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Rescuing Puppies & Vaccinating Over 3,000 Dogs

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Rescuing Puppies & Vaccinating Over 3,000 Dogs

It’s the end of our first week here in Goa, and our teams have vaccinated almost 3,500 dogs! We’re well over halfway to our 2-week goal of vaccinating 5,000 dogs.

The teams all covered different parts of the city this week—from hilltops to an active military base to the bustling marketplace. It has been very interesting to see all the animals roaming the streets of the city. Goats, pigs, and even cows walk the streets with the rest of the traffic! We can’t help but stop and take pictures when we come across a new “city” animal.

Our teams use a combination of methods, including catching roaming dogs with nets, going door-to-door to vaccinate owned dogs (with permission), and hand-catching dogs that are calmer and more approachable (kibbles are helpful here).

Clinician's Brief

We have walked many miles throughout the streets of Margao, which has given us plenty of chances to take in the sights while getting to know our local teammates. Each team is comprised of 2 volunteers and 5 to 6 locals who work for Mission Rabies full time. There is 1 team leader who speaks the multiple languages used throughout the city to easily communicate with the team and dog owners, 1 driver who can efficiently navigate the streets, and 3-4 skilled net catchers who really do the hard work! The local team works together year-round, traveling to different parts of Goa to educate communities and vaccinate dogs. They are a very close team and welcomed us into their group quickly.

Many people stop us on the road to direct us to unvaccinated dogs, and it has been exciting to see the local community embrace Mission Rabies and its cause. A few adventures this week include:

  • Taking 2 puppies for wound care and returning them to their mother later in the week
  • Getting caught in our first rainstorm (and marching on!)
  • Rescuing a puppy from the engine of a car
  • Handing out many bags of Mission Rabies bracelets to children
  • Learning a few key words of the Hindi language, such as dog, good job, thank you, and rain is coming
Clinician's Brief

We wrapped up a successful first week with a volunteer team dinner at a local restaurant. One of the volunteers, Amardeep Bajwa, is an Indian native and ordered his favorite dishes for the group to enjoy family style. With full hearts and full bellies, we returned to our accommodations ready to rest and reset over the weekend.

Watch for updates on social media, and be sure to check for updates at cliniciansbrief.com/mission-rabies. —Shelley Hurley

Shelley is the Director of Client Success at Brief Media, where she also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Brief Media’s partnership with Mission Rabies. She was a member of the Brief Media team in the 2018 Malawi Rabies Drive.

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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