Today, Heng and I went out and visited seven local Pagodas to do a head count and see how many animals have been desexed in each. We will be posting about each Pagoda and publishing all the photos of the animals who we met. The idea is to share what we have found so that other organisations can see where we are going and who we are planning to desex, vaccinate for rabies, deworm, and give anti-parasite treatment to with our collaborative group. The animals will also be microchipped, and all their data will go onto the PassPet App where we can see the animals in real time and with Geolocation. This post is all about Wat Thann Pagoda Phnom Penh where we saw 38+ animals who haven’t been desexed yet.
Wat Thann Pagoda Phnom Penh
Our goal is to move forward with complete transparency and put all our actions into the public domain. So we visited seven Phnom Penh Pagodas today to record all the animals who haven’t been desexed yet and plan to visit the other Pagodas over the next few weeks too. If we show who hasn’t been helped yet, then we can at least show our intention to help them and then if any other organisation has a plan in place to desex and treat the many animals we saw, then we can work together to achieve it in the quickest safest time possible. It makes no sense to spend a year or more to spay/neuter a single Pagoda when we can work together and do it in two days with the added support of the local monks and residents. It doesn’t take this long to build local relations, and there has to be a point where we take action.
Working With Locals
We literally had locals hand us animals and ask us to take them away. They know us, they know what we are there to do, and they want our help. Seeing 38 animals who haven’t been desexed yet (and knowing that there are even more around the Pagoda) really put things into perspective for us. I was so shocked to see so many animals who weren’t doing that great and sad that we can’t get things going faster to help them. We heard about how Maatch the cat lady is still having to deal with constant cycles of death with her kittens and now puppies too. This can be avoided if the animals in the Pagoda are systematically desexed in a short period. Doing them in small groups, over twelve months and longer leaves the others open to breeding, and we just keep seeing it happen.
We have an opportunity to desex and treat this entire Pagoda in a couple of days if we can get enough people and organisations to do it together. It is not up to one person or one organisation to try to solve this problem, and with all our resources combined, we can do so much more, and do it so much better. If one organisation is doing their best but struggling to get the job done effectively, then they can reach out to the other groups who can help and ask them for advice and help.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Collaborate?
We have to ask this question. What are the reasons behind a lack of collaboration or cooperation? Why ask for cooperation but not cooperate when it is offered on a platter? I just don’t have the answers; it doesn’t make sense to me. We don’t have to be friends to work together. This week has seen us open up and propose a completely collaborative and cooperative approach, yet the response has not been positive for everyone. I am, however, very happy to report that we do have local animal organisations onboard, though, as well as individuals, businesses, and many locals.
Everything we did on our spay mission last week was fully supported by local people who go to the pagodas every day to feed the animals and care for them, the local residents, and the local monks. We desexed, vaccinated, treated, and microchipped one full Pagoda (and most of another) and now only have to keep up with new animals being abandoned or brought there. Those cats will not breed now, and they won’t have kittens who we have to watch suffer and die . During the event, all 77 animals survived, and there were no infections or complications during or post surgery thanks to the expertise of volunteer Vet, Dr Genevieve and all the professional staff involved.
Here are the links to find out more about the organisations who are working to make this collaboration happen:
Animal Mama – www.animal-mama.com
Chamnan Veterinary Clinic – https://www.facebook.com/ChamnanVeterinaryClinic/
PPAWS – http://www.ppaws.com
Epic Animal Quest – https://www.facebook.com/epicanimalquest/
We can’t link to everyone who is volunteering but thank you so much to Lucy, Heng, Christine, Shalma, and Shane, and of course, all the individuals and team members who are part of each organisation.
Wat Thann Pagoda
So now we are faced with at least 38 animals at Wat Thann who need desexing and treatments. If we all worked together, this really could be solved by the weekend! Because there are only a handful of people, businesses and organisations willing to coordinate and collaborate – and seriously do both of those things not just pay lip service to them – this time scale is going to be dragged out. That said, it won’t take a year or more! When we get to March, we have extra Vets being available every week, and we are going to work together with anyone who wants to work systematically through every Pagoda in Phnom Penh and help the animals you see in the pictures here.
These animals aren’t numbers or statistics; they are real lives. Their lives are entwined with those of the people who live there, and they are the ones who have to deal with the grief and loss on an almost daily basis. Please take a look at these faces and understand why our group are so passionate and impatient about solving the problem for them and avoiding future unnecessary suffering. See their photos here.
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