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It’s non-stop action at animal clinic

Tuesday July 10, 2018 Written by Published in Local
The team at Te Are Manu with some of the animals currently in their care. 18070301 The team at Te Are Manu with some of the animals currently in their care. 18070301

Since opening its doors last year, the Te Are Manu (TAM) clinic has been kept busy attending to the needs of animals on Rarotonga.

TAM president Trish Barton says the clinic has been working “non-stop”, dealing with de-sexing both cats and dogs as well as plenty of surgical operations for injured animals.

“As many know our staff here are all volunteers, giving up their time for free because we are all purely and simply animal lovers.”

From January to May, the clinic has de-sexed 243 dogs and 154 cats. However, the number of dogs and cats still remains an issue on the island, says Barton.

One morning last week, staff were made aware of a puppy that was dumped on the main road, not far from the clinic. Barton said unfortunately they don’t have the facilities to accommodate animals overnight.

“As part of our lease we are not able to cater for animals that need shelter; we are limited to only housing animals that are recuperating from procedures.”

Barton said it was important for the community to realise that donations are all that keep the clinic afloat, despite the fact staff are kept so busy. May was particularly busy, with the clinic carrying out 22 surgical procedures for dogs, not including de-sexing.

“We have had people come in and say, ‘well, it was free at Esther Honey’. But it simply comes down to the fact that someone has to foot the bill. The medicine and equipment that we use has to be paid for by someone, which is why we ask for small donations from our customers to go towards continuing care for the animals.

“We offer the same level of care and professionalism from our staff as what you would get in New Zealand for a much higher price.

“Donations also don’t have to be in the form of money. Many people come in and help move furniture, clean our yard, and bake for our staff members, which is hugely appreciated”.

Barton says the clinic doesn’t just care for domestic animals, and as part of a new campaign they are trying to reinforce the need to properly look after livestock.

“We want to make sure people continue to look after their pigs and goats, by making sure they have water, shelter and food and just checking on them regularly.”