MJ Wixsom: Doctor to take trip to help strays

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 25, 2024

I will be out of the office the last two weeks in March. 

As a veterinarian deeply committed to animal welfare, I am thrilled to announce an upcoming journey to Saipan, where I will be undertaking a crucial mission aimed at improving the health and well-being of the beloved pets on the island. 

This endeavor encompasses a range of veterinary services, from spays and neuters to essential medical care, all aimed at ensuring a brighter future for the animal population of Saipan.

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I have my tickets to Saipan, a stunning island in the Western Pacific, boasts a rich cultural tapestry and breathtaking natural beauty. 

It is most known for its influence in WWII. 

However, like many communities across the globe, it faces challenges when it comes to animal overpopulation and access to veterinary care. 

Stray dogs and feral cats roam the streets, often without the necessary medical attention, contributing to issues of overpopulation and public health concerns.

From Boonie Baby Rescue website: “Evidence of the battles here are everywhere, from the sunken tanks and planes offshore to the pill boxes, memorials, and even unexploded ordinances scattered all over the island. However, the most common and identifiable remnants of the war’s history are the boonie dogs. After WWII, countless combat dogs that had been used to sniff out bombs and hiding Japanese soldiers in Saipan’s thick jungle were lost or left behind. Today the descendants of those heroic war dogs are uniquely known as “boonie dogs”, a jumbled mix of bloodhounds, Rottweilers, Labradors, Dobermans, German Shepherds and more. Today, the distinct breeds in the gene pool are nearly unrecognizable in these dogs as the isolation, crossbreeding, and diversity of the dog population has made Boonie Dogs their own “breed” American Village Dogs, coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors.

“Boonie dogs roam the island living off any scraps they can find and enduring the harsh rainstorms and blistering heat. Most are homeless, starving, sick, and covered in ticks and mange….”

My trip to Saipan is part of a broader initiative to address these issues head-on. 

One of the primary focuses of my visit will be performing spays and neuters on dogs and cats. 

By offering these essential surgeries, we aim to not only control the population of stray and feral animals but also to improve their quality of life. 

Spaying and neutering not only prevent unwanted litters but also have numerous health benefits for the animals, including reducing the risk of certain cancers and behavioral issues.

In addition to spays and neuters, I will be providing comprehensive medical care to the animals of Saipan. 

This includes vaccinations to protect against deadly diseases such as rabies, as well as treatments for common ailments like parasites and infections. 

I will be carrying vaccines and other supplies with me to the island. I’m spending evenings and weekends working to get everything together.

By offering these services, we hope to ensure that every pet on the island has access to the care they need to live healthy and happy lives.

One aspect of my trip is the opportunity to travel to nearby island Rota to vaccinate dogs for rabies. 

These vaccinations are not just a matter of routine preventive care; they play a crucial role in protecting both animal and human populations from this deadly disease. 

In Guam, where rabies has been successfully eradicated, strict protocols are in place to prevent its reintroduction. 

Any dogs being imported to Guam must undergo special testing to ensure they are free from rabies. 

By vaccinating dogs on Rota, we are not only safeguarding the health of the local population but also facilitating safe movement to Guam for these animals.

Beyond the veterinary work itself, I am proud to be associated with Boonie Babies, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of animals in Saipan and beyond. 

Boonie Babies is committed to providing veterinary care, spaying and neutering services, and educational programs to promote responsible pet ownership. 

Through their tireless efforts, they have made significant strides in addressing the challenges faced by the animal population of Saipan, and I am honored to support their mission.

My upcoming trip to Saipan represents more than just a journey; it is a mission of compassion and commitment to the well-being of animals. 

By providing essential veterinary services, including spays and neuters, medical care, and rabies vaccinations, we hope to make a lasting difference in the lives of the pets and people of Saipan. As Guardian Animal’s tag line says: We Make Lives Better. 

Together with organizations like Boonie Babies, we are working towards a future where every animal receives the care and compassion they deserve.

I’ll be back the first part of April.

More info at https://booniebabiessaipan.com/

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566