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Feb 26, 2010

Humane Society partners with Project McKee for free spaying/neutering

dog stray 2Stray dogs; you see them everywhere. It’s a constant problem in the city but what to do to curb their numbers. The Humane society has come up with a plan, which involves a new procedure to contain the stray animal population. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has a report on an initiative that begins this weekend and it’s gonna be for free.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

In the home, a pet is considered a best friend or even a family member, but not all animals are blessed with a safe haven and loving owner. Belize has a high population of stray animals wandering the streets; a problem the City Council has addressed by use of a poison called strychnine. That, however, has always caused controversy because residents and the Belize Human Society say the method is cruel.

Annerose Yamaguchi, Local Veterinarian

Annerose Yamaguchi

Annerose Yamaguchi

“Strychnine will cause a very long period of pain and agony because it will go to the nervous system and it will affect the muscles too so you will have like convulsions, seizures, you will have possibly vomiting, you will have sometimes hours; four or five hours of agony before the animal finally dies.”

So to reduce the number of stray animals that face such a fate, the Belize Humane Society is partnering with Project McKee of Costa Rica to encourage spaying and neutering of pets to keep the homeless population under control.

Caroline Bowen, President, Belize Humane Society

“This weekend we have a guest veterinarian in town, Dr. Olman Solano from the McKee Project in Costa Rica, who will be kind of helping our veterinarians here in Belize out. Tomorrow and Sunday we’re doing a spay/neuter clinic where people can bring their animals to have the surgery done so we’re trying to help reduce the free roaming street population of the animals.”

Anne-Rose Yamaguchi

“During this weekend we’re going to have a practice for the vets and also for people we consider to be pertinent to be introduced to the method somehow for them to see how it works, mainly the vets for them to be trained in the method. There was a course already. We are doing a new course for the vets that haven’t done them and also to practice again.”

Dr. Olman Solano

Dr. Olman Solano

Dr. Olman Solano, Veterinarian, Project McKee

“Basically, this is going to be a really short time technique in which, when you are really trained as a vet, it is possible to do the technique in about seven minutes. So in one campaign, it is possible to do more than fifty animals in eight hours.”

President of the Belize Humane Society, Caroline Bowen, says that the job does not end after this weekend’s clinic. According to Bowen, they will continue to educate pet owners on the importance of spaying or neutering their animals.

Caroline Bowen

“Spay or neuter your animal because the best way to control the street population. We’re going to work through education; trying to education people on why they need to spay or neuter their animals. Why? It’s obviously birth control, the sexually transmitted diseases which a lot of people would see if the dogs have the inflamed genital area, that’s the sexually transmitted disease.”

Anne-Rose Yamaguchi

“We want to present and alternative and who how cost effective this technique could be and for it to be considered for the government from the different cities and from the provinces and from the country.”

Bowen says spaying or neutering pets also keeps them close to home because they will not stray during mating season. While that can save them from the poisoning, the new surgical procedure also promises to be quick andcat painless.

Dr. Olman Solano

“In the past the procedure was a big wound, like two inches, three inches. Right now with the McKee technique, we don’t get our fingers in the abdominal cavity; we just use a spay hook and we just make a wound like one centimeter, two centimeter which is so, so small so the recovery of the animal is going to be really, really good. No more pain, no wounds open, no wounds infects; so it’s very, very effective.”

More than forty thousand animals were spayed or neutered in Costa Rica in 2009 through surgeries by Project McKee. We can only hope that it will be as successful in the Jewel in reducing the population of stray animals. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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1 Response for “Humane Society partners with Project McKee for free spaying/neutering”

  1. M Hohl says:

    Thank God Belize is receiving assistance from the McKee Project to help reduce the amount of suffering stray animals within the country. This will have a positive impact on tourism and public health. Looking forward to seeing the positive results of this joint effort!

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