My volunteering experience
As I rode my bike, I thought about where I was going. I was going to the only veterinarian clinic in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. When it gets a significant amount of donations, they run a free spade and neuter clinic for the overwhelming population of dogs and cats on this small, five-mile-long island. It has only one doctor and four assistants, so they ask for volunteers for these huge clinics. Although I really did want to help out, I was dreading the thought of seeing blood or animals that may be hurting. But I pushed those thoughts to the back of my head and moved forward.
I parked my bike outside of the clinic. The entrance volunteers sat at a table in front. They took in the animals and wrote down the important information. I walked to the back where recovery was. It was only the first hour of the day and there were already five cats lined up in recovery. They were lined up in a row, still under anesthesia, eyes wide open as if in everlasting shock. It was somewhat creepy with their never blinking eyes. But I was assured that when they are first put under anesthesia, their eyes are rubbed with an ointment so they do not dry out during the process. As I was helping in recovery, I got a BIG SURPRISE!
A volunteer, working in the surgery room, asked me to come into the operating room as she needed assistance. I said, “Yes," and followed her into the surgery room. I was given a pair of gloves and a surgical mask. I was a little scared of what I might see, but I stood my ground. The doctor then came in and set a cat on the table which had just been put under anesthesia. He then laid out the medical instruments he was planning to use. I was told to tie down the cat just in case it woke up. Then he started the operation. I felt not uncomfortable but good. I felt like this was a part of life. Doing this helped me view life better. I understood animals more, too, and after an operation on a dog or cat, you feel like you know a whole lot more and are really making a difference.
The clinic successfully operated on 163 animals that week. This will help to control the animal population on this island immensely. I learned that one female cat and her offspring, if not spade, can produce 420,000 cats in only 7 years and one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in only 6 years! By controlling the animal population we are able to ensure that there are not unwanted animals that become neglected, sick, and hungry. They are currently raising money now hoping to have yet another week long clinic in April.
I am looking forward to giving my time and learning even more.