Spay Day in Ecuador Helps Improve Lives of a Town

Our veterinary technology program chair and instructors recently organized and participated in a spay day in Ecuador. Jennie Wertel, vet tech program chair, wanted to do the spay day because she had connections to the area and there is a great need for population control.  By helping to reduce the population of the animals the risks for transmission of zoonotic disease will be reduced for the people living there.

From left to right, Melanie Brouille and Jennifer Wertel

Who participated in the spay day?

  • Dr. John Barnstorff from Animal Hospital of DePere performed most of the surgeries.
  • Jennie Wertel, vet tech program chair
  • Gabrielle Radford, vet tech instructor
  • Melanie Broullire, vet tech instructor
  • Local veterinarian from area, Maria, and two veterinary students.

What was the highlight of the mission for you?

“Being able to help 40 of the animals in the town. They estimated there to be about 60 in the little town, so we spayed and neutered over half the population in a day,” Gabrielle Radford, the vet tech instructor, said.

Why was this spay day so important?

“We were able to bring medications that were donated were for treating for the fleas and ticks. The dogs were covered in fleas and ticks and many were suspected to have a tick-borne illness called Erlichia,” Radford, the vet tech instructor, said.

Melanie, Gabrielle, Jennie and Maria the local veterinarian.

What stood out the most regarding the event?

“What was weird about it was that the animal owners actually stayed with their pet the entire time, some even taking pictures of the procedure. Because they don’t have clinics in the sense that we are familiar with, they have never seen anything like this—it was like National Geographic Live for a lot of people,” Radford said.

Because of the power system in Ecuador they also had the electricity go out at one point. When the power was restored the team worked together using regular lamps and headlamps to work into the evening.

A special thank you to the area clinics, drug representatives, and businesses that donated supplies for this trip.  Also, thank you to Xanadu Resort in Ayampe, Ecuador for helping to make this day possible.