Namibia's Have A Heart Goes Mobile
Have A Heart, the Namibia-wide effort to bring spay/neuter services to all parts of Namibia, no matter how remote, now has access to a mobile s/n clinic (pictured below)! Its maiden voyage took place in January-February 2017.
Over a 2 week period at the end of January and into early February, during which the mobile unit traveled 1500 km, a total of 327 animals were sterilized (including 53 cats and 1 rabbit) and many dogs and cats were treated for everything from injuries to skin problems.
Geesche (Have A Heart-Luderitz, Aus, and Bethanie Coordinator) was there for part of the trip (Swakopmund, Henties Bay, and Uis) , so we have her firsthand account of the popularity and success of the s/n clinics when they visited those towns.
On 23 January, Geesche met the mobile clinic team in Swakopmund's Township, DRC. HAH previously worked in this area for 2 years and they've seen a big difference in the numbers of unwanted puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats. Even so, with only 2 years into the s/n effort, there are still many dogs and cats in need of s/n services. Before lunch on the 1st day there, the mobile team had already s/n'd 22 dogs and cats. The final s/n count in Swakopmund Township was:
23 January-26 dogs, 8 cats
24 January-35 dogs, 4 cats
25 January-19 dogs 4 cats
Next, the team moved on to Henties Bay for 2 days (pictures below):
Total s/n'd in Henties Bay:
26 January at Henties Bay SPCA-11 dogs, 7 cats (paid by SPCA)
27 January in Henties Bay Township: 24 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 rabbit (The owner has a male and a female rabbit and loves them very much. He wanted them to stop having babies.)
The pictures below are also from Henties Bay:
Lovebite (below) wasn't spayed this time around because she wasn't healthy enough. She was treated for mange and will be spayed during the mobile clinic's next visit to Henties Bay. The 2nd picture below shows the area where Lovebite lives.
Next, the team went to Uis. On 28 January, after traveling a long time on a terrible road, they could only work in the afternoon. So that day, in Uis Township, they sterilized 7 dogs. The next day, 29 January, they were again in Uis Township, and sterilized 25 dogs.
The vets checked out the donkeys that were brought to the clinic, but all of them were in good health, and none needed treatment!
We agreed that AKI funds can be used during the mobile clinics for vet treatment other than s/n and for donkeys, horses, and other animals that come to the clinics--since these are areas that have particular shortfalls--like during the spay day in Bethanie in October (2016), when a donkey was brought to the clinic and needed surgery. We gave the ok to cover that with AKI funds.
And then in December, in Stinkwater (yes, Namibia), the HAH vet (Dr. Maya) was called to help a little 3-week old horse (see pictures). He had injuries that were so full of pus, he was dehydrated because it was too painful for him to drink, he was so weak. Dr. Maya didn't think he would pull through. But with the help of Dr. Maya and his family, he stood up to his new name, Fighter. We were happy to provide the funds to cover his treatment-and to save his life! HAH officially only supports spay/neuter of dogs and cats, so it was really important that we-our AKI donors-were able to fill the gap, and we'll be doing that during future HAH mobile clinics.
Of course, we'll also cover s/n costs as funds allow.
What can donations "buy"?
US$500 will cover all the expenses for vet treatments (suturing open wounds, basic treatments) for the March mobile clinic trip to the south of Namibia (about 2 weeks) and at least 5 spay/neuters.
Geesche's final assessment of the mobile clinic's maiden voyage:
The mobile clinic was sooo busy! In every single township we had so many requests, we could have operated at least double if not triple the numbers. The only thing that is stopping us is the funds. But we are so happy that the clinic is such a success!
Interested in donating to this very important effort that is changing the lives of dogs and cats in Namibia's remotest areas and that is changing the attitudes of pet owners-now that they have access to vet services, their pets are viewed and treated as though they have a value. Just go to the Support AKI page and designate HAH Mobile. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!