Friday, July 8, 2011

Yesterday was big parade day!

Yesterday we held a parade in Panajachel. 
It was supported by the Health Commission here in Panajachel.
It was for raising awareness about giving dogs and cats rabies shots and also to create more awareness about spaying and neutering animals.
While we are animal lovers and hate to see the suffering of animals this is not just about wanting to help the animals. It is about keeping the community safe.   Rabies is a deadly, horrible disease.  We want to make sure that no child or adult will ever  have to suffer a death like that.   We recently had a group come and show us a video about Rabies and they had small footage ( thank goodness) of a child in Haiti dying of rabies.  It was the most horrendous thing I have ever seen. This little boy was about 5 yrs old.  He was tied to a bed. He was foaming at the mouth and then would bring up the most amazing amounts of saliva and foam, throwing his head back and screaming ....I never want to see another child suffer like that.   I hope that they quickly sedated this child and did  not let him suffer more.

The spaying and neutering will increase the cleanliness of the town, there will be less feces on the streets.....this feces washes into the river and the lake.

There will also be less packs of dogs forming and roaming the streets.   We have been spaying and neutering here in Panajachel for the past five years and it has made a huge difference in the town.
But there are so many towns around the lake that are asking for help.
Poisoning which is the method used here is horrible. It is a terrible death for the animals, it is horrifying for children to watch this and it is dangerous. The poison can stay on the street,  people who are searching for food at the garbage dumps are very vulnerable to finding poisoned food,  ( yes, unfortunately, we have families searching for food in the garbage dumps at the local market (which is where poison is left for the animals and at the local dump).

We were very encouraged by the support that we received from the community yesterday and the local government. They even sent their brass band down from Solola to participate!

Today we are holding a free spay and neuter clinic in Panajachel.
Yesterday....rabies shots were free in several booths that were set up throughout the town.

We had lots of sponsored children participate in the parade and we were amazed to see one whole school turn up with all their children in costumes.  Our Pana pre school was also there....please go to this link to see the photos.


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