Animal Warriors in American Samoa!
We currently have a team deployed in American Samoa, working with Alofa Mo Meaola (Love for Animals) the Department of Agriculture and the whole Samoan community. They are in the middle of an intense and targeted, community cat sterilization program. We are sharing the campaign news on our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnimalBalance/
Alley Cat Allies kindly funded this clinic, which is the first targeted cat clinic of its kind in American Samoa. Over the past 6 months, the 100 Tru-Catch cat traps and transfer cages were shipped down, in donated space available in containers of car tires. Everyone has worked tirelessly to create this clinic and now we are seeing incredible results come out of American Samoa; they are trapping around 50 cats most nights and systematically moving from village to village! The Department of Agriculture has joined forces with us and they are sterilizing the dogs at the clinic at the same time - amazing international teamwork!
Our volunteers are hard core; they are Animal Warriors! They traveled for 24 hours and then within hours of their arrival they met their partners, unpacked the supplies, set the clinic up in a pavilion and trapped the first cats. Kaboom! The days are long, hot, sweaty and it is demanding physical work, that often has harsh emotional elements to it. I really do have so much respect for every single person who participates in an Animal Balance campaign; you are pushed to your limit and your life is changed forever.
The Team is currently teaching the Park Service how to safely trap feral cats, deliver them to the clinic and return them to their territories. We all understand the challenges when working with predator and prey species, and rather than fight with one another over which is perceived as the more important species ‘to save’, we instead share our techniques and information and work together to protect all species in the most humane, efficient and logical manner. This has been Animal Balance’s approach since we started on the Galapagos Islands in 2004.
We encourage and coach local community members with whom we work, to set up their own non-profits in order to raise funds for medications and receive off-island veterinary teams like ours. Love for Animals was created by Mona and Nick King, following a MASH clinic for dogs which Animal Balance held in 2012. They saw their community's need and knew they had to create a way for vet teams to come and help, as the island does not have the capacity to sterilize the large numbers of cats and dogs themselves. They are now collecting their own database of veterinary volunteers who want to help in the future. Alofa Mo Meaola will act like Animal Balance and bring in veterinary teams to help humanely reduce the cat and dog populations on their island.
Participating in an Animal Balance clinic, or one with our partners, is an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience. Many of our volunteers now ‘need’ to go on a campaign every few years, to rejuvenate, to remind themselves of why they do what they do and to meet like-minded people from around the world. Sharing our collective mission with strangers might seem scary, and what we find is, we are all the same, wanting to work towards a greater good. When we unite and share, we are an immensely strong force for positive change and as a consequence, the world becomes a kinder place.
There really is no other adventure like it!
To apply to Animal Balance, click here http://animalbalance.net/volunteer/
To apply to Alofa Mo Meaola directly in American Samoa, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org