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Field Notes from Alaska--Day 4

From St. Lawrence Island back to Nome

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 27 - Day 4

Last night we ended up with a half dozen spays, mostly of indoor/outdoor dogs. This morning we had one major surgery to remove a huge fatty tumor from a husky mixed dog. She had already been spayed but this tumor was grapefruit sized and was causing some discomfort behind her right leg.

We also did home visits for a puppy with a broken leg and visited a dog man who has between 30-50 dogs and we left him with wormer for them all and confirmed that they have been vaccinated.

Saint Lawrence Island is a privately held sovereign nation made up of the villages of Gambell and Savoonga. Between the two villages with just over 1,000 people, we've vaccinated, spayed, neutered, wormed or evaluated several hundred animals—including, dogs, cats and a parakeet.

We take the six person prop plane flight back to Nome for a rabies clinic tonight and an all-day spay clinic tomorrow. We already have appointments for a few dozen dog surgeries and a tumor inspection on a reindeer. Who knows what else we might see!

Yesterday we spayed the Gambell mayor's dog and got a great history lesson of the town, its people and its animals. Everyone from the schools (we slept on the library floor last night) to the police department where we held today's clinic have been wonderful. We're in the school right now to give another presentation to several science classes. I have to run as one starts in two minutes.