A quick update on the dog project in Huay Pakoot, the small Karen village where GVI runs elephant reintroduction projects with the local community. Just a few months ago, in June, we started making plans for a movement to vaccinate and sterilize the stray dogs in the community. The survival rates are not great for animals in the community often suffering from distemper, fleas, ticks and worms- all manageable if cared for properly. The vaccination and sterilization project was set up to improve the lives of the not only the dogs (cutting back on sickness and suffering and working to control the population) but for the people in the community as well.
During the months of July and August 60 dogs were vaccinated for rabies, distemper, parvo, dewormed and received medication for ticks and fleas. 50 of those dogs were spayed and neutered (a handful were too old, already pregnant or had just had new pups, or had owners who did not want them sterilized. All this was done through 4 trips to the village, each a period of 1 to 3 days along. The trips were headed up by Santisook Dog and Cat Rescue, a Chiang Mai based non-profit who did all the vaccinating. Santisook organized the help of Khun Dip from Animal Rescue Kingdom to do all the male sterilizations (he managed to neuter each dog in about 30 minutes!). For the final visit on 30 August - 1 September, Santisook also brought in 2 vets and an assistant from Jaidee Animal Clinic to perform the 18 female sterilizations plus 2 remaining male dogs.
On each of these trips our team of amazing volunteers set up a makeshift outdoor operating and recovery area under Chat's house, a member of the local community that oversees homestays. GVI's staff and volunteers helped to keep track of the dogs, captured them and oversaw the aftercare once the vets were gone. All the dogs did great! Santisook even provided some bonus care for some of the community's dearly loved cats, vaccinating a number of them and sterilizing a few at the request of their owners.
We are still working on fundraising to cover these costs and are still about $2,000 short to cover these 4 trips. If we can raise these funds and more we can look at vaccinations and sterilization for the moms and their new puppies (10 more puppies were born in 2 litters at the end of August!). Please pass on the word to animal lovers to make their donations!