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AMRRIC’s work still evident ten years on in desert country

Kintore residents Shania and Russell were grateful to have their puppies checked over by the vet team

It has been ten years since AMRRIC delivered the Australian Government funded trial of three one-week surgical programs in Kintore.  Despite the time passed, when AMRRIC returned in October this year locals remembered the work previously delivered, and incredibly, the team met four vintage dogs that were desexed during the pilot program. These dogs are now at least ten years old - desexing certainly results in increased longevity for ‘camp dogs’!

Since AMRRIC’s pilot program in the late 2000’s, Dr Bob Irving has been supported by MacDonnell Regional Council to provide a chemical sterilisation program for the community’s dogs.  However when funding was offered by Four Paws Australia to enable a surgical desexing program, AMRRIC, Dr Irving, MacDonnell Regional Council and the local community all relished the opportunity.  Kintore is a very remote community of around 470 residents, approximately 530 km west of Alice Springs, close to the border with Western Australia.  Depending on the state of the dirt highway, the nearest vet clinic is at a minimum 6 hours drive away.  Having the opportunity to provide access to veterinary services for this very remote community is a privilege and one welcomed by the community.

The team of nine, including two Four Paws staff and three AMRRIC volunteers, worked hard and extremely well together, especially considering that most had never met each other prior to their arrival in Alice Springs. MacDonnell Regional Council‘s board room provided an ideal surgery site and being centrally located, local residents could easily bring their animals or call in to view the team in action.

Surgical desexing was once again welcomed by Kintore’s residents enabling a fantastic total of 118 desexing surgeries performed, resulting in 67% of the dogs in Kintore now permanently prevented from reproducing.  Only five animals within the community had been desexed before the team arrived, so the team’s efforts represent an increase in desexed dogs of 64.3% - an outstanding effort that will considerably slow dog reproduction within the community.  With AMRRIC’s wholistic approach, activities also included a companion animal census collected using the AMRRIC App, broad-spectrum anti-parasite treatments to all animals within the community, a community barbeque and face painting, school and youth group visits and an adventure trip with the youth group to explore local rock formations and discover local wildlife.

After so many years, AMRRIC was thrilled to return to Kintore and be so welcomed by the community.  AMRRIC thanks Four Paws Australia for funding the program, and MacDonnell Regional Council and Dr Bob Irving for their in-kind support.  AMRRIC hopes to facilitate further surgical desexing programs at Kintore in the near future.



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