Those that know me will know that I LOVE animals, especially dogs.  Last year when Sea Dancer Dive Centre, Dahab’s dog Skanky got poisoned and died it was a very upsetting time.  We’d know and loved her for most of her life, and we estimated her to be around 9 years old.  A dog of that age in any western country is good going, but for a dog here in Sinai is quite unheard of!  So myself and the dive centre manager Steve started looking into what could be done to help the local dogs.  Already set up in Dahab is a charity organisation called Animal Welfare Dahab (AWD).  We already knew they had a Trap, Neuter and Release scheme in place and so approached them to see what more we could do – already we had one of their collection boxes at the  dive centre.

 AWD donation box


A few months later, myself and my boyfriend had a personal loss, when one of our dogs Frank also fell prey to the poison being laid down.  This helped us ramp up a course of action, any course of action!  Something drastic needed doing!!

A friend of Adam’s had been to Dahab several occasions diving and conveniently worked in a vets practice back in England.  She’d previously mentioned about wanting to come to Dahab with her boss Karen and doing some kind of charity work for the local animals.  Through Facebook, we’d contacted Lisa, so on her diving holiday with Sea Dancer in October 2013 we put her in contact with Jose from AWD.  From that meeting Lisa then went back and approached her boss Karen from Cogges Veterinary Surgery, which led to the both of them coming to Dahab for a full-on 2 weeks neutering as many cats and dogs as they could fit in.  You can also follow their blog here

TNR Dahab

I haven’t been involved with all the pre-planning and setting everything up, that has all been been done by Karin and Jose from Animal Welfare Dahab, I’d been busy preparing and running the December IDC.  Since then, I’ve had more and more contact with AWD helping with logistics to make this project happen successfully.  After a few headaches of finding a suitable venue, arranging aftercare for the dogs that needed it, and more fundraising all was ready, we just awaited the arrival of Karen and Lisa.

Day one went quite smoothly, Karen and Lisa donated and brought a lot of supplies with them

Donated suppliesEnd of day 1 they managed to neutered 7 cats and 5 dogs, the target for the whole project was set at 50 dogs, 50 cats.

Karen and Lisa needed some time to get used to the anesthetics used here, but after the first two dogs things went smoothly.  Amal, an Egyptian Veterinary student, has joined us to get some practical knowledge.

Karen with Amal

We also had our Dahab vet Dr Amira, join on a few occasions to watch how operations are performed in England

Vet Karen with Lisa, Dr Amira and Amal

Day 2 saw 9 cats, 6 dogs neutered

Day 3 saw 8 cats, 7 dogs neutered

Day 4 was planned to be a workshop day.  Dahab is getting bigger and bigger each year, and Amira is the only vet in town, so the planned workshop was to teach animal lovers and owners how to effectively administer injections and put canulas in.  This was open to everyone, and had a great turnout

Workshop day

Workshop day Workshop day

Day 5 and back to the project and task in hand of neutering, and what a day!!  So much happened, we had a random puppy turn up, which straight away we managed to find a forever home with one of my upcoming IDC candidates Catherine, thank you, you and your Fiance are stars!  An attempt was made to catch some of the not so easy to catch dogs in Assala. With the help of 2 Bedouin boys one shy female was caught and 2 friendly males.  The cats though kept rolling in, too much to our liking even. At 4 pm a new, unexpected batch came in from one of the camps, so we ended the day with a grand total of 15 cats, 8 dogs.  In addition, a cats tooth was pulled, a finger treated.

Day 6 was the day of the difficult cases and also the day to try and neuter some of the wild dogs from the Wadis, oh there was drama in the clinic on this day!  So compared with the previous day the numbers decreased drastically, but still a very productive day in which we neutered 5 cats and 7 dogs

Day 7, a quiet day at the clinic to close off the first week.  Success in finally catching a dog nicknamed ‘Big Tits’ from the beach, renowed for having several litters of puppies, also taking 2 small puppies that she had adopted to keep her company during the aftercare.

The total count at the end of this week:
Cats: 30 female and 18 male = 48
Dogs: 14 female and 27 male = 41

It should be noted, the target set at the start of the project was 50 cats, 50 dogs, and already after the first 7 days the vets have nearly met that target, I’d say that was very, very good going, Karen and Lisa are amazing.  Lets hope next week is just as successful!

Take a look at some more photos from this week

Finally a big thank you goes to all the locals, and local businesses that have made food donations, both at lunchtime and for the vets in the evening.

Keep an eye out for part 2 next week…