Wednesday, March 13, 2013

519 Spay/Neuters in 5 Days!

Whew! I'm back in Colima from the March 2013 spay/neuter campaign with PATA Manzanillo. It was a hectic, long, incredibly well-organized five days. We started at about 7:30 am and ended around 10 pm each day, and sterilized a total of 519 dogs and cats. Vets came from the US and all over Mexico to help, about 8 operating at any given time.

The in-Mexico cost of the whole campaign is amazingly only about $1000 US, since almost all the labor and much of the materials are donated. If you'd like to help us, you can donate in any amount via PayPal and get a US tax-deductible receipt through Friends of PATA. 

If you'd like to participate as a volunteer, and combine your trip with an awesome vacation, you can do so through Inside/Out: Journeys for your Inner Self in the Outdoors-Humanitourism.

Here are some photos of the campaign. You can find more on the links above and on the Carole Remy Author Facebook page.

First step for owners was to register their pets at the signup area in the auditorium. When we arrived at 7:15 am, there were typically 15 to 20 owners already in line. You can imagine how super-organized these volunteers (in red t-shirts) were!

Here's the recovery area, all set for customers. The tables are for cats, the floor areas for dogs. About 20 volunteers worked this area over the five days.

Animals were prepped for surgery by a team of vet students supervised by a licensed veterinarian. The cats and dogs received a mild tranquilizer and then anesthesia right before surgery.

Dr. Gabriela Leyva Chavez and Diana, two of the tireless members of PATA Manzanillo. These ladies make it all come together, all year round!

As well as outstanding local veterinarians, dedicated vets came from all over Mexico and the US to help. Here's part of the team. Generally about eight surgeries were taking place at any given moment.

This vet flew in from Texas along with a team from their animal hospital.

This amazing and lovely vet came in from Mexico City and worked tirelessly through the whole five days. She took special care of this baby girl, who has today been flown to California for extra treatment and eventual adoption!

Dr. Michelle Jack flew in from California for the week, and is taking this beautiful little girl back with her for treatment at her animal hospital. If you are interested in adopting this miracle baby, you can contact Michelle on her Facebook page.

You never know what you're going to encounter! Michelle wired this cat's broken jaw back together. On the left is Zoe Katsulos, who runs Inside/Out. Contact her if you are interested in volunteering at next year's campaign.

An IPhone ap electrocardiogram. How amazing is that? Michelle sent a cat's EKG (not this animal - this pooch was a demonstration) to a veterinary cardiologist friend in the US and had an accurate diagnosis in minutes.

A team of volunteers washed surgical instruments. You can imagine the steady stream of work, with about eight surgeries going all the time!

First job for volunteers in the recovery area was checking temperatures. Animals that came in from surgery too cold were warmed up with socks filled with raw rice, heated in the microwave. Extreme cases were placed on a heating pad. Animals that came in too warm were cooled down with ice packs and cloths soaked in ice water.

The recovery area in progress, cats at the back, dogs in front. Once the temps were stable, all dogs and cats also got their ears cleaned and were checked for ticks in the ears and paws. Those with fleas got a flea grooming as well.

A lot of dogs got the full spa treatment, thanks to Holly, a perpetual motion wonder of clipping and cleaning!

Once the recovering animals began to wake up, they were vaccinated for rabies and given oral medication for parasites. Then they were placed in cages to wait for their owners. A whole team of volunteers kept busy cleaning cages as they freed up, ready to be used by the next animal.

Another big job was keeping everybody fed! A steady stream of volunteers brought delicious meals for breakfast and lunch, and provided dinner back at their accommodations for all the vets every day.

Behind the scenes the whole time was Stan Burnett, organizer and heart of the campaign. Whatever we needed, he found. Here he's working on the careful records kept for all 519 surgeries. As you can imagine, organizing and raising funds for the campaign is a year-round job for Stan. You can help by donating here.

Then on the last day, there's the tear down and storage for the next year. These dismantled kennels are a tiny portion of the apparatus needed to pull off a campaign of this size.

And here's why we do it! A happy family, reunited with their beloved little pooch, who won't be contributing to pet overpopulation! Let's give a special shout out to the wonderful, responsible owners who brought their beautiful babies in for sterilization. Thank you all!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this amazing campaign! Remember that if you'd like to help out, contributions are always needed, and 100% of your donation goes directly to the animals. All admin costs are absorbed by volunteers. Make your US tax-deductible contribution directly through PayPal at Friends of PATA.

Please join me in congratulating PATA Manzanillo on another excellent spay/neuter campaign! Do you participate in similar campaigns? Tell us all about it! Any questions or comments? We're here and eager to chat!

Check out these related posts:


  1. Oh Carole this brought tears to my eyes. It's wonderful to see such amazing work being done, especially by such caring volunteers! Well done! I wish I could adopt that beautiful little doggy! I'm sure she'll find a wonderful home though! Keep up the good work! Xx

    1. Thanks Molly!

      I love the little pup too. I'll do a whole post on her story soon, once she's settled in California. It was an amazing five days, and I'd invite anyone to come volunteer next year.



  2. Wow. What an endeavor by some awesome volunteers!! Well done, folks!

    1. Hi Terri,

      Thanks! Big shout out to the owners too, who brought in their dogs and cats, sometimes waited in long lines, and at the end of the day, took their pets home again to care for! It was a true community effort. I'll pass on your congrats to the rest of the team.


  3. This is absolutely fabulous! Great work to all! :-)

    I love the pictures!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kevin! Anything you can do to spread the word about volunteering or contributing via the links will be greatly appreciated! Maybe you and your family can come to Mexico one day for a great humanitourism holiday! The babe can get a little older first...


  4. This is a fantastic event! Bravo to all involved! :)

    1. Thanks Saph!

      And bravo for the work you do with rescue animals! Maybe one day you can come visit me, be a volunteer in the campaign, and have a Mexican beach holiday too!