Humane Society International—which has rooted itself in Haiti, working to develop infrastructure for animal welfare there since the earthquake rattled the nation in January—is launching an intensive spay/neuter training program for Haitian veterinarians at the Haiti Animal Care and Welfare Center in Croix-des-Bouquets.
“Upon Humane Society International’s arrival in Haiti, one need became immediately apparent: We need to address the country-wide street dog population,” said Christopher Broughton-Bossong, HSI’s Haiti program coordinator. “The suffering that is endured on the part of the animals and the health risks that are faced by the people that share common areas with these dogs are an issue, and we’re focused on helping local doctors address this problem.”
HSI has worked hand-in-hand with the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, local veterinarians and our partner groups, Best Friends Animal Society and Christian Veterinary Missions, to design and implement a program that would humanely address the country’s needs.
We have identified at least one clinically proficient veterinary representative from each of the 10 regional departments in the country to be our first-wave team of doctors who will begin to address the concerns related to street dog populations. Later, these veterinarians will administer spay/neuter clinics, and receive further training in disaster response.
At the week-long training beginning Monday, the identified veterinarians will learn how to implement field sterilization clinics, and how to track and document animals in each region who have been sterilized by the team—this information will facilitate a strategy for the implementation of future spay/neuter clinics.
Training will also address the role of spay and neuter programs in animal disease control and teach “best practice” surgical techniques. Participants will practice drills to erect, outfit and staff a smooth-running, high-volume field clinic.
The key to this project’s far-reaching impact and long-term sustainability is in designing an opportunity for Haitian veterinarians to advance their skills and clinical knowledge while playing a key role in improving the overall public health and animal welfare of their country. HSI is proud to be able to play a role in providing a chance to this team of veterinarians, to advance their skills, and help their homeland at the same time.
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