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QCOSTARICA (By Cher Compton, Vozdeguanacaste.com) A group of Samara residents is seeking support to end motherhood in the community. No, not for humans,  for pets!  The next spay an neuter clinic will be on Monday March 23rd from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm in the Community building in El Torito.

According to the American Humane Society, in a five year period a single female dog and her female offspring can produce 192 puppies.   The numbers for cats are even more staggering.  A cat that produces 12 kittens a year can ultimately lead to more than 12,000 cats being born over 5 years. Think, for a moment, about what Samara would look like without a program to educate the public about animal care including spaying and neutering pets.

Animal neglect and abuse are crimes of ignorance.  We are very lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers here in Samara who take on the task of rescuing injured animals, finding homes for strays, providing spay and neuter clinics and most important, education.

Berit Funke, the founder of Animales de Samara, estimates that she personally visits 70% of the households in Samara, Cangrejal and El Torito teaching important lessons.  In her own words, the message is, “Respect the animal as a living being that has feelings and needs. Care for the animal like it was a member of the family. Take it to a vet when it is sick and don´t apply what some neighbors recommend. Spay EVERY female.”

At a for-profit vet’s office spaying or neutering a pet costs 25,000 to 35,000 colones ($50-75USD). Even when vets volunteer their services and other volunteers provide transportation, support and administration it costs approximately 10,000c ($20US) to spay or neuter a dog.  Many families who love their pets cannot afford this, so volunteers raise money to cover the cost.   That is why it is so very important to support the Spay and Neuter Clinic.  Donations to these groups can be made directly to Berit Funke, the volunteer who runs Animales de Samara (8942-2637). Bonnie Futterman, who works with the clinic program, or Dra Marissa at the Samara Vet, located 50 north of  the Natural Center and 25 meters south of Super Las Olas.

In a typical year they provide this service for 180 pets.  It would be impossible without financial support from the community.  Think about this number.  If 180 dogs and their offspring were to reproduce for 5 years, based on the above statistics, there would be nearly 35,000 more dogs born in this little town over 5 years.  35,000.

In addition to spay and neuter programs and education, Animales de Samara has found homes for 25 strays picked up in Samara in the past year, and has assisted in countless rescues and adoptions all over Costa Rica .  Finding a home does not usually mean picking up a cute healthy puppy and giving it to a loving family.  These cases usually involve animals who are sick or have been abused.  Rehabilitation, food and medical care are expensive and time consuming.

What can you do?  Donate what and when you can, including money, dog food, and flea and tick preventative.  Share this information.  Feed a stray. Volunteer to drive pet owners to the clinic or show up at a clinic and pitch in.  Donate old towels to Samara Vet.  Adopt a dog or cat that needs a home.  If you can’t adopt, then sponsor.  Be available to provide transportation for animals in need.

Whether you live here or visit, have a pet, or don’t, you are effected by this work.  Please support it in any way you can. 


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