Monday, November 26, 2012

Anyone who knows me would agree that it is an understatement to call me an “animal person.” Animal fanatic or Dog lover are more accurate terms. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges of living and working in a developing country is seeing the vast amounts of helpless, starving, and suffering dogs and cats that roam the streets. Some are strays. Some have homes but live with families who can barely afford to feed themselves let alone buy anti-flea shampoo or kibble.  Seeing animals hurt, makes me hurt. I will restrain myself from providing further details of the horrible conditions that some animals suffer here. Most days I can barely stand to witness it, myself.  

Which is why I was delighted to find out about Casa Lupita, an animal clinic that provides free sterilizations and consultations.  Every Thursday, they offer free consultations and every Friday is sterilization day.  My puppy, Risa was spayed at Casa Lupita on November 9th for free. Free is one of the sweetest words to lay upon a Peace Corps Volunteer ears, it probably beats love. So Risa and I made the long, 6 hour bus trip down to Granada to get her spayed. I can’t begin to explain my overprotective nature I have when it comes to my baby girl, Risa, therefore, I did my research and checked this place out. I read numerous reviews and annoyingly sent its founder and manager a myriad of questions. All were positive.

Happy and healthy a few days after her surgery!
Casa Lupita and its staff treated my puppy and I wonderfully. She received anesthesia via a machine during her operation which is not standard here. Yes, that is right. Anesthesia is expensive so some veterinarians do these invasive operations without it. Poor animals. The veterinarian who did Risa’s operation was very skilled. Her incision was very small and he used dis-solvable, internal stitches therefore a cone was not necessary.  She also received a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection as well as pain medicine. She was groggy for a few days, sniffed and licked the incision a few times but quickly forgot about it. She has had no complications and is back to her playful self.

Another awesome and heartwarming part of this experience was seeing Casa Lupita’s impact on the community.  There was a line of Nicaraguans and their pets waiting before they opened their doors. Every Friday, it is like this. When I told people in Somoto that I was getting my dog sterilized, almost all were against it. It is not the custom here despite the massive overpopulation of dogs and cats.

Casa Lupita runs solely on donations through its funding USA organization Building New Hope that was founded by a former Peace Corps Volunteer. Best of all, you can donate online! Please do so, to help those who can’t help themselves, street animals. 


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