With the success of our now twice weekly mobile clinics and the limited veterinary resources in the Philippines, we now receive regular requests from areas all over the country, asking for the IWCT Veterinary team to visit, to hold spay and neuter clinics, in order to help them control their growing dog populations.
There is little or no funding for veterinary care in the Philippines, particularly on the more isolated islands and although taking the IWCT team to these islands is much more expensive than our normal mobile clinics, if we are able to neuter and vaccinate dogs in these areas we can make a real impact on population control and the future health and happiness of these dogs.
As such, in February, we took a team of three Vets and two Veterinary Assistants to the island of Iloilo, a 2 hour flight south of Manila, where we held clinics over two days, spaying and neutering dogs.
Whilst we were in Iloilo we also held two education seminars, the first in an elementary school, teaching children aged 10-14 about the importance of caring for dogs as family pets. On the second day we held a seminar for adults, which also included the value of responsible pet ownership, as well as reinforcing the horrors of the dog meat trade, both in terms of the cruelty that is inflicted upon the poor dogs, and also highlighting the risks that Rabies poses to public health.
The benefits of having dogs as pets, making them part of the family and the joy they bring, may seem very obvious, but in a country like the Philippines, it’s vital that we educate people on these basic principles, encouraging them from an early age to treat dogs as pets and family members.
Iloilo are very keen for us to come back and if funds allow we hope to hold a second clinic later in the year.