PUHI — More than 500 dogs and cats were sterilized during the six-day Mobile Animal Sterilization Clinic (MASH Clinic) at the Kauai Humane Society March 13-18.
“The volunteers who helped were amazing,” said Diann Hartman, president of the KHS board of directors. “Volunteers and donations are critical to the effort.”
Two veterinarians from the organization Animal Balance teamed with two veterinarians from KHS, alongside volunteers and technicians who helped at every level from check-in and pre-operation procedures, to post-op and recovery.
Together, they sterilized 529 cats and dogs.
While the Animal Balance team was on Hawaii Island Tuesday, they took time to reflect on the Kauai clinic, which was full of new steps for the team.
“We are delighted with the results of this life-saving spay and neuter campaign,” said Emma Clifford, founder and executive director of Animal Balance.
She continued: “The Molokai Humane Society flew in and formed the trapping team. Even with the relentless rain and flooding, we were still able to provide crucial free services to the community.”
The Animal Balance’s MASH Clinic is ultimately a community partnership, in which Animal Balance teams up with organizations like the Kauai Community Cat Project and KHS, to perform high-volume, high-quality sterilization surgeries.
The goal is to increase community involvement in the clinics and then transfer training and the workload to the community.
“Each time we bring fewer people, eventually resulting in a sustainable program that is run entirely by the community,” said Elsa Kohlbus, spokeswoman for Animal Balance.
In the September MASH Clinic, the first of two that have now happened on Kauai, 654 animals were sterilized and Animal Balance brought a team of five veterinarians to help with the task.
And though March’s numbers were lower than those in September, those involved in the project hail it a success.
“We are looking forward to returning in September for another series of campaigns, this time one week in the central area and one on the North Shore,” Clifford said.
To fund the March clinic, KHS secured a grant of $20,000 for medical supplies and preliminary costs in addition to medical supplies are around $19,000, Hartman said.
The goal is to raise enough money for the MASH Clinic to come back in September, and when it does the team will be able to refine their practices and come up with solutions like better organization for towel laundering.
“It makes for a chaotic week, but hopefully each time it is refined and runs smoother,” Hartman said.
Jessica Else is a staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 245-0452.