Joye Sears, left, and Tiffany Purdy have helped a lot of local animals, such as Thibault the Chihuahua, and will soon be heading to Mexico to volunteer their time at a spay-neuter clinic. PHOTO BY LYNN CURWIN
TRURO - A couple of young women from the Truro area will soon be heading south but not for rest and relaxation.
Tiffany Purdy, a veterinary technician at Fundy Veterinarians, and Joye Sears, a veterinary technician at Truro Veterinary Hospital, are going to be working 12 to 14 hour days as volunteers at a spay-neuter clinic in Mexico.
“I heard about it through a friend who is a technician in Alberta,” said Sears. “She had information on Facebook. The organization we’re working with is Cats and Dogs International, known as CANDi.”
The team will consist of 12 veterinarians, 12 veterinary technicians and 12 other volunteers and the goal is to perform surgery on 150 animals a day during a five-day period. They leave for Cancun on Nov. 30.
“We pay our own costs for our flight, hotel, transportation and food,” said Purdy. “Industry reps have donated some supplies and we’re trying to raise some money to help buy things that are needed to help the animals in Mexico. Money buys more there so donations can help a lot.”
They will be taking items such as masks, gloves, IV catheters, dewormers and other medications with them, but much more is needed.
Sears went to Guatemala with Vets Without Borders in 2010. Working in the mountains, they were performing spays and neuters in cold temperatures. This time she will be battling heat while working.
“It’s hard to go from such high quality to something like an assembly line,” she said. “There’s no monitoring other than a stethoscope.
“We really don’t realize how much we have and how well our animals are cared for here. Emaciation and overpopulation are major problems in some countries and we have a responsibility to help if we are able.”
To date, CANDi has sterilized more than 6,500 cats and dogs at their its clinics.
“Teaching people about proper care is also part of what we’re doing,” said Purdy. “We want the people there to understand the importance of spaying and neutering and to know how to care for their animals.”
The volunteers will have one day off during their trip. Purdy and Sears think that they will be so tired they will simply want to rest- hopefully in the sun.
The women are very appreciative of the support from both Fundy Veterinarians and Truro Veterinary Hospital, who have helped with supplies and allowed them to take time off work. Anyone interested in donating to the spay-neuter clinic can contact the women through their work places.
More information on CANDi can be found online at http://www.candiinternational.org/