My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Animal Balance, Port Townsend, WA, USA
I have been involved animal rescue and spay/neuter education for about 25 years now, so when my husband and I traveled to Cuba this last December and noticed all of the street cats and dogs, I immediately wanted to know if there was a spay/neuter campaign going on. I asked our AirBnB hosts and they said a humane group came to the island and held a clinic, so when I got back home I searched the internet to find this group.
I learned that two international humane organizations where working with the Cuban government to create a 5 year spay/neuter program. The Spanky Project, a group from Canada and the Animal Balance Program, a group from the United States, are working together to train the Cuban veterinarians and vet techs how to perform high volume spay/neuter.
Animal Balance was founded in 2004 and since has been serving communities in 10 island countries. Currently they are focusing on the Galapagos Islands, Cuba, the American Samoa and Saipan.
This concept really interested me, so I filled out an application with Animal Balance and was accepted to join in on their week long MASH units on the Big Island of Hawaii in Hilo. I paid for my travel and arrived in Hilo along with a long list of supplies and the willingness to work 12 hour days.
Allie Cats Allies supplied all of the medications for the MASH units, Animal Balance shipped in 50 traps and 50 transfer cages and the local humane organizations came together and put up fliers, trained trappers and they even asked the Mayor to donate the hotel accommodations for our 10 day stay!
We set up this MASH unit in an old ice cream storage building, it was an amazing process to help it all come together. Our days began at 7am and ended at 7pm, including just enough break time each day to inhale a sandwich and run to the bathroom. Within 5 days we had spayed/neutered 683 cats and had to stop because we were running out of medical supplies. I have never worked so hard in my life, at the end of each day I went back to the hotel, showered off the sweat and cat hair, ate some dinner and fell into bed. My job was with the recover team, which included giving each cat a wormer injection, flea medication, under the skin fluids and then place them back into the carrier they arrived in. This was a complicated process that included a numbering system with a number stuck to the cat’s head that matched the carrier and paperwork with each cat.
The entire team was fantastic! Meredith, from Animal Balance, stated that we worked like “a well-oiled machine” and that this was the largest amount of surgeries the group had performed in 5 days’ time. We could not have done this without all of the individuals and groups that came together to make this happen. And because of the Hilo community response, Animal Balance is in the process of planning another MASH unit for Hilo in the near future.
I am humbled by the dedication of everyone involved, as well as the warm welcome we received here in Hilo and I plan on joining another MASH campaign in the near future.
Feline Network Co-Founder
Thank you Elaine! We love having you on campaign!