services, public services and transportation contribute to poor health for many animals and made the work arduous. Animals brought for treatment presented severe skin problems, high levels of malnutrition and infestation by fleas, ticks and parasitic flies. A total of 345 animals received veterinary care in just two days, including general health exams, deworming and rabies vaccinations, while 83 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered.
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