9 April 2007

Animal Hospital report

[Karuna Society for Animals and Nature; Tiruvannamalai branch]

Report from the Shelter's veterinarians from Holland, Rogier van Leeuwen and Kim Schriek.

Since 28th of January this year, Kim Schriek and I have been working at the Karuna Animal Shelter. We are both veterinarians from Holland. Kim finished her study in July 2006, with a specialization in companion animals and horses. For three months she worked in different practices all over the Netherlands. I finished my study in Utrecht September 2005, with a specialization in cows, pigs and horses. Last year I worked in Kevelaer, Germany as a cattle doctor. We have known each other for 5½ years, and have been together since 3½ years.

Kim and Rogier

After 3 months of varying jobs Kim wanted a more steady job and to see me more then once in two weeks. I was fed up with my job in Kevelaer, which didn't bring much pleasure and also had weird working times with only 2 days off in 2 weeks. In those weekends I went "home" to Kim and our two cats, Mambo and Murphey. Both of us wanted a change in the situation. Kim applied for a voluntary job as veterinarian in India. The Dutch Board of Animal Welfare had placed the advertisement and she called them for more information. We could go to Puttaparthi, the main branch of Karuna Society, almost immediately. I quit my job, stopped the rent, packed my stuff and went back "home".

The first two weeks of this year we spent a lot of time with friends and family. It was a wonderful period. The last two weeks of January we received intensive training in the operation methods used to sterilize stray dogs and how to treat tropical diseases at Puttaparthi. It was very strong and educational! After the two weeks of intense training, we became the first vets at the Animal Shelter in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.

The Puppy Nursery

Since we have arrived we have sterilized more than a total of 200 dogs and have treated a lot of stray dogs and pets for skin diseases, intestinal problems, traffic trauma and distemper. All treatments are for free. We have a lot of pleasure in our work with Radha and Ramesh, clinic assistants and Vishwa the operation assistant. But most wonderful is the progress of some of our orthopedic patients and working with a bunch of puppies (who are ready for adoption!).

A very young orthopedic patient

Hope to see you in the shelter soon. Love, Kim and Rogier email: kimenrogier@casema.nl

On speaking with Kim and Rogier about their experiences at Tiruvannamalai they told me that they have been too busy to do much touring, but they did visit Arunachaleswarar Temple during Shivaratri and also have taken lunch at Ramana Ashram. They have been given accommodation in the countryside and are content to return home after long, busy days at the Animal Hospital.

I asked Rogier what has been his biggest surprise with working at the Hospital. He told that the greatest difficulty was in getting people to be frank about the true situation when bringing animals into the Shelter. This lack of frankness makes treatment of the animals slower and more complicated. Maybe the idea of an Animal Hospital/Shelter at Tiruvannamalai is so radical that its just going to take some getting used to by locals.

Running around space

The dogs have a large area to play and run around in and altogether a much more promising start to their valuable lives.

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Thanks so much for a great write-up of the wonderful people and activities at the new animal shelter there in Tiru!