Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spay day initiatives 2010

After introducing TNR ? Trap Neuter Return ? to Lebanon in 2008, we thought it was going to be something very difficult to get people to understand and accept.  But after two years, 50,000 flyers and other forms of awareness, people have not only accepted it but have joined efforts.

Every year, the last Tuesday in February is recognized as ?Spay Day International.?  Animals Lebanon had special projects throughout February in recognition of Spay Day and to promote the importance of spaying and neutering cats and dogs in Lebanon.

There are thousands and thousands of cats and dogs trying to survive on the streets, and Spay Day International is a perfect opportunity to start to tackle this enormous problem.

Dr. Shirley Hendrick, a vet from Holland, donated her time as she came to Lebanon for a week.  Under an agreement with the Lebanese Veterinary Syndicate, Dr. Hendrick came to help spay and neuter stray cats and dogs, as well as work with local vets and vet students to share expertise and experiences.  It was great to see how eager and interested the vet students were as they assisted during the surgeries each day.

In just six days we were able to safely spay and neuter 188 cats and dogs.  This helped solve the problem of cats on a local school campus as the faculty worked with us to make sure the colony of cats living there was properly managed.  There are many people caring for cats, but unfortunately these good intentions sometimes result in hoarding situations.  People try to help as many animals as they can, but soon find themselves overwhelmed with animals and not being able to care for them.

The media in Lebanon has started to recognize that this is an issue the public cares about, and television crews, newspapers and radio stations covered our work. The Well Spring school invited Animals Lebanon to give a presentation about 'Animal welfare and Spaying/Neutering'

Our TNR program was introduced just 18 months ago, but what at first seemed like a very strange idea to most Lebanese is now making a real change.  Thanks to a grant from the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the expertise of Dr. Hendrick, and everyone in Lebanon who took part, Spay Day 2010 was great.

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