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Field Notes from Alaska--Day 2

From chaos to calm

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Dr. Jayne performs spay surgery on this little dog. Dave Pauli/HSUS

  • These children and their puppy attended one of the animal wellness clinics. Dave Pauli/HSUS

  • These dogs are recuperating after spay/neuter surgeries. Dave Pauli/HSUS

  • These little girls were interested in what was going on around them at the animal wellness clinic. Dave Pauli/HSUS

  • Their families brought these dogs to be checked out the Dr. Jayne and HSUS staff. Dave Pauli/HSUS

Check out Dave Pauli's report on the trip below.

For the past six years, staff from the Western Regional Office has headed north to Alaska to help run animal wellness clinics, offering spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, and wound treatment.

We also talk to students about animal care and careers. We work with Alaskan veterinarian, Erit Jayne of Veterinary Visions, often the only DVM to visit many coastal, north slope and interior villages on a periodic basis.

We were eager to help out this go-round when Dr Jayne asked us to sponsor trips to the coastal villages of Nome, Savaggoon, and Gambell.

August 25 - Day 2

Monday started off chaotic and ended up sublime. After our flight was cancelled, we scrambled to get a last minute clinic arranged for 4 p.m. in the fishing village of Teller, Alaska, about 65 miles from Nome. It took us a while, but finally at about 1:30 p.m. we found a local large equipment shop that agreed to rent us his truck. We got into the village at 3:30 p.m. and had the clinic set up in the old tribal bingo hall by 4.p.m.

With no running water we hauled a five gallon bucket to the room for washing equipment. In the next four hours we spayed 11 female dogs, 1 female cat and neutered three male dogs—15 surgeries altogether. We vaccinated another 20 animals for rabies, distemper or both. Some additional animals were evaluated for old injuries or conditions. The dogs were in good body condition. Half the females were pregnant.