Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday at the Panamanian Spay/Neuter Clinic

aMy Mom helps take care of a 21-year old handicapped girl down here (she has cerebral palsy and her family won't/can't really help her out).

So yesterday, we picked up the little dog--Estrellita "Little Star" to take her to the low cost spay/neuter clinic run by a local volunteer group.

The clinic started 5 years ago and has fixed about 5,000 dogs. They have 2 vets, a Costa Rican and an American, who volunteer their services. When they first started, it was only foreigners bringing dogs (either stray or their Panamanian friend's dogs) but today it's about half Panamanians bringing in dogs. Which is a nice thing because it shows their attitudes towards pets is changing and they realize it's not so nice having packs of wild dogs running the streets.

My husband grew up in Puerto Rico in the 70's and he's told me some horror stories about all the street dogs and how horrible their life was.

Today, the group did about 70 dogs, including Estrellita.

I know this is going to sound terrible, but I really want to tell the handicapped girl the dog died on the operating table and smuggle the dog back to the States.

Now I know there's a special circle of Hell for people who steal dogs from handicapped people, but this girl has a history of not taking care of animals.

She got a kitten and she almost starved it to death. My Mom had to take it away.

She got a rabbit and let the neighborhood dogs kill it.

She can't look after herself without assistance, so I don't know why she thinks she can look after a dog.

My mom figures the dog has only eaten rice it's whole life and it had ticks on it when we picked it up.

If you still want to condemn me, just take a look at her picture.

She's too, too cute!

I know there's no way I can keep her, but I made Mom promise to check up on her every week.

I would hate myself if something happened to this cutie.


  1. Aww, look at the sweet look she's giving to the camera! Heart-melting. It's very nice, what your mom does to help take care of the Panamanian woman, and I hope your mom can help take care of Estrellita for you too :-)

  2. I know! Isn't she so cute? I hope she's going to be okay. We're going to buy a lot of food and stuff for her before we drop her off Saturday.

  3. My brother has told me about the street dogs in Panama. There are a lot in Chile too, but they seem to be in better shape (if that's possible) than the street dogs I've seen in other countries. I think it has something to do with the economic level of the country.

  4. Hey Sara!
    The whole situation is sad. At least in the town my mom lives in, a volunteer group has spayed almost every dog and cat in town so it's not bad here. But I've seen it horrible in other countries. Caring for animals is a mindset that can take a long time to develop.

  5. Kristin, If you are going to that "special circle of Hell," I will be right there with you. While I think it's great that this girl wants to love and care for a dog, she has to be CAPABLE of doing it. It's nice that your mom helps her, but the dog needs reliable care. What an adorable dog she is, too!

    I hope you are enjoying your time in Panama. I will be sure to read your blog for updates... and I will keep my fingers crossed for little Estrellita.

  6. Hey Debbie!
    Good to hear from you. This is a damned if you do/damned if you don't situation. We have to give the dog back tomorrow and I've been spoiling her rotten which probably is the worst thing to do since I can't keep her, but I can't help it!
    Hopefully, things will work out. Mom's going to check on the dog every week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed too!