IWCT has been running weekly spay and neuter clinics from the Treatment Centre in Concepcion Tarlac in the Philippines since it opened in December 2022. Prior to this, the same clinics were conducted from the former premises, a rented converted house. In addition to these, we also run “mobile clinics” and have been since 2017, where the team set up a spay and neuter pop up theatre within a barangay. These are often school halls, basketball courts or council buildings.
The new, purpose built Centre has certainly helped us help more pet owners who cannot afford the cost of a spay or neuter. However, we don’t want to rest on our laurels just there.
Whilst we have a growing following in the Philippines, there are many who do not know who we are or how we can help them. This was obviously a concern for us as our mission is to serve as many dogs in need in the area and to promote responsible pet ownership, prevent unwanted litters and ultimately reduce the suffering of dogs on the street.
A new approach to clinics
To reach more people who truly need our help, we have devised a new programme – IWCT Tricycle Clinics. We have reached out to ten of the barangays in Concepcion informing them of this new operation. On a rotational basis of three clinics per month, we will target these barangays one at a time and collect the dogs whose owners have signed up for this free collect, spay and return service. There will be local leafleting and information in municipal buildings so those not online can still be informed of the Programme.
On the morning of a clinic, tricycle taxis will arrive at the barangay, collect the dogs due to be spayed or neutered with their owners and take them to the Treatment Centre for the operation. The dogs and owners will be returned to their homes by the same means on the same day.
This will enable us to reach those who especially need our help. We will also be targeting specific local areas, which we can revisit, rather than a scattergun approach. This will enable us to monitor and record the number of spays as well as the number of dogs in each barangay over time.
Research and monitoring
We will conduct house to house surveys in each barangay prior to the clinics starting, in order to understand whether residents own a dog, if so how many, whether they are spayed, allowed to roam, etc. In turn this will also raise awareness about who we are and also be a way of providing information on responsible pet ownership and kindness towards dogs. The surveys will be repeated annually so we can monitor the effects of our work.
IWCT CEO, Kaytie Grant comments: “By targeting poorer local areas and coming to them, rather than asking them to come to us, we are reaching out to those who might not know who we are, but would benefit from our free veterinary services. We hope that we will see the number of dogs in each area remain steady, rather than increase over time as a result of these new spay collection clinics.”