Local VSPCA Receive Assistance From Trinity School of Medicine VSPCA
The Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) is the first and only animal welfare organization in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Trinity School of Medicine Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSOM VSPCA) is an affiliate organization of the local VSPCA umbrella.
Through the efforts of three students, Laurie Marshall, Jennifer Heatwole, and Sarah Swanson, TSOM VSPCA was formed in June, 2013. This partnership with the local VSPCA addresses the many ongoing medical needs of animals, mainly dogs and cats, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Several projects are undertaken by the members of TSOM VSPCA. During the week, students vaccinate dogs in different communities; de-worm dogs and litters of puppies; rescue starving or hurt animals; treat dogs for mange; answer emergency calls when dogs have been hit on the road during the evening or night; and assist veterinarians Dr. Audain and Dr. Boyle in animal surgeries.
A fundamental project in which these students have become involved is the spaying and neutering clinics. On weekends, student volunteers travel throughout the length of mainland St. Vincent to assist in carrying out these clinics with Dr. Audain, faculty member at Trinity School of Medicine. They seek out an appropriate location, then give advance notice to the members of the community, who have been willingly bringing their dogs and cats for the procedure.
President of TSOM VSPCA, Laurie Marshall explained that statistics have shown that animals could live longer and could experience reduced incidence of certain fatal diseases with the procedure. The clinics are a way of ensuring that these animals experience a better quality of life. At these clinics, other services like de-worming, mange treatment, and vaccination are offered free of cost or for a small donation.
According to President Marshall, medical supplies, towels, sheets, collars, medications for these clinics are donated by the students who also raise funds for conducting them among themselves in various communities. TSOM VSPCA has also recently contributed to the purchase of a mobile surgery clinic that will travel throughout the Grenadines.
The clinics have, thus far, been very successful; the most recent being held in Bequia on Saturday, 12th April. Plans are in place to visit Diamonds during the upcoming weekend.
Through the partnership between the TSOM VSPCA and the local VSPCA, work continues in creating a curriculum to be implemented in schools and during after-school programmes to teach children about proper treatment of animals, the importance of zoonotic disease, and the importance of spaying or neutering. Efforts are also being made to work with local churches and community groups to educate the general public.