During June, 2011, Belize’s Institute for Sustainable and International Studies (ISIS) organized three low cost spay and neuter clinics for animals across Belize. Two ISIS veterinarians, Dr. Edwardo Tesecum and Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, along with visiting ISIS veterinary faculty, Dr. Emma Gardner and Dr. Kirstin Bubeck of Tufts University, supervised the work on the animals. The clinics, in Belmopan, Bullet Tree Falls and Sarteneja were a win-win for the local communities and students from ISIS. Animal Science students who came from Veterinary schools and Universities across the U.S. and Canada to participate in the ISIS four week animal science program in Belize. The students’ fees help fund the clinic work and they get field experience working with the vets.

The Belmopan clinic was co-sponsored by the Belmopan Humane Society (BHS) and ISIS. In this clinic, BHS and ISIS faculty and students provided spay and neuter surgery to eight cats and eight dogs. Lily Morrison of BHS praised Dr. Tesecum’s ongoing support of BHS spay and neuter clinics, suggesting they’ve made a noticeable reduction in the local stray animal population. The annual Bullet Tree Falls spay and neuter clinic, organized by Dr. Tesecum, with help from the San Ignacio Humane Society, saw twenty five animals spayed or neutered and over one hundred de-worming treatments. The last clinic, in rural Sarteneja, was organized by Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand and attended by local veterinarian Dr. Baptist, as well as Dr. Tesecum, and the visiting ISIS vets. In all, thirteen spay or neuter surgeries were performed by the five vets and fourteen ISIS Animal Science students. The ISIS group also provided ten free consultations for a range of cases, including highly prevalent Transmissible Venereal Tumors (TVT), which are easy, but expensive treatments.

All told, ISIS veterinarians and Animal Science students treated over one hundred cats and dogs in Belize through the June ISIS spay and neuter clinics. A new group of ISIS students will continue their work in July.

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