August 26, 2009
Field Notes from Alaska--Day 3
Going door to door
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 26 - Day 3
We got to the Nome airport and took a flight in a six passenger prop plane to Gambell and immediately took off again for Savoonga. Upon arriving, we gave two presentations during the day to about 90 students and teachers. Dr Jayne is amazing at engaging youth. In each class he recruited six students to come up and try some basic veterinary care. The entire class got involved.
Then we went and set up the clinic. This is the first time a spay clinic has been held here in at least 13 years. The locals didn't know what it was about or why they should spay. We did see one dog for surgery and a half dozen for wound inspection as well as a parakeet. So to educate residents, we went door to door offering tape worm medications to people with dogs in their yards. We treated about 30 dogs for tapeworms.
Thursday we fly to Gambell where we don't know what to expect and then Friday to Nome where we have about 40 spays scheduled.