Nov 10, 2015

Waterford Kamhlaba - international students, actively involved in community outreach

Megan assisting Dr. Lufungulo
Megan assisting Dr. Lufungulo

The Spay Clinic was a truly rewarding experience for all of us from Waterford AWARE who volunteered to make this project a reality. It was in many ways transformative. We were able to interact closely with members of the community through caring for their dogs – animals which are often overlooked as priorities despite being valued by their owners. We had a chance to talk to people, show them how to really care for their animals and encourage them to develop a deeper bond. It was an exhausting undertaking on many levels as we worked intensively in the pre-op clinic, the surgery and the recovery unit. However, we all agreed that it was the most rewarding volunteer work we have ever done and we are so grateful for the opportunity to be involved.

These are quotations from some of the students who volunteered at the clinic:

“I thought it was an amazing day because I felt like we were making a huge difference in a community that needed it. I want to be a Vet so it was really a great opportunity. I learned so much!” Nqobizitha Claire Dixon (Zimbabwe)

“The Spay Day for me was exhausting but an even more rewarding experience. It enhanced the love I have for dogs and made me realise how precious they are in the structure of our communities” Matilda Mahne (Finland)

“I learned a lot about surgery and everything that related to it in general. The weekend was a great experience and I gained loads from it. It felt like we actually did help and make a difference” Linda Uusitalo (Finland)

“The spay clinic was an amazing and exhausting experience. I really enjoyed being able to go into surgery and talk to the Vets” Kaina Arizcurinaga (Bolivia)

“The spay Day was for me an opportunity to reach out further than what is usually possible in my everyday life. It was exhausting but very rewarding and there was a strong feeling that we were actually making a difference” Louise Nielsen (Denmark)

“I am so happy that I could be part of a great team that achieved an amazing goal. I hope that through this Spay Day a bit of extra love is spread. I learned a lot a got a whole new view of Swaziland” Joy Dekker (The Netherlands)

Matilda, answering questions
Matilda, answering questions
Jul 28, 2015

#12 - Before and After

Spade dog & not spade dog - from same homestead
Spade dog & not spade dog - from same homestead

The dog that I brought to the spay day at Mshingishingini was skeletal and in very bad health, so it failed to wake up properly after its operation. The doctors ended by taking it with them to town, to give it extra attention. I lost faith that it would make it but surprisingly, the doctors brought it back in good physical shape - with no fleas and no ticks. Now I don’t reprimand it when it comes into the house, instead I call it and pet it and play with it like friends. If dogs knew how to talk we would have some fun conversations.

Spaying of the dogs helped us significantly, because another of my dogs that was not spayed died one day due to straying to other people’s homesteads at night and becoming a nuisance. I woke up one morning and found it dead in front of my house. It had vomited around the yard, so I sniffed at it suspecting that it has been poisoned with the habitual weevil tablet but could not detect a whiff of it. I therefore could not ascertain what killed my dog; however, by looking at the vomit I could tell that it had eaten left over food from neighboring homesteads.

When I found it, the puppies were still milking from their dead mother, which also made me realize that whatever my dog ate was not the medicinal kind of poison. I think whoever did this crashed bottles and mixed it with the food and the dog swallowed the bottles with the food and died.

What I am grateful for is that my other dogs will not meet this kind of death because since they got spayed, they have not left home for other people’s homesteads; even the younger dog, which is not yet spayed, has learned good behavior from the spayed dogs.

NOTE: In Swaziland, it is common for dogs to not be in good condition, be wandering around scavenging, killing and eating domestic chickens, stealing eggs, and fighting with each other. Given this, it is not uncommon for people to poison dogs.

Before treatment
Before treatment
After treatment - thanks to your donations!
After treatment - thanks to your donations!
May 1, 2015

Report #11 - Each day is like Christmas

Gladys her son & Hippo, Takkies, Vutha and Peaches
Gladys her son & Hippo, Takkies, Vutha and Peaches

Although I am from Emvembili community, I felt I should not lose this chance because I have had a spayed dog before and I know the beauty and good works of a spayed dog. For this reason, I asked a special request to be allowed to bring my dog to Mshingishingini community spay day.

My dogs have always been in good health but it helped me to get them spayed because there is peace at home now. Visitors would get no sleep due to the noise caused by the dogs that have come for the female dog on heat (estrus). It was also wearing for me to feed puppies because they ended up being too many and selling was always futile; people wanted them for free: Five of my goats got mauled to death by the dogs attracted by the female dogs, so I told myself that I want to be “stress free!” and spayed all my dogs.

On another note; I have the Jack Russell type of dogs, now that they are spayed they have developed a new habit; I do not buy weevil tablets for poisoning rats anymore because in the morning when I wake up, I find dead rats lying around on the yard. My dogs catch and kill rats, even the big rats. To me each day is like Christmas because I spayed my dogs.

Narrated by: Gladys 

Mine lokuphakulisa ngakuhawukela kuselapha khashane ngatsi nome kusengakefiki Emvembili sangakami akungangendluli ngobe ngasengike ngaba nayo inja lephakuliwe, ngabubona buhle bayo nemisebenti lemihle leyiwentako.

Tativele titinhle tami tinja kodvwa kwangisita kutsi tiphakulwe ngobe nyalo sekunekuthula lekhaya.

Nawuvakashelwe bantfu abalali nakunenja lekhwelwako ngenca yalomsindvo letiwubanga ebusuku. Besengikhatsele nakondla lemidlwane, ngobe nayo igcine iminyenti kakhulu futsi nawutsi uyayitsengisa bantfu abayitsengi bayifuna mahhala. Netimbuti tami letisihlanu tadliwa tinja tasemtini letindvuna lebetiphekuta kuleletinsikati; ngavele ngatsi “stress free!” ngatiphakula tonkhe.

Ngineluhlobo lwetinja lolutamaku, loku setiphakuliwe seticale lomunye umkhuba, kusa tidzaceke emagundvwane labaleni ngoba tihlala lekhaya busuku bonkhe. Mine nje angisawatsengi emaphilisi engobolwane kutsi ngitowubulala emagundvwane ngawo. Tiwabamba tiwabulale ngisho nalamakhulu langaka. Cha vele kungukhisimusi onkhemalanga kimi kuphakula tinja tami.

Ibhalwe ngu: Gladys 

Vusumnotfo collected Glady's story 7 months after the community spay day at Mshingishingini, through the use of Most Significant Change methodology.

In response to the many requests that both Swaziland Animal Welfare Society and Vusumnotfo are receiving, with your support, we would very much like to carry out two more community spay days in 2015. 

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