Worldvets visit to Statia

By Tina Smith, volunteer Animal Wellfare 

During the week of February 11, 2012, St. Eustatius hosted the WorldVets organization, www.worldvets.org, a USA based organization devoted to international aid to animals. The main objective was to decrease our roaming donkey herds by castrating the male donkeys. While here they also volunteered to sterilize many small animals to help control our increasing number of unwanted puppies and kittens. Their team consisted of 6 veterinarians and 4 veterinarian technicians coming from all over the USA and Canada. The project was organized by the employees of the St. Eustatius Agriculture Department and the volunteers of the St. Eustatius Animal Welfare Foundation.’

The WorldVets group arrived on Saturday, Feb 11, headed by the team leader Dr. Karen Allum, who has volunteered on the island twice before. The Agriculture Department was responsible for the large animal project while the Animal Welfare Foundation was responsible for the small animal project. Monday, everyone gathered at the corral to begin the donkey castrations. After some minor adjustments to the corral, the group began lassoing the donkeys, with much help from our experienced, local men. ‘

Once the donkeys were on the ground, the veterinarians quickly got busy with their surgeries, vaccinations and worming and within a short period of time, the donkeys were back up on their feet, wobbling for a brief period as though they were drunk, until the sedatives wore off, and then they were good to go minus body parts necessary to bred. In total 37 male donkeys were castrated along with 7 female donkeys also being vaccinated and wormed. Although not all the donkeys on the island were caught, this will help slow the breeding of the donkeys Statia does have.

Tuesday, the group split into 2 teams, 1 team continuing to work with the donkeys while the other began the small animal sterilization. Animal Welfare had been running a campaign for 3 months, trying to get as many people signed up as possible, as they have to deal with many unwanted dogs & cats which they often can’t find homes. Early Tuesday, at the Animal Welfare building, dogs and cats began to arrive for their surgeries. The small animal team consisted of 3 veterinarians and 1 veterinarian technician along with many of the Animal Welfare volunteers. Quickly they got started and as the animals recovered in the recovery room, the owners arrived to take them home, making room for the next patient. It was a smooth production line, as one animal finished surgery, another animal was being prepared for surgery. Over the course of 3 days, the small animal team, along with many volunteers worked tirelessly to sterilize as many animals as possible. A total of 97 small animals were operated on, 4 consultations seen, 4 euthanized, and 2 emergency cases seen. ‘

 

 

Meanwhile, throughout the entire week, the large animal team continued to castrate donkeys, provide consultations to farmers, castrate 2 bulls, doctor injured cattle and take samples from various livestock to test for diseases and/or parasites on the island. Most of this work was done in the field with the help of our local Agriculture employees, who without their skills many of the livestock would have never been captured.

The entire group enjoyed themselves and although they had little free time to visit Statia’s many sites, they did find time for a Historical Walking Tour, along with diving and snorkeling on the bay and enjoying the local restaurants and nightly entertainment offered. The St. Eustatius Agriculture Department and the St. Eustatius Animal Welfare Foundation deeply appreciates WorldVets hard work and efforts and thank them for their help in controlling the animals of our island.

 

One thought on “Worldvets visit to Statia

  1. A truly wonderful week of service!! A privilege to be a small part of what so many invested in!
    Big Thanks to Tina, and the rest of AWF and Statia Agriculture and the WorldVets.

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