Perhaps I shouldn’t wonder, given the potcake’s gentle nature, but most of the two dozen or so dogs crated in the front yard of Marsh Harbour’s Island Veterinary Clinic seemed surprisingly calm. Many adult dogs watched the volunteers around them with apparent interest. Six recently rescued five-week old pups napped in tangled piles, limbs splayed. A seventh slept, curled up in an empty food bowl.
Some of these dogs (and cats) had been brought by their owners to the free spay/neuter clinic. Volunteers had rounded up others from areas with large populations of strays.
For many animals, it was likely their first time being crated — possibly even their first time at a vet’s office. But, peacefully and patiently, they waited.
Inside the clinic, the mood was much more energetic. Twenty or so volunteers from a variety of rescue organizations including Royal Potcake Rescue USA, BAARK, the Abaco Shelter and the Hope Town Humane Society, and three veterinarians — Dr. Bailey from Marsh Harbour, Dr. Dorsett from Nassau and Dr. Wildgoose from Freeport — ran an impressive and efficient operation.
The dogs and cats on the front lawn were recent arrivals, each of whom had been assigned a number. Corresponding paperwork was completed and attached to each crate.
One at a time, the animals were brought to a makeshift sedation area in the clinic’s front office. Once the anesthetic had taken effect, each was carried into one of three operating rooms.
Post-surgery, potcakes and potcats were brought to the recovery area, where each was assigned a volunteer. Volunteers stayed with the animals, gave them TLC and ensured there were no complications as the sedation wore off.
Once awake, the still-groggy animals snoozed in crates until their owners picked them up, or until they could be released back into their neighbourhoods.
Eighty-two dogs and cats were spayed and neutered on Friday. At that rate, the clinic will likely exceed its goal of 200 animals treated over the three-day event. The clinic continues until mid-day on Sunday, April 27.