Many thanks to Anna and her husband for supplying the room to work in. Very luxurious. Also thanks to Karin and Nousa, the souls of Animal Welfare Dahab. These people work day in day out looking after the dogs and cats of Dahab. They are truly amazing. Dr Amira, the local Egyptian vet also gives her services throughout the year. And then there are the numerous helpers who bring in cats and dogs for us to neuter or treat. Thank you. We walk away and you just carry on!
It is always rewarding to meet our patients on the street. Leany, a dog we castrated about 5 years ago is still hanging around the best restaurants.
Getting ready to leave
Two days after castration and amputating this dog’s tail we met him back on the beach. Happy as Larry and with no bad feelings toward us.
We also met some of the cats on a walk. We ear tip so that they are easily recognizable as having been neutered. Their clipping in the flank is also clearly visible. The dogs are given a microchip as identification.
This is our 7th visit to Dahab as part of the TNR (trap,neuter and release) programme of Animal Welfare Dahab.
Today we neutered our 400th animal as part of these projects. (That is over the 7 trips and not as Lisa’s daughter thought – all in one day. She is very proud of her mother!).
Hopefully we have had some effect on the health and well being of these animals. The number of dogs seem to have diminished, but the cat population seems unaltered. We console ourselves with the thought that we have improved the lives of some of the individuals.
We have also amputated a few legs and tails, fixed a few wounds, extracted a few teeth, fixed a few hernias. We also met some dedicated animal friends.
Lisa and I are back in Dahab, Egypt, for another TNR programme. We are working with Animal Welfare Dahab, who do all the preparation and catching/collecting and returning of the animals. This time we have teamed up with a lovely vet from Italy.
Today we neutered 14 animals – a good start.
We are working in a room loaned to us by the new Pet Hotel. A very exciting feature in the room is AIR CONDITIONING. Lovely for us but also nice for the cats and dogs. But to be fair, mainly great for us.
Walking to work
…what’s on top of those stairs?
The Italian delegation
Catch of the day
It is not all work. After work we went snorkelling in the magnificent Red Sea. We did our bit for the environment and collected as much plastic as we could. I don’t think that the environment noticed but it made us feel a bit better.
Thank you for all your donations which have trickled in over the past year. I have forwarded the money to Animal Welfare Dahab. Every penny is spent on neutering and treating the animals here, mainly street dogs and cats. As usual Cogges Vets has donated time and drugs and equipment. We believe that this is a very good cause and that we can make a difference.
One of the reasons for returning to Dahab last month was to help a Saluki-type dog who had been suffering with complications after fracturing bones in a front leg. The injury occurred a few months ago and a very kind Egyptian lady and her husband had taken him in and cared for him.
Fracture repair in Dahab is not easy. Radiography is basic and apart from casting and resting, other procedures such as pinning, external fixation or plating are non existent We are always reminded during these visits about how fortunate we are back home.
The dog was unable to use the left foreleg which had actually become a hindrance. Seeing him I was reminded of my grandfather who had a paralysed arm after a stroke and frequently complained of the dead weight of this arm.
Karin of Animal Welfare Dahab had asked if we could amputate the leg. After examining the dog we decided that this was indeed the best option. The procedure can take quite a bit of time and without gas anaesthesia or our full arsenal of painkillers we set to work. Lisa did her magic with the drugs available including local anaesthesia and the surgery went well.
Visiting the dog 2 days later was a joy – he was desperate to go for a walk on the beach and looked so much happier and comfortable. It felt really good!
Thank you to all the people who support us back home and also thank you to Karin and the people who help her at Animal Welfare Dahab. Also thanks to Dr Amira for letting us use all her equipment and premises and for assisting us during the operation.
On Monday Lisa and I attended a meeting organised by Animal Welfare Dahab (AWD) and their supporters, to present the new mayor of Dahab, General Tarek, their vision of how to approach the stray dog and cat population in the town.
They had managed to persuade the authorities to temporarily stop the random poisoning of street dogs, and needed to get the new mayor on board to stop this permanently, and offer an alternative plan.
All the important people attended.
The mayor, the chief vet for the South Sinai, and the local state vet were all there.
Also present was Dr Amira, who is a local vet and a great help to AWD.
Then there were various officials, a representative of the Bedouin, AWD, the Dutch NGO Stichting Zwerfdieren Dahab, and a few local supporters.
Michel (from Stichting Zwerfdieren Dahab) had prepared an excellent power-point presentation which was very successful. He managed to swing the mayor’s opinion away from basically locking all street dogs in compounds. Instead the Trap, Neuter, Release program (TNR) will be allowed to continue and a government assisted tagging system of privately owned dogs will begin.
We are very grateful that the mayor has accepted this approach to the problem.
Since the first TNR project in 2010 the street dog population has decreased by almost 50%. AWD has neutered and vaccinated over 500 dogs and local AWD supporters monitor the dogs in their areas.
We are proud to be part of the solution to a very complex problem.
Our last day! The week has flown by. We had a shorter day today as we had to clear up as well. Managed to neuter 12 animals bringing our total to 76 – quite a good result as we were expected to do 50. All in all a very successful TNR.
Karin arranged a lovely end of TNR celebration at her home up in the mountains. Great food and lovely, interesting company. A really amazing bunch of people from all over the world who do so much for the welfare of animals – warms the soul.
Without all these volunteers there would be no TNR, and Dahab would be a very sad place for cats and dogs.
Now we just disappear into the sky and the work of Animal Welfare Dahab continues, day in, day out. A big thank you to all of the volunteers and also to the people in England who have given donations and support. Thank you also to Karin, Anna as José for organizing everything and to Axel for lending us his lovely house. Also a big thank you to the staff at Cogges Vets who have to work much harder while we are away – we thought of you lot every time we dived into the ocean or sat at a beach cafe! A very big thank you to Paul for donating the x-ray machine. It was great fun bringing that into the country. Everyone here is very excited about the possibilities.
Today we took a break in the morning and went for a dive.
Well, Lisa dived and I was dragged along the reefs by Marlies, the most amazing dive instructor in the world. She could persuade anyone that they could do it.
The reefs around here are stunning.
Before leaving for our dive we had a cup of coffee at a cafe on the beachfront (yes, life is hard) and were amazed by the appearance of a dog that you will all remember from a previous TNR, Leany. Leany is the dog who met us in the desert post surgery, wearing his buster collar, after someone had let him out of his overnight abode. We were totally amazed that he recognized us and came running to join us and leaned against Lisa and put his foot up on my leg. Later in the day he joined us again at a different site. Lisa now thinks that he wants to come with us to England but I think that he is a genuine beach bum and Oxfordshire is a bit short on beaches. These dogs are so wonderful and so devoted and intelligent. Leany is also truly special.
We were also joined at lunch by a cat with an ear that had been tipped – one of our previous patients. What a forgiving gang!
A lovely French lady brought a cat in for neutering and told us that Tripod, the 3 legged cat who initially inspired us to do work out here, is alive and well and fat and lives in her house. Lovely to see and hear that a lot of our patients are surviving and even thriving.
We spent the afternoon neutering. We were joined by Dr. Amira with one of her patients. Amira wanted to learn how to remove an undescended testicle (which her patient had). She is always trying to improve her skills and opportunities for continuing professional development are hard to find out here.
So the total so far is 48 neutered animals. Up early in the morning to start again.
Joining us for lunch: Lisa with the ear-tipped cat we’d seen on our previous visit
Chilling after a long day of prowling
Leany. Back among friends
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