We can’t tell you how happy we are to be posting this tonight! Yesterday evening we got a message saying that we had an opportunity to get involved with Animal Mama and visiting volunteer vet, Dr Genevieve (from Dyreklinikken På Værnedamsvej – Lechicdog.com), in a four day Pagoda Spay Mission. So we headed out right away with our friend and animal activist Heng Ann, and met with some locals at Wat Toul Tom Pong (a Pagoda in Phnom Penh) and gathered 20 cats. One lady feeds the animals there every evening, and she was amazing at gathering them together. It took two tuk-tuk trips, but we got them all safely back to Animal Mama Veterinary Hospital & Pet Wellness Center who made them comfortable ready for surgery the next day. Phnom Penh Pagoda Mission – Day 1.
Phnom Penh Pagoda Mission – Day 1
Today has been incredible. We have seen a great team perform surgery and treatments on twenty cats and more volunteers came together to make the day a success. Locals and monks at the Pagodas helping get the cats together, volunteer vets and assistants, business owners and scientists helping with all the logistics at the clinic, our own social enterprise Epic Animal Quest, a tuk-tuk driver, all these people have been brought together by another social enterprise, Animal Mama Veterinary Hospital & Pet Wellness Center who facilitated and made all this happen. Guess who made the introductions and instigated this initiative? Dr Lucy Haurisa of course! Haha!
Dr Genevieve and the team were so efficient that we had to go and get more cats from Wat Toul Tom Pong to keep them in work! Tomorrow, we have another twenty cats ready for treatments and surgery which will mean forty cats will be desexed, microchipped (with all details stored on the Animal Mama app including Geolocation), vaccinated, dewormed, and given anti-parasite treatment by the end of the day. With two more days after that, we can literally desex another complete Pagoda or two!
Our two little monkeys came along to snuggle up with the resident cats and had a great time in the infamous Animal Mama cat room!
Tonight, Heng was awesome and managed to wrangle many cats! It was a real team effort, and at one point we had eight people helping to gather a further seven of them. Heng got one more, but we checked, and Animal Mama had already desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, dewormed, and given anti-parasite treatment, so we let her go again.
With Wat Toul Tom Pong empty of cats because we are spaying them all LOL, we had to visit some other Pagodas – including Wat Thann and Wat Moha Montrei – that have many animals in need and we linked up with more local people to arrange to meet them at feeding times to get the next patients with as little stress as possible.
Now we only have to get another four elusive cats from Wat Toul Tom Pong and then Animal Mama and Dr Genevieve will have completely treated all the cats in the entire Pagoda! In just two days! I can’t stress how awesome this is and it really shows what can be achieved with collaborations like this. If we could carry on like this (and even have a few days off) we could literally desex and treat every Pagoda in the city in less than four months!!!
If all this isn’t amazing enough, this is the Pagoda where Ouk Ouk the Pig lives, and she is now much more comfortable thanks to them.
I will be writing a pretty lengthy account of the work we’ve been involved with at the Pagodas since we arrived in Cambodia last year, and will give our perspective on the problems, what’s being done to tackle them – the positives and the negatives – and some different solutions including examples of people who are doing some amazing work in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
But for now, we will post lots of photos, videos, and short blog posts over the next four days to show what can be achieved when social enterprise combines with community action to help the animals and make a real difference.
This is something we have been very passionate about and are so excited to be a part of it all. Thank you to everyone who is making it happen!
You can see lots of pictures on our Facebook page here