Spay And Neuter Project in Las Terrenas and El Valle
with Claudia Bretthauer (10/08 – 10/18/2023)
On October 8th Claudia Bretthauer
…and a team of 5 helpers flew to the Dominican Republic.
In Las Terrenas Patricia Jakobs had organized the operative perfectly as usual.
The clinic was held in a building right beside her own house.
A Swiss couple had offered their apartement as accommodation during their absence.
Food was delivered to the apartement.
Already on the 10/09 surgeries started. 42 bitches, one pregnant, one with pyometra, 3 males…
…3 queens and 3 tom cats were spayed and neutered .
The „waiting room“ on the street in front of the clinic; a lot of people were waiting every morning.
Dr. Elias from CocoDogs came right away when he heard that Claudia had arrived, and operated with her. He also accompanied the team to El Valle, the second clinic of the campaign.
Apart from her own team…
…there were a number of helpers from Las Terrenas who assisted during the clinic.
The recovery was managed by Patricia’s friend Marta.
Celine who is studying veterinary medicine and does all her practical training in Claudia Bretthauer’s German practice was among the assistants …
…as well as her boy friend.
The next day 26 bitches, 9 males…
…and one tom cat were spayed and neutered.
One bitch was pregnant with 6 fetuses, one had pyometra.
On 10/11 25 bitches, 9 males…
…6 queens and 2 tom cats were spayed and neutered Dr. Elias operated 4 bitches and 8 males. One dog had a heart issue and couldn’t be anesthetized.
2 bitches and one queen were pregnant, 1 bitch had pyometra.
One dog couldn’t handle the heat and needed an infusion. The next day it was fine and could be operated without issues.
After work the team went to the beach on motoconchos.
Here the second engagement in the history of our association took place ( the first one had been the engagement of Dr. Anne-Katrin List and Dr. Tim Bonin 2014): Celines boy friend proposed to her and of course she said yes!
The party was interrupted by an emergency call; an unconscious street dog had been found in a back street. It was diagnosed very anemic due to a severe ehrlichioses. After 2 days of treatment it recovered again.
On 10/12 36 bitches, 9 males, 9 queens and 6 tom cats were spayed and neutered. Dr. Elias operated 16 bitches and 4 males, Celine neutered 3 tom cats. One of the cats had been spayed already but one ovary had been left inside.
This lovely young dog was brought with an eye injury that had been already operated. 27 But the eye hadn’t been removed completely and the damaged tissue inside had begun to rot.
What was left of the eye was taken out and the wound was sewn up. Also with one eye this will be a beautiful dog. She has an owner and will hopefully have a long, happy life.
On 10/13, the last day of the clinic in Las Terrenas, 32 bitches, 13 males, 15 queens and 10 tom cats were spayed and neutered. Dr. Elias operated 11 bitches, 5 males, 2 queens and 1 tom cat; Celine neutered 5 toms. 6 bitches were pregnant. One dog was treated with a wound at its neck that was already infested with maggots.
One street dog was brought with a mammary tumor that had already metastasized into the lymph glands.
She had to be euthanized.
And that’s what Claudia Bretthauer‘s hands looked like after these 5 days!
On the 10/14 the team moved to El Valle…
El Valle (10/15 – 10/17/2023)
The operative in El Valle was organized by Pascal Stoeß who created this beautiful poster to advertise it. Vaccinations against rabies and fourfold vaccinations against distemper, parvo virus, leptospiroses and hepatitis as well as de-wormers and spot-ons against skin parasites were available for all animals. The treatments were free of charge for all spay neuter candidates; the rabies vaccinations were free for everybody.
As in 2022 the Tree House Hotel offered accommodation for 2 nights for our team.
The Dominican Tree House Village is a very special hotel at a very special location.
The vegetation is breathtaking…
…just like the view from the rooms…
…in the treetops!
Djungle feeling guaranteed!
But don’t be deceived by that…
This is no camping in trees!
The Tree House Hotel…
…with its rustic and very tasteful ambience…
…has everything a tourist could wish for; a beautiful restaurant,…
…a swimming pool…
…and also the accommodations have everything…
…to make you feel comfortable.
The Tree House Hotel can be booked on our site Animal-friendly hotels in the Caribbean.
All of El Valle can be called an animal-friendly resort. The foundation Eco Bahia wants to protect here hatching turtles from stray dogs by educating local dog owners to treat their pets right, not letting them stray at night. We sent them our school program to support this project.
Inside of the clinic everything is set up already.
Outside last arrangements are being made.
Dr. Elias who has accompanied the team from Las Terrenas to El Valle is looking one more time at everything: Yes, the surgeries can start!
The reception in front of the clinic; here the patients are welcomed and forms are filled in.
The prepping area: Here the animals receive their numbers…
…and get shaved after they went asleep.
This day Claudia Bretthauer spayed and neutered 6 bitches, 7 males and 1 tom cat; Dr. Elias operated 3 bitches and 4 males. One bitch had pyometra.
Many patients were still very young…
…like this little lady.
Accordingly the cut was tiny.
The recovery was inside.
Here it was shady and cooler.
A walk on the beach after work…
El Valle has a beautiful beach.
Swimming though is not recommended because of the strong current but one can enjoy the waves near the beach without worries.
While Claudia and Celine relax…
…coconuts are cut open in the back.
During the 3 days of the operative the team had also the chance to visit a waterfall…
…and everybody enjoyed the bath in the cool water.
Second day of the operative…
9 bitches, one of them pregnant , 4 males,…
…one queen and one tom cat were spayed and neutered.
These two beauties were already spayed. They just came to get a vaccination and a de-wormer.
The last two days the team stayed here…
…on the grounds where also the surgery was.
Last day of the operative!
2 queens, 1 tom cat…
…and 8 males werde spayed and neutered.
Friends for life! Claudia Bretthauer and Dr. Elias drink to a successful operative. In the past 8 days they have spayed and neutered 298 animals. A great accomplishment!
On the 10/18 the team flew back home, accompanied by 2 dogs that have found their forever homes in Germany. This was surely not the last visit in El Valle!
Veterinary Project in Sosúa with Florian Reichert and Mariana Santos (06/12 – 06/18/2023)
In June a small veterinary operative took place in Sosúa with 2 young German vets, Mariana Santos and Florian Reichert of the veterinary practice Baerenwiese in Berlin.
Especially cats awaited them as we had been already told before:
Very young ones,…
…very wild ones,…
…and some with medical issues…
…like this kitten with swimmer syndrome.
It’s been a long time since last German vets worked in the small clinic of the former Asociación de los Amigos por los Animales de Sosúa where we had so many operatives between 2009 and 2015 !
This time there was a huge problem right at the start: The suitcase containing all medicaments, materials and our instrument was lost on the flight and it took all week to re-locate it in the airport of Puerto Plata. Only because the clinic is still well-stocked the vets could work at all.
7 cats, 5 of them feral,…
…4 tom cats and 2 male dogs were spayed and neutered.
2 kittens were still too young.
Because of unexpected construction work at the drive way of the clinic the work had to be interrupted and was continued at the Fundación Kaobaprodogs, a private initiative of the former owner of the Kaoba hotel in Cabarete who gives now shelter to 46 homeless, injured or ill animals.
There were a lot of animals needing treatment. Here a paralyzed dog gets prepared to be fitted with a wheel cart …
The little guy doesn’t seem to enjoy this and has to be told to behave… 13 …but soon he will love his regained freedom of movement.
A great Thank you to all who participated, especially to Shari Shakun, president of the Cocomutt Shak Dog Rescue, for accommodating the German vets!
Students‘ Spay Neuter Project, Dominican Republic
by Marlena Wentzler (May 2023)
The Association for Aid and Support of the Creole Dogs Inc, founded in August 2005, organizes spay neuer projects in the Caribbean in order to control unwanted proliferation of strays and animals of poor people.
Because of the many requests from students wanting to participate in these campaigns the association started 2020 a special project for young vets who can, supervised by an eyperienced surgeon, practice for 2 weeks spay neuter of cats and dogs.
3 students and 2 graduates of the veterinary faculty of the university Munich decided to participate in such a project 05/10 – 05/25 2023 in the Dominican Republic.
A lot of organizing was necessary to make this happen. First of all a leading vet had to be found. Stine Fischer who had directed already the last project was willing to fly a second time.
Then we began to look for flights and donations to finance materials and the flight of our lead vet. We were very lucky and got some material donations from veterinary clinics and pratices as well as some monetary donations. The costs for our flights, accommodation and living expenses we covered ourselves.
On the 05/10 we flew via Madrid to Santiago de los Caballeros. Thursday, the 05/11, we had our first working day.
Our Air B&B was only 10 minutes away from the clinic Hacienda Urbana of Dr. Giselle Alt. Santos Diaz.
Dr. Giselle Santos is not only a vet…
…but also runs a shelter for stray dogs and cats.
Many young animals…
…are waiting here for a forever home.
In the meantime they amuse themselves as much as possible…
…and are having a great time.
We could set up our own little practice at her clinic…
…and she spread the information that we treated the animals for free.
Since we were all beginners we had planned to do no more than 5 animals per day.
So everybody had the chance to practice every step of a spay/neuter with different animals, males and females.
One doesn’t become an accomplished surgeon within 2 weeks.
But one learns to deal with tissue,…
…to make the right decisions…
…and to work accurately and with concentration.
Apart from the daily spay neuter we also treated some shelter animals;…
…a dog with a fractured jaw…
…and this young lady…
…with a tail amputation.
We didn’t just learn how to do the surgery but also everything about prepping,…
…how to set intravenous catheters quickly and precisely also in difficult and stressful situations, safe anesthetizing,…
…and many other things such as working as a team supporting one another.
We began mostly at 8 am.
First we treated our shelter patients.
When they had been taken care of…
…the surgeries started. Usually we finished between 4 – 5 pm.
The first Saturday we accompanied Dr. Gisselle to a spay neuter campaign in Puerto Plata.
In Puerto Plata we set up the clinic in the hall of the local fire brigade.
Almost every weekend Giselle drives to different towns to spay neuter dogs and cats.
70 animals were scheduled for this day.
We students helped giving the anesthesia starters, setting the intravenous catheters, intubating, giving medication such as pain killers and antibiotics,…
…and monitoring the anesthesia…
…and the post-operative phase.
Our lead vet Stine Fischer spayed and neutered together with Dr. Gisselle that day.
It was a great feeling to be part of such a big campaign!
Back in Santiago we continued to treat shelter animals…
…with medication like de-wormers…
And we practiced our surgical techniques…
…so that by the end of the following week everybody felt confident neutering tom cats and male dogs, spaying cats with assistence and assisting with the spaying of bitches.
The next weekend two of us and Stine Fischer accompanied again Dr Giselle, this time to Punta Cana…
…to spay and neuter dogs and cats on Saturday and Sunday.
Again it was a great feeling to be a part of this…
…and feel that we really achieved something!
The tom cats…
…and male dogs we could neuter already on our own.
The last 3 days we worked again at the clinic of Dr. Giselle. 49 And we helped Stine…
…to take care 4 two week old kittens…
…that had to be fed day and night!
Altogether it was a great experience and we had a lot of funl Of course it was at times exhausting and one shouldn’t underestimate the change in climate. But we all have learned a lot.
It is a great start on the way to becoming an accomplished surgeon!
Spay Neuter Campaign on Isla Margarita (started February 2023)
Inspired by our Advent calendar 2022 the Swiss foundation Tierbotschafter CH wants to sponsor about 25 spays annually for the Isla Street Animals of Claudia Simon from 2023 on. This is for bitches only that Claudia picks up in the streets or on the beach of Porlamar. Most of them are no regular visitors at Claudia’s feeding places where she has spayed most females during the past years; apart from new arrivals of course.
On May 26th the last 5 of 25 bitches sponsored by the foundation Tierbotschafter CH were spayed.
They were all from the village where Claudia Simon lives. No. 21 is a very friendlydog,…
…easy to transport,…
…not needing a muzzle on the scale…
…or while the intravenous catheter is set.
…and shortly after already spayed,…
…tattooed and with ear tip.
Also No 22 is friendly....
…and easy to handle, on the scale…
…and while getting anesthetized.
And also she goes to sleep immediately.
As her teats show, it’s not that long ago that she gave birth…
…for the last time! No. 22 with ear tip.
No 23 and 24 looked very similar…
…and were equally afraid.
No 23 on the table…
…a soon fast asleep.
She is a very young bitch that could get spayed before her first pregnancy.
No 24 , scared but not aggressive…
…and anesthetized seconds later.
She is quite a bit older than no 23 and has had a few litters.
Als she passed the surgery without issues.
Being released: No 23 looking a bit suspicious,…
…and no 24 has still the tape with the number stuck on her forehead…
The last bitch was an emergency, emaciated, anemic, mange-ridden.
She had to spend a few days in the clinic before she could get spayed.
Also she is still a young bitch…
…that hasn’t had puppies more than once. She didn’t get an ear tip, she didn’t return to the street. She was adopted.
On the way to her forever home…
Still scared and hiding behind flower pots,…
…but only a few days later: What a happy face!
It will take some time still til all her sores are healed.
And there are some more good news!
Paco, the small male found in extremely miserable condition has spent a long time in the clinic.
And that’s what he looks like today!
A last pedicure which Paco tolerates now without trying to bite and Claudia can take him home with her where he will stay for the time being.
Also Donny, the dog that had to have its eye removed, was adopted.
Donny today; loved and happy.
Now all donations generated by our Advent calendar 2022 are used up. But we will continue to try and support Claudia Simon and her Isla street animals!
Another 6 bitches were spayed on 03/06 and two more on 03/31 so that now 20 of 25 bitches sponsored by Tierbotschafter CH are spayed.
Here a report by Claudia Simon about her work in 2023:
„Hi to all my friends,
today I want to give you an update about all that I have achieved this year already.
1. Most important: 36 bitches (20 of them sponsored by Tierbotschafter CH) and 6 cats got spayed.
2. We saved a dog that got hit by a car and ran around with an injured eye for a week.
The eye was hanging out and got infected. The dog had fever when we took it to the vet.
The eye had to be removed but the dog recovered and was adopted by a family. He is fine now.
3. I saved a baby tom cat from the street but it was so small and ill that it didn’t survive.
4. One bitch was spayed with severe pyometra. Without surgery the dog would have died during the next days.
5. I found an abandoned guinea pig at my door steps that gave birth to 2 babies.
6. I treated a male dog with a heavy ear infection. He didn’t move anymore, just sat there with his head hanging down.
7. 2 puppies were brought to me; their mother behaved aggressively towards them and bit them. One I’ll keep, my brother-in-law took the other one.
8. The pet shop where I buy medicine from time to time gave me 2 fishes, one blind, the other one not able to swim because of deformed/missing fins. They are both doing fine, the fins grew back.
9. I was also given 2 desert mice. We still don’t know how they got here.
10. I fed up several emaciated dogs.
11. I treated many animals against mange.
12. I have given de-wormers and anti-parasite medicine to about 100 animals.
13. I feed more than 100 dogs and cats every day on my daily rounds . All animals I feed are spayed and neutered, get de-wormed and treated against ticks and fleas regularly and get Ivermectin shots once a month against heart worm which is very common here. If I don’t take care of them they’ll die. There is nothing to be found in the garbage anymore; people are too poor throw away edibles or to hand out rice or pasta to the starving animals. The animals I feed depend on the monthly donations I can generate. Therefore I must call for help every month. My last appeal wasn’t answered; there is simply too much poverty in the world and those who help are always the same. I don’t find new donators. Please spread this message so that more people get to know me and my animals.
Many thanks, Claudia“
Spay neuter on 03/06/23:
Claudia writes: „We finished up to bitch number 18. These were again bitches from my village. These dogs live close to the nursery school. There is a lady who feeds them.“
No 13; as requested by the sponsor the dogs get now an ear tip in addition to the tattoo.
No 13 was spayed before she got in heat the first time.
No 14 …
…has obviously had several litters already.
Here she is after surgery, still anesthetized, with ear tip and tattoo.
No 15 needs a muzzle to get weighed. She is not thrilled about the whole thing!
The little lady weighed 13,30 kilos.
Here she is already pre-anesthetized, sleeping peacefully.
No 15 is not a young dog anymore and has been a mother quite a few times.
Here in post-operative care with ear tip, she has still not been tattooed.
No 16 on the scale…
16.05 kilos! The heaviest bitch so far and the first with an additional charge for the anesthesia because of her weight! The lady at the nursery school must have fed her well.
No 16 has already a little grey beard…
…and her teats show that she has had puppies many times.
The ear tip is a quite bloody affair with her, possibly a sign of ehrlichioses.
She will be no 17.
She is quite confident and trusting and approaches curiously the person with the cage.
Also the scale doesn’t disturb her. She weighs 9,55 kilos
No 17 anesthetized receiving shots with antibiotics and pain killers.
She might have had about 4 litters and should therefore be approximately two and a half years old.
Sleeping off the anesthesia…
When she wakes up the bleeding of her ear will have ceased leaving nothing but a tiny cut, much smaller then the scar on her belly.
This pretty female is no 18, last patient of the day.
Also she needs a muzzle on the scale.
She weighs 14,10 kilos.
Shortly afterwards she lies on the table fast asleep.
Also she has been a mom already and – she has a short tail! How this happened remains her secret.
No 18 with ear tip. For today surgeries are finished.
2 more bitches were spayed on 03/31.
Cute no 19…
…is a very friendly, joyful dog.
She doesn’t mind being lifted into the box…
…and being photographed.
12.10 kilos shows the scale.
Anesthetized and ready for surgery…
…and here already stitched up again bereits…
…with ear tip but still on the drip.
No 20 is a very suspicious dog and barks ferociously at the approaching person.
It can’t have been easy to get her into the cage but it worked…
…and she won’t have puppies anymore.
All spays in March went well and without any issues…
…and little no 20 will hopefully have learnt that people aren’t always bad.
There will be still one more Jornada de la esterilización sponsored by Tierbotschafter CH but first of all we want to call your attention upon Claudia’s current emergency:
Claudia found the little male in an unbelievably miserable condition and he was too scared to let anybody near him.
So Claudia laid out food surounded by a loop formed with a leash and waited til the hunger was greater than the fear. When he finally ate she pulled the leash over his head and then… he bit her! Claudia writes: „That is normal when an animal is injured and ill. They are scared because they get chased away everywhere. I took him to my vet right away.“
The vet is cautious and wears thick gloves…
There is no area of this emaciated little body…
…that is not covered with open wounds.
Paco has severe mange, demodex mites, all kinds of worms, ticks, fleas, an ear infection, anemia and surely ehrlichioses. Paco is only 6 months old!
Never before in his life he has had a full bowl…
Claudia writes: „Paco has calmed down. He was very scared the first days and has bitten again and again. Now one can stroke him…
…examine him and also give him shots. But he is still very afraid and cautious. I visit him a soften as I can. As soon as possible I will take him home but he still has to stay in the clinic for a little while; he was very ill but is recovering.“
Again and again Claudia finds animals in such a terrible condition and each of these rescues bring her to the financial limit. Therefore we ask you today to send a donation for Paco to:
VR-Bank Bonn eG
IBAN: DE 26381602204304005012
Verein zur Hilfe und Förderung des kreolischen Hundes e.V.
VR Bank Landau eG
Kontonummer: 25 26 603
BLZ: 741 910 00
IBAN: DE56 7419 1000 0002 5266 03
or to the PayPal accounts
The second spay neuter day took place on 02/18/23.
Again 6 bitches were spayed. Everything went well.
Number 7 has never had puppies before.
She is most likely not even a year old.
Number 8 on the scale…
Also this time none of the dogs reached the 15 kilos where the price of the anesthesia rises. The first two weighed less than 13 kilos.
Number 8, already neatly sewed up...
…and tattooed, has most likely had one or two litters, judging by the condition of her teats , and will be therefore about one and a half years old.
Number 7 and 8 lived at the market of Porlamar in the middle of town before they got spayed.
The other 4 strayed around the elementary school in the village where Claudia Simon lives. Claudia has brought the 2 from town there also where she can keep an eye on them and take care of them.
Number 9, a small bitch weighing less than 9 kilos…
…has had at least 2 litters already.
None of the bitches spayed that day was older than 2 years.
She seems to have made some positive experiences with friendly people around the elementary school and tolerated getting taped as number 10 on the location.
On the average these dogs weigh about 10 kilos less than dogs the same size in an industrial country; even when they are not emaciated.
Number 10, here already anesthetized, had 11,60 kilos.
Also she at least twice a mother, after the surgery left with only a tiny cut…
…and a tattoo in her right ear.
Number 11 was another very young bitch…
…and could get spayed before her first heat
Just like number 7 she will never be a mom!
Number 12 was another confident dog with a quite trusting behaviour towards humans and was marked already before the transport to the vet.
This pretty little lady weighed 9 kilos…
…and hasn’t had more than 1 litter before.
She was the last patient that day./p>
12 bitches have been spayed so far, 24 pregnancies during the next 12 months and, taking an average of 5 puppies per litter, 120 births prevented! Plus the descendants of those puppies that live long enough to reproduce!
This bitch Claudia hasn’t caught in time.
She has 5 puppies.
The interest of the male could be very well an indication that the bitch will soon be ready to go into heat again. She needs to get spayed as soon as possible as well as her daugthers when they are old enough.
On 02/02 and 02/04/23 the first six bitches were spayed.
These 2 ladies were the first…
Number 3 and 4 the evening before surgery…
…and the last two in front oft he clinic.
A friend of Claudia who owns a large pick up drove the dogs to the clinic Rincon de Mascotas…
…and back again.
They all went well through the surgery.
Number 1 weighed 13,6 kilos. The weight determines here not only the dosage of the anesthesia but also the price of the spay. Spays get more expensive when a dog weighs more than 15 kilos because in Venezuela, a country with a long-lasting economic crisis and high inflation rate everything, also anesthesia and medication, is extremely expensive. Needless to say, none of the bitches weighed that much, regardless of their size.
Number 1 was a still young dog…
…that must have had a litter not too long ago. A few small stitches is all that stays from the surgery …
…and the tattoo E 1; primera esterilización, the first spay.
Number 1 had another problem. She was so flea and tick-ridden that she needed further treatment. Therefore she was brought to a friend of Claudia in foster care.
Number 2, weighing 10,25 kg,…
…had a much more serious problem.
Blood and pus dripped from her vagina already when she reached the clinic.
As soon as the surgeon opened her belly…
…the reason became apparent.
She had an advanced pyometra. According to the vet this dog would have died within the next couple of days.
She stayed on the drip for quite some time after surgery.
The length of the stitching shows how big an operation this had been.
Number 2 needs antibiotics during the following 8 days and went therefore also to Claudia’s friend along with No 1.
Number 3 underwent surgery with no problems at all…
A tiny cut and very few stitches were all that was needed with this very young bitch that obviously has never had puppies before – and never will!
Number 3 tattood sleeping off the anesthesia…
…was the smallest of the six dogs.
She weighed only 6,9 kilos.
Her teats show that she has been a mother several times already.
11 kilos showed the scale when the next patient stepped on it.
Number 5, a spay with no issues…
…and obviously also already several times a mother…
…despite the pearl-white teeth that give her a youthful appearance. An impeccable tattoo in her right ear shows from now on that she has been the Esterilización 5, the fifth spay.
The last patient on our first „Jornada de la esterilización“ weighed 10,05 kilos…
Also number 6 had no issues.
She has had most likely 2 litters before her spay.
Our first spay day on the Isla Margarita ended with the Esterilización 6. We are looking already forward to the next one!