The 2nd Klinik Kembiri on Pulau Ketam (25th July 2009)


It’s been a long and fruitful day! We went down to Pulau Ketam today, to help out in the 2nd Klinik Kembiri organised by SPCA.
PAWS sent a team of volunteers too. And there was even a team of dog handlers who came to put up a obedience show for the Ketam folks.

I was really excited when we were allowed to go into the surgery area to help out with preparation of the animals for surgery. We were shown exactly what to do, and this involved shaving the animal and using two different chemicals to sterilise the surgical area. There was a proper sequence to follow, though. However, after doing a cat and a dog, I felt like fainting – the fumes from the chemicals used to sterilise the surgical area were simply too strong for me. I actually had to go lie down on the floor to avert a fainting spell!

So I volunteered to help out at recovery instead. Over here, the animals have to be massaged vigorously (to make them come to quicker). It takes about 20-30 minutes of a good rubdown (all over) before the animal comes to, and is able to turn and sit up on its chest. Then, it can be transferred to the cage for further recovery on its own.

My first case was Zorro, a beautiful orange-coloured cat. Zorro happened to be a slow recovery case, and I was near panic when he had not shown any signs of coming to after almost 30 minutes. I kept checking his breathing….and praying. “Please, please get up, Zorro, please get up!”

He finally did, just before the vet was about to administer the recovery fluid (for difficult cases). Phew!

Later, we did two big dogs and some more cats. One cat actually had to have the recovery fluid administered (another difficult case). While we were doing all this, some of the vet assistants joked that perhaps the animals purposely slept on because the massage was just oh-so-comfortable (yes, like a typical Thai massage)!

Three of the Hai Tao Foundation staff came with us to do a video production of today’s operation and also a footage of Pulau Ketam.

Just before we left, one owner decided he did not want his pet anymore after being spayed. Poor little thing. So we had to bring her back with us to the mainland. She was a one-year old mongrel, sweeter than honey. If we had insisted that the owner take her, goodness knows what her fate would have been. It was better (for her, and us!) to bring her back.

Such is the fate of animals, folks. Even pets. Your owner can decide to dump you anytime… Isn’t it just so, so sad?

Chinkah said his neighbour was looking for a dog, so he volunteered to foster her and hopes that his neighbour would take over after recovery.

So we brought Mulan (that’s what I called her) in a box, trolley-ed her to the jetty and sweet-talked the boat driver into letting us take her across inside the boat.

Mulan is big, and she could not walk because of the surgery, so the entire process of transporting her involved physically carrying her as well. Phew! Luckily I’ve carried my children (from birth till 6-7 years old) for many years so carrying her wasn’t such a big problem after all (all mothers have very strong arms). But still, it did leave me panting!

Mulan was so well-behaved on the boat. She was quiet and slept most of the way. So did I!

Another volunteer also brought back a tiny little puppy who looked like a Rottweiler. She (I think she is female?) was also abandoned by her owner who had brought her to the community hall and said she did not want her anymore. The tiny puppy will be fostered, and hopefully someone will adopt her. Who knows? She MIGHT turn out to be a Rottweiler, after all (I’m just guessing, of course). Any takers?

I’m so tired, but happy. It was a good day. All in, about 20 animals were spayed and neutered. That’s not just 20 lives saved, but hundreds of unwanted future births prevented.

Rejoice, folks!

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