How is it possible to provide free sterilizations for dozens of domestic pets in a single day?
Operación Amor does just that with the support of volunteers from animal protection advocacy groups, most significantly Mexico City’s Fundación Antonio Haghenbeck.
Last year, 536 cats and dogs underwent surgeries at Operación Amor’s four spay and neuter clinics. Another 71 were fixed at the program held February 8 and 9 in San Nicolás de Ibarra. Those are outstanding statistics, taking into account the staggering number of unwanted kittens or puppies each animal could produce in a lifetime.
A key to making the program tick is the service of the specialized veterinarians brought to lakeside from Fundación Haghenbeck. They are trained in quick sterilization procedures involving small incisions that heal fast to help prevent infections. That is an important factor for the low-income families taking advantage of the free clinics who are not best equipped to handle post-surgical care.
The efficient management of the clinics also depends on dozens of local volunteers who assist in patient registrations, record keeping, handling animals in the pre-operative, recovery and grooming areas, and publicity and pet-owner education programs.
Among them are people who also work with organizations such as the Lucky Dog and Ranch shelters, Tails of Mexico and the Alliance for Humanitarian Education, as well as students from the Pathways scholarship program, local dog walkers and professional canine trainers.
They will all come together again for the next clinic, scheduled for late March in Chapala.