Return to Dahab, October 2018

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.

Karen

Cogges in Dahab – final day

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.
A
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.
A
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.
Karen

Karen & Lisa in Dahab – continued

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.
A
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
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.
A
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.
A
So the total so far is 48 neutered animals. Up early in the morning to start again.

Karen

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News from Karen & Lisa in Dahab – days 1 and 2

We arrived in Dahab on late on Monday night. We finally managed to get out of Sharm El Sheikh airport, but later than anyone else. Our luggage came under some serious scrutiny, but Lisa managed to charm us out of there. Her impressions of dog- and cat sounds, as well as her miming of surgery techniques – all this in an effort to explain what we were there for – really should have been recorded for a bigger audience. Unfortunately it just wasn’t the right time for getting out a camera.
I suspect the customs officials finally allowed us through because they just did not know what to do with us!
Tuesday morning we spent unpacking and setting up our surgery in the wet lab of the Marine Centre, kindly provided by Anna and her lovely partner.
AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!
Not only that, but we have plenty of space, and bricks were supplied for raising the table.
We have a lovely bunch of volunteers who do an amazing amount of work. They catch or collect all the animals, do the aftercare, feed us, make all the arrangements, help us in the surgery and even remove ticks from the dogs. And keep smiling.
On Tuesday afternoon we managed to neuter 6 animals and today we managed another 18. We also did a few consultations.
It is not all work though.  We stay in a lovely house on the beach, kindly lent to us by Axel. We even have our own coffee machine and 4 amazing dogs. So far I have met 2 cats – I am not sure if we have met all the inhabitants yet.
After work today we cycled back to the house and went snorkeling in the sea just outside the house. The most beautiful reefs in the world. Aren’t we the lucky ones!?
Karen

Dahab – the continuing story

We are still unable to go out to Dahab to neuter more animals due to the security situation in Egypt. The work of the charity , Animal Welfare Dahab, goes on. They are continuing their neutering program with the help of Dr Amira, the wonderful local vet.
She has worked hard with the charity and they managed to neuter and treat a large number of cats and dogs. AWD also helps finding homes for puppies and kittens and lost animals.
Amira

Dr Amira

In February Dr Amira and her assistant Mahmoud managed to neuter 8 male and 10 female dogs, as well as 9 male and 18 female cats.
We have managed to get a few supplies and some funding through so that they can continue their good work.The security situation has been a disaster for the local economy and this of course has an effect on the animals as well. Fewer tourists to provide support and a number of expats returning to their country of origin leaving more work for people left behind.
Yet nothing can stop AWD’s Karin and her crew! Well done.
Karen

Dahab – some photos

Here are some more photos we took during our work in Dahab in September – not all animal related.

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Dahab – retrospective

We’ve been home for a week now. Actually enjoying this weather – even the rain. Karen’s arm looks good and feels good. We think that the seawater helped the healing process.

The Dahab story continues; we are beginning to notice the impact that the Trap, Neuter, Release programme has on the animal population – especially the dogs. Often when we spot a dog, Karen or Lisa will exclaim: one of ours! The cat population still presents a huge problem. So we will be going back to Dahab next year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you for the support you have given us. As you may know, Cogges Veterinary Surgery is taking part in the ‘run or dye’ run at Cornbury Park on Saturday (26th Sep) and we have already collected more than £1,000! We will keep you posted about the equipment and materials we will buy for that money. Thank you.

Here are some more pictures, including some that I took last Wednesday, when I helped Lisa and Karen at the ‘surgery’.

Harry