January - June 2011
SENEGAMBIA HOTEL AND ABUKO HOST GambiCats' ELEVENTH CLINIC
We realised a long-standing dream when we were offered clinic space at Senegambia Hotel by General Manager, Buna Njie. This is a busy area with pots of stray cats and dogs on the beach, in the hotels and restaurants, and on the road. A great opportunity to neuter, treat for fleas and worms, and also give rabies vaccinations. The rooms, currently being used for storage were perfect; light, easy to clean, with plenty of shady space outside for animals and people.
Siri Ram, from the hotel, organised the
preparation of the rooms and a fridge for the medicines; Dodou, Alajie and Abou
then brought allour equipment - cages, 3 trunks of supplies from the Brikama
clinic plus boxes of materials donated by vets and individuals in the UK,
leads, muzzles, etc.
Rob and Yvonne, and their son Niels and his wife Danielle, arrived on April 15. This would be Rob & Yvonne's 4th clinic, Niels' third, and Danielle's first visit to The Gambia. They had also brought more supplies from the Netherlands including a new autoclave generously donated by Dr Jos Meyer.
April 17th saw the doors opening on GambiCats' eleventh neutering clinic. After a slow start with some owners wanting their dogs given rabies vaccinations but not neutering. However once we started catching stray dogs and trapping hotel cats the pace increased and we worked flat out for 5 and a half days. On his last day Niels worked a full day despite a 9.30 evening flight!
British supporters brought in a mother cat was caught with 6 kittens near Seaview hotel. The kittens were old enough for her to be neutered. She was then looked after in a hotel room while homes were found for her and the kittens. Her 7th kitten was found on the beach having been alone for 2 days and was re-united with his family!
The following week we moved the clinic to Abuko where we worked 3 long days. We met Oumie Sahor who has helped us on several visits and who has supervised the improvements at the clinic. Dr Sherifo Bojang, who helped us at the Brikama clinic and now has a senior position in the Government, visited. We also met 3 vets who work for the Department, Drs Toba and Adegboye from Nigeria and Dr Jobe from The Gambia.
Another new friend was an English lady, Sandra, who has lived in the Gambia for many years in a village by the river. Apart from keeping the village health centre running, Sandra also looks after the local cats and had neutered some 40 of them already. We helped to spay the remaining 20 females so that Sandra can keep up with future neutering!
Yvonne worked very hard assisting Rob and so many animals arrived that we had to put up Clinic Full sign by 12 each day!
Several GambiCats' supporters came to help including Christine and Rod, Julie Liley and Lynn Dean (CP Cambridge branch). Local vet Micha Meier lent us his tattoo equipment and his assistant Fatou showed us how to use it. Dodou did the first ear tattoo. We are deciding whether to use it in future instead of microchipping on stray dogs which we neuter. It doesn't provide a good means of identification until dogs are actually caught so we may continue to make an ear notch as well.
RESULTS: Dogs - 22 females and 41 males neutered. Cats - 18 males and 25 females neutered. GRAND TOTAL 106 animals neutered.
Also 16 dogs and 3 cats already neutered were given rabies vaccinations, and about 6 other cats and dogs were given treatment for skin problems, mango worms and wounds.
Thank you to everyone who gave so much support especially Rob, Niels & Yvonne: also Buna Njie, Siri Ram and staff at the Senegambia Hotel; Dr Daffeh, Oumie, Foday and staff at Abuko; Julie at Luigi's Complex for free accomodation; all the GambiCats' supporters; local vets Drs Ceesay and Meier;and of course Dodou, Alajie and Abou.
Following the clinic we are re-stocking and are
in desperate need of more dog collars and leads. They can be second-hand
and vets are sometimes able to donate these. We use these all year round to
encourage Gambian owners to keep their dogs under control and not roaming the
We also need more worm and flea treatments
AUTOCLAVE DONATED BY SUPPORTERS
We were very grateful to Lesley and Chris who donated a portable autoclave which has been given to the clinic at Abuko.
NEUTERING FIGURES FOR 2010
Dodou, Aljie and Abou worked hard during the year and the total numbers of animals neutered were 199 cats and 47 dogs. In addition many dogs were treated for skin problems, and our usual programme of flea and worm treatments continued.
FEEDING NEEDED MORE THAN EVER
We have needed to supplement the feeding of cats for longer periods than the 6 months rainy season during 2010. For example the Kombo Beach hotel where GambiCats provided food at the Cat cafe for the whole year! Other hotels where food was provided for more than 6 months include Palm Beach, Badala Park, Bakotu, Mansea and others. We have not been able to persuade other hotels to set up cat cafes or feed their neutered colonies, and tourists are not providing reliable supplies even during the season.
During 2010 GambiCats spent around 73,000.00 dalasi / £1825 on feeding
Just as Dodou was getting used to the donated laptop it was stolen from the GambiCats' car! Rob generously donated another laptop in April and Dodou is now getting to know how this one works.
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT, PHOTOS, DONATIONS AND ENCOURAGING MESSAGES - KEEP THEM COMING! DO VISIT THE WEBSITE WHERE THE PHOTOS ARE IN COLOUR & THERE'S LOTS MORE INFORMATION!