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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | August 2007 

Pet Clinic Supplies Needed for M*A*S*H
(Mobile ANIMAL Surgical Hospital)

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PEACE is well established in Nayarit, but a Jalisco chapter is lacking almost everything to make high-volume spay and neuter clinics happen.

PEACE was recently contacted by the department of health about running spay/neuter programs in Jalisco - but supplies are needed to make it possible.

There is a desperate need for supplies and volunteers to operate a spay and neuter M*A*S*H unit in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

For more information about PEACE, visit their website at
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
- Gandhi

High-volume spay and neuter clinics are the best way to decrease the number of unwanted dogs and cats. The Puerto Vallarta area alone has over 47,000 stray dogs and over 100,000 stray cats roaming the area. Through an aggressive spay/neuter program, education and adoption, the animals will no longer suffer. The most successful programs have three things in common: they are effectively targeted, adequately funded and collaboratively operated.

"We are setting up shop in areas with the greatest need," says Molly Fisher, director of PEACE, "The local population really cares about their animals but just cannot afford to go to a vet for basic care, much less pay for a spay or neuter procedure."

Ayuda Los Animales, a non-profit organization (part of PEACE), has been operating in Nayarit for over five years. With the additional help of the state health department (Secretaria de Salud) in organizing clinics, they have been able to increase their results dramatically. Recently Molly was contacted by the Jalisco department of health (Secretaria de Salud) to start running spay/neuter programs in that state. Her record of success is well known. Since October 2006, over 2000 animals have been spayed or neutered.

"I am really excited about being able to start programs in Jalisco," say Molly, "We've grown so much in Nayarit and have been looking for the right people work with in Jalisco."

"This is such a pro-active approach to the animal overpopulation problem," says Laura Gelezunas, Jalisco PEACE volunteer, "In my opinion if we can prevent the births of so many animals, then we won't have to try and find homes for the unwanted puppies and kittens later. All the survivors will have a much better quality of life."

PEACE is well established in Nayarit, but a Jalisco chapter is lacking almost everything to make high-volume spay and neuter clinics happen. Currently, items are shared. The following is a partial inventory of supplies to make the M*A*S*H* unit possible in Jalisco, along with a brief explanation. Yes, the list is extensive, but once some of the items are procured, the rest is maintenance.

A covered trailer with a hitch would be ideal. That way a warehouse for supplies would not be needed to store all the items necessary to hold a clinic. Actually one is needed in Nayarit as well. If there is no trailer, supplies must be stored at someone's home or bodega and moved every time there is a clinic.

A truck and volunteer to transport clinic supplies from the bodega to the clinic site. Nayarit sometimes provides a truck, Jalisco does not. If there is a trailer, there's no need for this.

Clear plastic storage containers with lids and plastic chest of drawers so everything has a place and can be preserved during times of non-use.

A bullhorn or speaker system so the clinic can be announced throughout the colonia while driving through town, much like the gas man.

Tables for registration and pre-op procedures. These are plastic with legs that collapse. There should be at least three long ones.

A large digital scale is required to assess the animal's weight so the proper doses of anesthesia can be administered along with the correct amount of antibiotics, parasite meds and flea and tick treatment.

Stand alone collapsible tents or awnings, something that can be put up quickly to provide shade over the animals and volunteers working in registration, pre-op, and recovery areas. There is a need for at least four for Jalisco and Nayarit.

Pet crates, cages, Pet Taxis, etc. No matter what the brand name, these provide shelter for the animals before and after surgery. 15 small, 15 medium and 15 large should be in place before Jaisco clinics begin in earnest. There are none now.

All pets are registered and assigned a number. EJAY Bands Positive ID work perfectly and are only available in the U.S. Each animal is tracked throughout the clinic.

At least three stainless steel collapsible operating tables are needed in Jalisco. These are sold at Sam's Club and are typically for kitchens.

For excellent surgery preparation good clippers are needed along with #40 blades. These get rid of the hair for a more sterile surgery. It is not uncommon in Mexico to use a razor blade, but this is time consuming and does not do an effective job. Also needed are laryngoscopes so endotracheal tubes can easily be placed in the patients.

During surgery, Secretaria de Salud (Jalisco Department of Health) provides the injectable anesthesia, unsterile gauze, some syringes, gloves and scapel blades. The more sugeries, the more required. While the state provides some, it is not enough. An autoclave is needed on site at all clinics so the unsterile gauze, as well as surgery instruments and drape can be sterilized.

IV catheters (size #20-24 with a 1 1/4 needle) are needed along with catheter caps so that more meds can easily be administered if needed.

Surgical instruments are needed. You can actually order spay and neuter surgical packs on e-Bay! Just type in "spay neuter pack" in the search box.

Rolls of surgical drape and Hauk towels are required and are basically only available in the U.S. and Canada.

The recovery room requires a great deal of items. The list includes: stethoscopes, digital thermometers, a large portable clock with a second hand, fans, extension cords, blankets and sheets (these could come from local hotels), diapers and//or Chux pads. (Imagine 10 to 12 cats all taking a leak on a king-sized bed and you will smell the need for a diaper or Chux pad.) Plus it is just more sanitary for all involved. Interlocking rubber mats, at least two more sets, which serve as a floor, so recovery personnel and animals can remain comfortable.

We also need humane dog and cat traps so that we can capture as many ferals as possible. This is a huge part in controlling the overpopulation problem of cats and dogs.

Other miscellaneous items: anti-flea and tick meds (specifically Frontline), flea and tick spray, alcohol, tweezers to pick off ticks, surgical gloves, slip leads and collars and the list goes on and on.

For those vets out there, Ayuda Los Animales receives many requests from Mexican Veterinarians for vet books. They are searching specifically for those with drug descriptions (Plumb is well-liked) and books similar to The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult, by Tilley and Smith.

These items don't have to be new, just in good shape. If you are interested in donating or have any questions about the complete list of supplies, please contact Laura Gelezunas at
A Banderas Bay non-profit organization, PEACE acts as an umbrella organization for four charitable programs, Casa Comunidad, Ayuda Los Animales (Help The Animals), a Women's Co-Op (Manos de Mujeres Unidas) and Community Pride. It is a U.S. non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which accepts tax-deductible donations and a Mexican Civil Association that issues facturas for donations. For more information, please visit or click HERE to read more about PEACE

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