The Ninja Vets invade Roatan’s East End

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08/05/2015 I spent the better part of Saturday the 25th at the airport waiting for the majority of the Helping Paws Across Borders vets and vet techs to arrive so I could help Kathy shuttle them and all of their gear to Oak Ridge. Bill got to the airport at 3 to help also, there were a lot of people and lots and lots of luggage (medical supplies, etc.) After some shots of tequila @ BJ’s (trust me, there’s the same amount of tequila in each of these glasses, even though some were shot glasses and some were drinking glasses), they got a boat to the Reef House Resort where they are staying. The Reef House is very close to Oak Ridge where the clinic will be.

On Tuesday I loaded Lola into my car and we were off for the vet clinic at 7:40 AM. Lola was getting spayed and I was volunteering at the clinic. We were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy. I was trying to check people in and I had no clipboard to lean on to even write. My friend Mac came with his 2 gorgeous well behaved dogs and he gave me his clipboard, Damn, where is Bank of America’s BIG BLUE when you really need it??

It was a scorchingly hot day, I felt sorry for the animals and people waiting. When Lola came out of surgery we had a hard time rousing her. Some dogs handle anesthesia differently than others. I, myself, used to be a puke fest with it until I started telling the docs and they put anti nausea meds in it. What a difference. We got some ice packs for Lola and I was rubbing her tongue with ice, she was starting to come around. I called Bill to come get her but it was still awhile after he got there until they were comfortable to let her go. She took a few days to get back eating but seems to be doing fine almost 1 week after. We kept her away from the pups the first day and that only upset them and her. They adore her and were missing her terribly. Once we let her back out with them they didn’t stop licking her face..They love them some Lola.

I spent Tues, Wed and Thursday there from 8-5 everyday except Thursday when I got there at 9. (I was busy making the vets rum balls for their after work treats). The vets took a much deserved day off on Friday and we were all back at it again Saturday. I love working with this group of people!

They say a picture is worth 1000 words, here are the pics..

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Setting up in the “far from ideal” conditions. Not much air moving, 90+ degrees, dust blowing around the parking lot, barking dogs and kids everywhere.
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Some of the early birds
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They came in trucks, cars, taxis, on motorcycles and on foot.
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Brenda loving on a pooch
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My friend Mac with his 2 gorgeous dogs. Dr. Allison Kean is talking to him and Amber Stickel, a volunteer tech on the right.
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Kathy and Jenn in the prep room. This is where the anesthesia is administered to knock them out.
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People waiting and we were waiting too,  for our other tables and chairs to be delivered..Cleo, sitting on the table and Shannon on the right are talking to a man who brought his Great Dane in to have a hematoma removed from his ear.
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My Lola girl, out of it. She was getting spayed.
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Dogs everywhere
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Nina, Morgan and Susan working on Lola in recovery
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Joe and his dog Jetty with Susan, in recovery also.
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We put colored tape with a number on everyone .
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Adam, Nina’s hubby with a cat in recovery.
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GATOS!! (cats)
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A cute little puppy I was warming up. Despite the hot temps, this guy had a bath and was shivering when he arrived.
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Shannon, Morgan, Tiffany and Susan with Shannon’s cats in recovery
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Treating the Great Dane’s hematoma.
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After surgery. I have since been in touch with the owners and he is doing fine.
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Saturday morning and it was pouring.
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Joe and Jetty on Tuesday
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Cleo and I checking in dogs on Thursday.
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Me, trying to check in dogs on Tuesday
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They all had a pet!
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Dr. Chante Wildgoose from the Bahamas, Tiffany, Dr. Allison Kean and Amber Stickel.
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This poor guy needed some serious treatments.
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My friend Shannon and her cats
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Dogs of all sizes and in all kinds of conditions, some good some really bad. The important thing is, these people took the time to bring their pets to see us.
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Gorgeous little girl.
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This guy had his dog run alongside his motorcycle..
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More kittens
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This poor dog was skin and bones
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Cute all around!!

It is hot sweaty work for me, I can’t imagine what it’s like for the vets working with the animals. The temperature was over 90 everyday, the tents were hot, the people and their pets were waiting, it was stressful all around. We saw some very poorly cared for animals but they did take the time to bring them to us so they must care a little at least.

The first day was chaotic as always, the second day we were SLAMMED.

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This is Luis, he runs the gas station in Oak Ridge
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If it works..it’s good.
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waiting with her dog
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The vets and vet techs hard at work. The vet techs spent all day kneeling on the ground working in recovery with the pets.
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Lots of big dog were seen
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Paca, in the blue striped shirt kept bringing us animals like he did in February. We found out they are all the animals in his neighborhood. He is developmentally behind but a nice boy who love animals; they love him back and he has a firm grasp on that reality.
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sweetie
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A big boy
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Sometimes people brought in 2, 3 or even 4 dogs.
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Paca again. We all love him. I ended up taking him and a dog and the young girl and boy who are actually the owners home. The dog had surgery and he couldn’t carry it that far.
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Another boy and his dog
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People and pets all over
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Prep room
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trying to keep the animals hydrated while they waited.
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foot bath
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Douglas, our interpreter and honorary vet tech assistant.
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Every dog got a new collar and leash
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Out of recovery and on the way home
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A huge mastiff
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Laura and Paca
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My boy Duke, Marcia brought him in to get his skin rash checked. Love this guy so much..
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This guy took 3 dogs home this way, one at a time.
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Kathy holding Buddy, he was a sweet boy. Kathy is the Dog Whisperer (really animal whisperer) on the island. She is the driving force that makes this all come together. She has a huge heart and will go out of her way to help an animal in distress.
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Big rottie
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A little girl with her kittens, their Momma was spayed. She was brought to us in an empty rice sack bag.
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School girls with their pets
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Kitten love
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At the end of the day the vets started passing out toys and candy to the kids. It was fun to watch their reactions!
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Checking out their loot.
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They all waited patiently.
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Helping Paws Across Borders ROCKS!!
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Then crazy Jennifer put on the glasses with the nose and everyone wanted them.
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These kids are so gorgeous.
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Paca couldn’t get his nose adjusted right so he came over to get me to help him. After I took his photo I showed it to him and he smiled.
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Smiling faces

All in all it was a fabulous experience to help so many animals. some were well cared for, well fed and healthy, others were teeter tottering on the verge of death. That’s when it really gets to you. EVERY SINGLE VET AND VET TECH ASSISTANT in this group is madly passionate about animal care. They raise money to buy supplies, they pay for their own flights, their own rooms and food, all because they want to help the animals. If you are interested you can donate to this group, they are a legitimate 501C  and would be grateful for any donation, no matter the size.

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This guy is as happy as a pig in shit. The pig is neutered…
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Smiling Ninja Turtle Vets
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The one and only Dr. Chante Wildgoose. Can you say GORGEOUS??
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These 2 are scary Ninja Turtle Vets, especially the one on the left. She has skills..
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Jennifer and Jenn with Buddy..

If I was mentally and physically exhausted after 4 days of vet clinics can you imagine how the vets and the techs felt?? I am in no way complaining, I am so grateful they came and that I got to know them all a little better. They are compassionate, committed and an absolute blast to be around. It’s nice to see a group of people, (some who met for the first time the day they arrived) with a common cause come together to try to make a difference. They were like a well oiled machine, I can’t say enough about them.

HELPING PAWS ACROSS BORDERS ROCKS!! Love all of you guys and thanks so much for what you did for the animal population on the east end of the island. Many thanks to Kathy Shupe, the absolute ultimate co-ordinator…

I apologize that I lost track of who took what photo. The main contributors are: Morgan Rivera, Nina Stively and Susan Neas and myself. If I missed you, I’m sorry, I was just grabbing photos whenever I could so I could show what actually went on at the clinic..

P.S. Any vets or vet techs needing a vacation are welcome to stay in our guest condo, anytime…warning though, we have 7 dogs.

By Ledfutt

Living on an island was a life long dream of mine. In 2012 I moved to Roatan and lived there for 4 months, went back to the US, packed up our belongings and sold our house. In Oct of 2013 we moved there permanently. Our house was completed in July of 2014 and we moved in. After 6+ years, I was ready to go back to the US. I made the move in Dec of 2019 and my husband came a year later. Here we are in Arizona, waiting for our island house to sell so we can sell this place and move on. I guess I'm more like a traveling mermaid.

4 comments

    1. Helping Paws Across Borders is a fabulous group of dedicated Vets and vet techs, it was a pleasure to help them while they were here!

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