We can’t believe it’s been a year since we moved into the new Treatment Centre! This is the Centre which was built thanks to receiving a number of wonderfully generous legacies and enabled us to create a permanent base for our clinics and rescue dogs.
So much has happened in our first year, a lot of which wouldn’t be possible without our new facilities and wonderful team of vets, staff and volunteers.
You can see a video of the Centre here:
Spay / Neuter & Vaccinations
This year has been a record year for the number of cats and dogs treated, both at our Centre and during mobile clinics. A total of 1,601 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered (as of 5th December). A further 5,603 have been vaccinated against rabies and received vital vitamins and de-wormer.
By focusing on key areas within a certain distance of our Treatment Centre in Concepcion, we are making a real difference in controlling the growing population of cats and dogs in these areas through spay and neuter. This will lead to fewer unwanted litters, fewer road accidents of roaming animals and reduced spread of disease. Furthermore, by vaccinating all these animals against Rabies, we are a step closer to making the region, and thus the Philippines as a whole, Rabies Free.
Reaching Those Most In Need
By combining our need to reach the poorer barangays in our area, with the state of the art facilities of the Centre, we began our Tricycle Clinics. During these clinics, we focus on a barangay whose residents don’t have the means to travel to us, so we come to them in a fleet of tricycles and bring dogs and owners to our Centre! The first two Tricycle Clinics at the end of 2023 have proved hugely successful, with the first one of 2024 already confirmed.
In addition to taxiing the dogs to us, we are also conducting surveys in each area. These surveys ask the locals about whether they are owners of one or several dogs, whether they are spayed and vaccinated and what they know about caring for their dogs or one they might come across. These surveys allow us to focus on areas most in need of receiving free veterinary services like our Spay and Neuter Clinics or Education Programme.
Rescue & Rehabilitation
An undeniable asset to our new Centre is the Enrichment Park. This area is the size of two tennis courts, with different surfaces, apparatus, and sensory stimulation provides space for the rescue dogs to learn to socialise, play, relax and develop new skills under the careful guidance of our kennelmates.
The kennels themselves have also proved versatile – large enough for small groups of dogs of similar nature, but also with capacity for sole use. They have covered but ventilated areas inside as well as a secure outdoor run, much like those seen in Western rescue Centres. There are also designated quarantine kennels, for new rescues who may be carrying an infection or who are too weak to be housed with other dogs. New rescues who have benefitted from these kennels are Milly, Divi and Carla.
Xavier was another rescue this year. Not only did he require a quarantine kennel, but he was so poorly at first, he was put on an IV drip of saline and dextrose and crated in the Centre itself. Without these facilities, he would likely not have survived.
It’s not just new rescues who have benefitted from the improved facilities. Clover, the timid rescue who previously preferred her own company, now socialises and plays with the others in the Park. Betty, who for the four years in our care has always battled with skin conditions leaving her with little fur, now has a full coat and healthy skin. Only since moving to the new Centre have these dogs made significant improvement.
Growing The Team
This year we welcomed some new members of the Team to IWCT:
Hearty has joined to assist Suzanne with clinic co-ordination and admin. She is an amazing addition who has also been getting stuck in prepping cats and dogs at spay and neuter clinics as well as checking in patients.
Kennelmate Mark’s younger brother Michael has joined the Treatment Centre as a second kennelmate. Both boys look after the rescue dogs with day to day husbandry and socialising. Where Mark is often called to the Treatment Centre, Michael has been giving 1:1 rehabilitation to several of our more complex rescue dogs.
Our vet team also continues to grow – Doctors Jen and Elna are regulars to our spay and neuter clinics both at the Treatment Centre and on the road. Oddie and Alfred are about to and have completed vet school, with Christian not far behind them. We hope they will continue to support us at clinics when they are qualified, they have been a valuable asset as OJT’s.
Keeping the place in ship shape around all this is Lanie, our wonderful housekeeper. We are truly grateful to the whole team of vets, staff and volunteers.
Additional Veterinary Treatment
As well as our weekly consultation and spay and neuter clinics, IWCT has been called upon for some emergency cases. This year our Head Vet Doc Roland has always come to the rescue, despite having other full time commitments as a Tarlac City Vet too.
Emergency treatment includes saving Puti the dog’s face – he was maliciously attacked by a man wielding a knife. Doc stitched Puti’s face back together and our kennelmates looked after him while he healed. You can read his full story here.
Miracle was brought in by a barangay captain when she was found seeking shelter in the office doorway. She had two broken legs as a result of a collision with a car Doc Roland had to amputate the leg which was too damaged but fortunately managed to save the other. We anticipate her still being able to have a good quality of life. You can read more about Miracle here.
Other additional procedures include lipoma removal, removal of bones stuck in the throats of dogs, tail amputations and more. Why not sign up to our newsletter to hear of our news as it happens?
Looking Ahead To 2024
As previously mentioned, the Tricycle Clinics will continue with the first one of 2024 scheduled in January. These will run alongside our regular spay, neuter and consultation clinics.
Now the Centre is well established with a great team, we are looking to begin our Volunteer Programme. Having had multiple requests from good citizens in the Philippines willing to give up their time to help us and the dogs, we are excited to be able to take them up on this kind offer through a structured programme.
The roaming of stray dogs continues to be an issue in the Philippines. Hungry dogs end up getting sick or injured in their quest to find food. We, along with our volunteers and other dog lovers such as delivery driver Jeff strive to develop a regular stray feeding drive. Through this, we can help feed stray dogs in need and identify those whose needs may be beyond a full tummy of quality food and help them accordingly.
Would you like to be part of our movement?
All of the work we do is thanks to the generous donations of our supporters. We can’t continue our work, let alone expand without your help. There is still so much to be done in the Philippines to reduce the unnecessary suffering of millions of dogs.
Please donate what you can to help us continue our work in 2024 and beyond. Thank you.