This past week has been fairly busy with the usual new arrivals etc. Myself and the volunteer vet, Sally were told by a staff member that a litter of puppies had been dumped down the road. We went off to find them, and found 5 skinny little pups about 4 weeks old. They were most likely from a pet dog, and have been dumped as the owners dont want to deal with them. That’s sadly how most street dogs come to be, dumped litters. Anyway they are back at the sanctuary, being fed up and loved. There are 2 boys named Pepper and Radish and 3 girls called Satsuma, Melon and Plum.
We also had a pet dog brought to us one afternoon. A labrador cross who was clearly a cared for pet. He had collapsed and was breathing heavily and the owners brought him to us. Sadly it became apparent that the dog had been poisoned and there was nothing that we could do other than make him comfortable. He passed away through the night having never regained consciousness. The owner was fairly sure it was a neighbour who set down poison as the dog could be aggressive (which is what everyone wants here, an aggressive guard dog) and the neighbours didn’t like him. Its such a shame to know someone actively wanted to kill this dog. The owner was quite upset.
Over the weekend myself, our resident vet and 3 staff members went to an army Commando training camp in order to do an outreach programme. The camp base had around 300 stray dogs living in and around it who continually breed. We had been asked to help spay and castrate as many dogs as we could over the weekend. In total we only managed 25, but considering the camp was 400 acres and we had to find, and then catch the dogs before operating, I think we did quite well! We will hopefully go back again in a few months to do some more. The army were very accomodating and were really pleased for our help. The camp Commander even thanked me personally for organising a team and bringing them to the camp and he gave me a wooden carved elephant as a token of thanks. Myself, the vet and the vet nurse also got to plant commemorative trees which will have a plaque with our names on them, so a bit of me will always be in Sri Lanka!
As well as operating on the dogs, we were on the look out for any sick or injured dogs that would need to come back to the sanctuary. We ended up bringing back 2 pups that were quite sickly and weak, who have been named Sergent and Major. Sergent has Babesia, as well as being thin, and Major is just needing some TLC. We also brought back a pregnant girl who has a TVT (a form of cancerous tumor that forms in the genitals. It is 100% curable with treatment with something called Vincristine). She has been named Army Mum for the time being. We have delayed her treatment for the TVT until after she has her pups as the tumour isn’t too advanced and she is a fair way through her pregnancy.
There were also some quite exciting, non work related, highlights of the weekend. Firstly, my accommodation was amazing! It was a little bedroom/bathroom jungle cave type thing that was right next to a beautiful river.
I also got to see some wildlife. I saw a star tortoise, a lizard, some birds and most exciting of all…..
Not safari park or zoo elephants, but proper wild elephants. I was so happy.
It was a brilliant weekend, and not something I would ever have expected to experience while I was out here, but I am so glad I got too, and hopefully I’ll get to do other exciting things!