November 8, 2016
Vincentians benefit from free pet care

The communities of Biabou and Owia benefited from professional veterinary care for their pets and animals when international organization World Vets (WV) visited last month.

Thirteen veterinarians, technicians and assistants arrived in St Vincent in mid-October, offering their services free of charge.

WV volunteer Susan Gephart explained that the aim of the mission was to “give back… to help animals in need and the people who can’t afford it”.{{more}}

The event was coordinated by the Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA), a local voluntary organization that targets communities across St Vincent and the Grenadines in offering reduced cost to free veterinary services at various times throughout the year.

VSPCA clinic coordinator Traudl Arthur said that although veterinary services are in dire need in communities throughout SVG, Biabou and Owia were focused on for this particular event “because of their remote locations far from any veterinarian service.”

The WV team spent one day administering its services in Biabou, and two days in Owia.

Over the three days, procedures included 194 sterilizations, three tumor removals, 46 consultations, and the usual treatment of worms, mange, fleas and ticks. According to the VSPCA, this contributed to a nine percent increase in its neutering figures.

Four-time WV volunteer Dr Lesley Kovar observed that the people the team encountered clearly love their animals, but, through unfortunate circumstances, have been unable to stave off neglect.

VSPCA president Mary Barnard noted that the communities were genuinely grateful for the “outstanding and impressive service” executed by the WV team.

According to the VSPCA, residents of Biabou and Owia should notice a “decrease in the number of roaming, diseased and emaciated dogs and cats”.

There will also be fewer zoonotic diseases, killed livestock and ruined crops.

A release from the VSPCA stated: “VSPCA currently does not have the means to monitor and evaluate the impact of World Vets’ contributions on human health, public perceptions and the economy, but observation is a valid indicator and logic dictates that societal, economic and health conditions will improve… Vincentians and tourists to this beautiful country will benefit from World Vets’ visit. Besides the obvious effects, unseen vibrations of love and compassion, which were left behind by the World Vets team, will continue to be felt and circulated. More such positive energy will continue through VSPCA’s work, and with the arrival of more humanitarians to the Land of the Blessed.”

Since its inception in 2011, the VSPCA has spearheading a sterilization programme that has grown from strength to strength – with some 2,145 sterilizations having been performed at 120 clinics in 41 communities throughout SVG.

The VSPCA noted that it is extremely appreciative of the WV team’s work.

“Faced with tens of thousands of dogs and cats needing to be sterilized to reach a zero population growth, even coming close to it in contained locations such as Biabou and Owia validated the work of VSPCA, uplifted their spirits and encouraged them to carry on.”