Te Are Manu Veterinary Clinic services vet Dr Michael Baer. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS 21092206
Staff from Te Are Manu, working closely with Aitutaki Community Animal Rescue and Aitutaki Community Cat Program provided a week-long vet clinic for pet and livestock owners in Aitutaki.
For someone like me, a trip to Aitutaki is always a surprise, and a pleasure.
Cats, but no dogs. I am surprised,
even if I know that for many islands in the country this “surprise” is in fact
the norm. Cat paradise has its own great
attraction, and its own problem.
attraction is the freedom cats have when there are no dogs. You see cats walking around, openly, in a way
that is not possible where dogs will chase them. This is also the problem. Cats are great
animals, and of all the domestic species they show by far the most variation in
personality and behaviour, especially when free of dogs.
seasonal breeders; they breed over summer when the daylight hours increase. And the kittens they have in October can be
breeding by March. There are lots of
cats, producing as many new cats as they can.
To help with
this problem a team of vets, nurses, and volunteers from TAM and Aitutaki
Community Animal Rescue spent last week (and the 3 weeks prior for Steph)
working hard in Aitutaki, desexing and treating cats, goats and pigs.
Steph Joseph (Aitutaki Community Animal Rescue), the Mayor and Island Council
of Aitutaki, and the families and community of Aitutaki the clinic was a great
started for the team on Saturday, we boarded the flight to the land of cats,
provided to us by the generosity of Air Rarotonga. Once there, we received more gifts, a vehicle
provided by Popoara Rentals. We were
then treated to a lagoon cruise provided by Bishops. What a day!
Lunch at One Foot Island is a great thing.
We set up
at the “vet house’ provided for our use by Robbie and Keri Fenton and which was
also our home for the week. Taia, our
main man for trapping, collected his traps to set up for the week, and we arranged
the drugs and equipment given by Te Are Manu and the Aitutaki Community Cat
morning the animals began to arrive.
Brought in by their owners, by Taia, and by the ladies from Aitutaki
Village; Taviria, Ally, Ramona, Ake, Maitia and Tau. They were checked in by
our reception volunteers, Yvonne, Winnie, and Vicky. These three ladies managed to keep track of
animals and cages and traps all week; and provided the most wonderful refreshments. Other lunches were brought by Mango Trading ,Petirini Frank and Ru Cecil. We were
inundated with fruit and food, thank you everyone!
and goats were desexed, defleaed, and treated for an assortment of diseases. Coordinated
from start to finish by Steph Joseph (Aitutaki Community Animal Rescue) the
workflow was great. Volunteer vets
Caroline and Allan operated from early until late, assisted by volunteer nurse
Pip and Te Are Manu nurse Sarah.
And after a
long day dealing with pet and wild cats, dinner was always an event, thanks to
Etu Moana, The Boatshed, and the island night at Tamanu Resort. A great show and a weeks’ worth of meals
every night! And lunch at a café courtesy
say how thankful we are to everyone who helped with the clinic, the flights,
the entertainment, food and transport, accommodation and transport. We were overwhelmed by the generosity. Meitaki Maata or as they say in Aitutaki
of this clinic shows what can be accomplished in a short time, with a wide
array of people and groups cooperating. Te Are Manu hope to offer clinics in the rest
of the Pa Enua in future.
Next up is our
Puna desexing day at Murienua, on Wednesday the 6th of April. Contact Te Are Manu on 27719 for details, or
the SPCA on 73362 for transport.