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Volunteering with PEACEAnimals 

rev May 2017

 

 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with PEACEAnimals.  We need volunteers to help with the many challenges of caring for cats and dogs at our free, mobile spay/neuter clinics. 

 

The following is a list of some of our volunteer needs:

 

Registration of pets

Information requested is very basic. These forms are required by the local government.

 

Assist in putting dogs and cats into kennels after being registered;

 

Assist vet tech at pre-op table while she/he prepares animals for surgery, i.e, shaves area of incision; inserts breathing tubes for dogs; tapes eyes of felines shut or applies Vaseline so eyes don´t dry out (dog’s eyes close automatically after meds, while cats eyes remain open); administers tranquilizers via injection;  anesthesia, pain meds and antibiotics via IV;  and meds for parasites orally via syringe;

 

Monitor vital signs post-surgery  (heart rates, breathing rates and body temperatures) of cats and dogs; 

 

Special monitoring of kittens, puppies and animals with special concerns due to small size, possible low body temperatures, or other health concerns.

 

Check dogs and cats in crates once they have been removed from recovery area.  Dogs come out of anesthesia much faster than cats, therefore they go into crates faster;

 

External application of ectoline post surgery for ticks and fleas. 

 

Assist in carrying cat or dog from surgery table to recovery area and to kennels.  Animals must be accompanied to recovery areas and crates with their registration forms;

 

Assist in returning pets to their owners.  All owners should be given a sterilization certificate, which includes post-op care instructions and Dr. Poli´s name and cell number as a contact;

 

Assist in cleaning of crates, surgical instruments and general area of clinic.

 

Volunteers are encouraged to be involved in activities based on their individual comfort level and time availability.  The PEACEAnimals team is always close by to answer questions or assist. Speaking Spanish is not a necessity, but it is helpful regarding interaction with pet owners and animal rescuers.  

You will be given training prior to beginning any volunteer task.  Most animals that come to our clinics have never received any type of veterinarian services.  Some are not in good health, and most have fleas and/or ticks.

 

To aid in a positive experience for volunteers, the clinics will have the following available: charts indicating safe zones of vital signs for dogs and cats and safe amounts of ectoline (depending on whether it is a dog or cat and how much it weighs); clean crates; change of sheets/towels on which to place animals on recovery tables; non-surgical gloves; hand sanitizer; pens; thermometers; alcohol; Vaseline;  and timers and/or clocks.

 

The following are two condensed procedure examples

 

Post surgery monitoring of CATS AND DOGS:

 

With animals in prone position, take thermometer out of the alcohol tray. Shake excess alcohol. Apply a small amount of Vaseline to tip of thermometer.  Gently insert into anus of cat or dog,  approximately 1Ž2 to 1 inch.  Gently hold thermometer until it beeps.  Record temperature on registration form.  Gently remove thermometer, wipe off, turn it off and place in alcohol tray.

 

Take stethoscope and check animal´s heart rate.  Place stethoscope in the chest area between the front legs and listen for heart beat.  Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.  That will confirm the number of heart beats per minute. Record that number on registration form.

 

Now check respiration rate.  Count number of rises of the chest cavity for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.  That confirms the number of respirations per minute.  Record that number on registration form.

 

Repeat the above every 15 minutes, as well as turn the animals every 15 minutes, minimum. When cats and dogs are turned, they need to be picked up by the nape of the neck (“scruffing”), and placed down on the table facing the opposite direction.  NEVER flip them over on their backs, as there is a danger regarding fluid in the lungs. 

 

Animals in recovery should never be put on their backs in order to rub their tummies. One can stimulate cats and dogs by vigorously rubbing them, not petting them.  This helps to ensure they wake up more quickly. 

 

When cats begin to wake up, you will notice muscle movement and/or stretching of the legs.  Dogs usually begin to blink their eyes and gag a little.  At this time, cats need to be picked up and tape gently removed from their eyes.  Dogs need to have the breathing tubes removed.  You will be shown how to safely do this.  For dogs and cats, ectoline (red liquid for ticks and fleas) should be applied between the shoulder blades on backs of the animals.  You will be instructed on the amount to apply. 

 

Place cats and dogs in crates (you will need help with large dogs) and the registration form on the front/top of the crate.  It is very important to keep the correct paperwork with the right animal at all times.

 

Post surgery monitoring for DOGS:

 

It is basically the same as it is for cats.  The differences are that a dog generally comes out of anesthesia more quickly than cats, will have a breathing tube down its throat and an IV port.

 

If time allows while dogs are sedated, check for ticks.  They are often found in the ears, the paws between toes, dew claw, and in other areas, even the tongue!  You will be shown the proper way to remove ticks. 

 

When the dog starts to blink and/or gag on the tube, gently remove the tube.  Wait for the dog’s breathing to normalize and then gently and slowly remove the tape holding the IV port. Gently remove the last wrap of tape while securing the IV port.  When completed, gently remove the IV port by pulling it straight out perpendicular to the leg.  Use a small piece of tissue (or just your finger if you don´t mind a spot of blood on it) to hold and apply pressure to the small puncture area.

  

Once an animal is placed in a crate, please do not remove it unless directed by PEACEAnimals team member.  We do not want animals to escape!  However, it is important to keep a visual on all the animals in crates to be sure they are not in any type of distress.

 

There are safe vital signs charts posted on or near the recovery tables.  They show normal temperatures, heart rates, and respiration rates for cats and dogs.  

 

At any time a volunteer has concerns or questions,  ask a PEACEAnimals team member for assistance.  Please never hesitate -  you are not expected to know everything.  If something does not feel right or look right, ask for assistance.  You are the extra eyes and hands we need.

 

Volunteers add to the success of our clinics and are greatly appreciated.   You can decide how often or how many hours to spend at a given clinic in the areas we visit in and around Puerto Vallarta. 

 

Our mission is to reduce the suffering of animals.  A free sterilization clinic does the most good for the most animals.  Areas are cleaner, safer and quieter, pets healthier and wildlife at less risk for decimation if the overpopulation of cats and dogs is reduced.  Until 85% of these animals are sterilized, there is overpopulation. Mexico is at approximately 10%.