By Liz Healey
After 4 very successful clinics over the past two Decembers, where over 400 animals have been tended to, Canadian Snipsisters, Heidi Wagner and Shelagh O’Brien, will return once again to the Huatuco area to run spay/neuter clinics for cats and dogs.
The first clinic will be in Barra La Cruz, December 11th thru 14th and the second in Coyula, December 16th thru 19th.
Heidi and Shelagh host fundraisers in Canada each year to pay for the clinics, including bringing the vets from Pets for Life, based in Puerto Vallarta, to do the surgeries. However, extra support is always needed and appreciated. If you can help in anyway, including driving animals to and from clinics, providing hands-on help at the clinics in the recovery area (generally a 3 hour recovery), or assistance in organizing people and animals before and after surgery, all would be gratefully accepted.
The clinics are also always in need of donations of dog/cat food and old towels and blankets. Every animal is sent home with a care package, including food for several days.
To Volunteer contact Heidi: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tale of Charly and a Heroic Team
Sometimes, these clinics offer more than just sterilizations. I would like to share with you the touching story of Charly from Coyula, who was found in 2012, limping out from some bushes as dogs were being returned home. He had been hit by a car 8 days previously and had a large open gash with a bone protruding from it. Charly’s owners were devastated but had no way of helping their beloved pet, one of 5, including a 12 year old dog, which is almost unheard of in the countryside.
Heidi took pictures and rushed back to see if the vets could do anything to help; Poly, Antonio and Hector, our vet team, concurred that the leg could probably not be saved, and amputation surgery was scheduled for the next afternoon. You need to realize that this would be done after the dedicated vets worked from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM without a break, completing 25 sterilization surgeries.
The surgical procedure took 2 hours and post-op another 2. After a very long day, and with permission from his owners, Charly returned home and stayed with the team until his recovery was complete, about 2 weeks. During the recovery process, Charly was fed a protein rich diet and was administered antibiotics to fight off infection. He was taken for short walks each day, getting stronger and stronger, until, finally, it was a joy to see him running and playing on the beach. At that point, it was time to return Charly to his loving family who welcomed him with tears and smiles. It was a bittersweet moment for the team as Charly had warmed their hearts with his calm, gentle and accommodating nature.
As a side note, several months later while out riding on the back roads in the Coyula area, we spotted Charly and his family: he was happily running along, looking like he never even realized that he was missing a leg!!
Again, these clinics are very important to help and ensure that we do indeed have “pets for life”. Please contact Heidi if you can assist with this year’s clinics.