The Waterford Community Service project, AWARE (Animal Welfare and Rabies Education), along with the Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS) and a Pigg’s Peak based NGO ran a free sterilization clinic for dogs and cats at the Ndladlambi Primary School over midterm break.
Setting a record of 67 animals in surgery and 83 medically examined, the volunteers were finally able to relax after a day of exhausting work. Because of the hard work and commitment of the volunteers, the animals were sterilized thus preventing the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens in the future. From dashing from the pre-op clinic to the surgical room where the ‘magic’ happened, not a single breath was taken as each volunteer struggled to keep up with the fast-moving operation.
All the pets were vaccinated against rabies, dewormed and finally sent home, still drowsy from the anesthetic, back to their owners. The Recovery Unit was efficiently managed by Ms Elizabeth Cummergen and Mrs Joanne de Koning who made sure that all the dogs and cats received all the attention required before being sent home with their owners. The Anesthetic Room was ran by ElShaddai Phiri (IB1) and Sarvesh Nyachhyon (IB1) - meaning they were lucky enough to carry the heaviest dogs to and from the operating room. In the Pre-op check, Waterford volunteer Abbey Christ-Rowling (IB1) was a force to be reckoned with as she battled with cheeky cats desperate to escape from her grasp. Special mention must be made of the youngest member of the team – Kandi Grey (Form 5) who was volunteering at her 4th Spay Clinic and who was a huge assistance in every area in which she took control with confidence and efficiency.
Everyone was brilliant! An integral part of the day was making sure that the animals in the Recovery Unit were stable and that meant taking their temperature, their pulse as well as administering injections when needed. We all worked well into the night despite our exhaustion and were rewarded with a sense of enormous satisfaction as well as a hot plate of delicious spaghetti. Special thanks go to Mrs. Joanne de Koning who worked without pause making everyone else wonder if she were human at all; Kathy Gau (CEO of Vusumnotfo) - the mastermind behind the entire operation; Margaret Dean-Smith and Hilary Hague and the SAWs team who made sure that everything ran smoothly; Waterford Alumna, Megan de Koning (WK2013) who tirelessly ran around making sure that each dog and cat was safely delivered into their respective owner’s arms as well as the Vets who had to operate on what seemed like one animal every five minutes. Without these people, we would not have accomplished what we did, and they were the glue that held our entire operation together. Thank you for the busiest, yet most enlightening UWC experience thus far.
N.B. Article by Lisa Kisyeri (IB1)