The Jamaican spay-neuter programme

Published: Friday | October 2, 2009


The Editor, Sir:

I noted with pleasure that the Jamaica Kennel Club chose to respond on the matter of the stray-dog problem in Jamaica, but would be grateful if you would grant me space to clarify a few matters for them.

It was surprising to see that, though they claim to "work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture's Vet Division", they appear to be unaware of the important thrust being made by this very body, in the area of spaying and neutering street dogs.

The project, which is a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Asso-ciation and the International Spay/Neuter Network, was launched last December. On that occasion, more than a hundred dogs (and a few cats) were spayed and neutered at two different locations, Phoenix Veterinary Clinic and Animalcare Veterinary Clinic, in just two days.

Overpopulation

Another event took place in February, coinciding with Inter-national Spay Day, and this one was actually held on the premises of the Veterinary Services Division, while in July the Port Royal Basic School was temporarily converted into an operating theatre to assist the people of that city with their overpopu-lation problem.

On all these occasions, a number of dedicated veterinarians and vet technicians have enthusiastically given of their time and their expertise, supported by a small but hard-working band of local volunteers. We have also been fortunate enough to have foreign experts come to assist and to share their particular techniques and experience, notably Dr Bruce Langlois from Michigan and Dr Gwen Davis from Puerto Rico.

In less than a month, Montego Bay will host the next spay-neuter event, to span several days, this time with the added collaboration of the World Vets Organisation, who are bringing a fully-staffed veterinary team, as well as surgical supplies.

The programme is geared towards a sustained approach, with a great deal of public education, to create an awareness of the need to respect and care for 'man's best friend', while at the same time controlling the numbers of the homeless. This is why spaying and neutering is so important, and the support of all animal-loving Jamaicans is needed.

So, Mr Auxilly, contrary to what you thought, the Jamaican spay-neuter programme is indeed alive and well, and now that you are fully cognisant of the facts, it is to be hoped that you will keep your word ("such a programme would receive support ... from the JKC") and give it your full and visible support.

I am, etc.,

CINDI SCHOLEFIELD

cindischo@cwjamaica.com

Kingston

 
 
 
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