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VSPCA provides medical care to needy animals

VSPCA provides medical care to needy animals


The local animal welfare organisation and its affiliate are stepping up efforts to provide medical and other care to needy animals across the country.{{more}}

The Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) is the first and only animal welfare organization in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Trinity School of Medicine Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSOM VSPCA) is an affiliate organization of the local VSPCA umbrella.

Through the efforts of three students, Laurie Marshall, Jennifer Heatwole, and Sarah Swanson, TSOM VSPCA was formed in June, 2013. This partnership with the local VSPCA addresses the many ongoing medical needs of animals, mainly dogs and cats, in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Several projects are undertaken by the members of TSOM VSPCA. During the week, students vaccinate dogs in different communities; de-worm dogs and litters of puppies; rescue starving or hurt animals; treat dogs for mange; answer emergency calls when dogs have been hit on the road during the evening or night; and assist veterinarians Dr. Audain and Dr. Boyle in animal surgeries.

A fundamental project in which these students have become involved is the spaying or neutering clinics. On weekends, about three student volunteers travel throughout the length of mainland St. Vincent to assist in carrying out these clinics with Dr. Audain. They seek out an appropriate location, then give advance notice to the members of the community, who have been willingly bringing their dogs and cats for the procedure.

There are still, however, individuals who are not quite sure that animals should be neutered. President of TSOM VSPCA, Laurie Marshall explained that statistics have shown that such animals could live longer and could experience reduced incidence of certain fatal diseases. There is a growing over population of dogs that could be called “stray’ animals in St Vincent and the Grenadines and these clinics could be one way of ensuring that these animals experience a better quality of life. At these clinics, other services like de-worming, mange treatment, and vaccination are offered free of cost or for a small donation.

According to President Marshall, medical supplies, towels, sheets, collars, and medications for these clinics are donated by the students who also raise funds for conducting them among themselves in various communities. TSOM VSPCA has also recently contributed to the purchase of a mobile surgery clinic that will travel throughout the Grenadines.

The clinics have, thus far, been very successful; the most recent being held in Bequia on Saturday, 12th April. Plans are in place to visit Diamonds during the upcoming weekend.

Through the partnership between the TSOM VSPCA and the local VSPCA, work continues in creating a curriculum to be implemented in schools and during after-school programmes to teach children about proper treatment of animals, the importance of zoonotic disease, and the importance of spaying or neutering. Efforts are also being made to work with local churches and community groups to educate the general public.