Progress and setbacks, November 8th, 2005
Ms. Sherry Grant and her teams funded by HSI Asia have been at VSPCA making amazing progress donating their time and reconstruction funds, in spite of very difficult conditions on many fronts. We hope you will read Sherry's informative and heartfelt blogs on www.hsiasia.org. Also www.bestfriends.org has been kind enough to post our saga. All of the help we have received so far is going to rebuild the shelter and we are very very grateful for all of the international funding. However, we have no source of operating expenses presently for 2006, please consider contributing on a regular basis if possible. Something the animals can count on. Every amount helps a great deal!
We have three main activity areas:
- Shelter reconstruction
- Rural and city animal birth control -- revolutionized now through the one day release
- Outreach campaign funded by WSPA for livestock and humane awareness/education to continued hard hit flood areas
Through the pooling of all donations received plus the boost of the HSI Asia reconstruction grant we are able to move ahead with hiring the big equipment needed to clear out all the debris and start serious reconstruction. Helping dearly is local labor along with the HSI veterinary Disaster Response team including the A.H.E.A.D team and Tsunami Memorial Animal Welfare Trust. But as Pradeep Nath says its all a case of "blooming, blossoming and then falling down" like much progress in India two steps forward and then one backward. With the support of our international friends, even among unending hardships, the outlook is bright indeed. Please become part of our efforts and help in whatever ways you can.
Rural and city ABC
Because of the fabulous help and advice we have been getting from the HSI Asia Bali and Sri Lankan teams on mobile spay/neuter we are moving quickly ahead to tackle all the surrounding rural areas as well as working towards making Visakha a 100% street dog sterilized city (we are already at 70% from years of VSPCA's work). Since 2001 VSPCA has done more than 20,000 street dog birth control operations in the city. Because of the flooding we are currently working on 15 to 20 dogs per day but in the near future it will be 40 per day. In the rural areas we are presently operating on 200 per month. This will also increase once the mobile plan is underway and we hope to eventually reach 2000 villages and their 40,000 dogs. The communities we have already touched through our outreach teams are now prime places to bring rural ABC.
Unfortunately the future may not be so bright for the animals of the people in the surrounding areas. Months of hard rain have weakened many animals and death stalks all around. Specifically, foot and mouth disease. We can control it at the shelter through our intensive efforts but difficult to get the farmers properly educated in time for them to save their own animals. And government help is sporadic or nonexistent. It remains on our shoulders. And we are up to the task because our teams were well trained from the tsunami relief expeditions. Some of the cattle were dying right in front of us in the villages. In one village there are 1500 sheep which we vaccinated a few days ago but immunity from Foot and Mouth comes after 10 days. Unlike the outbreaks of this disease in the west, here the farmers will not allow the infected ones to be killed. So we can hope for the best to save those infected by treating with antibiotic injections, B complex, cleaning and dressing of the wounds on the feet, and asking them to give the animal warm liquid diet. This disease can be cured with hard work. The 26 villages that we covered were all lucky to have the vaccinations in time while now we go forward to find more areas that need help. The rains compound our many problems.