The importance of our work in the regions outside Tbilisi cannot be understated. As Mayhew Georgia’s Veterinary Surgeon Dr Ana explains: “In the towns and villages outside the capital there is little veterinary provision and our work there is vital – mainly to keep dogs safe and disease-free, but also to help the local community to have a greater understanding of the needs and wellbeing of our canine companions.”
With the onset of winter, working in these areas can be extremely tough. Heavy snowfall can mean the mountain roads are difficult to access and the freezing temperatures affects the team on the ground, as well as the animals we are helping. Our vets need to wrap up in protective clothing and ensure that extra precautions are put in place for animals in the mobile clinic’s care: they are currently planning on setting up a post-operative tent to keep dogs warm overnight under the watchful eye of a vet before they are rereleased the next day.
Vet training is a vital part of our work in Georgia. In recent months, we have been helping to train Dr Nugzari, a student vet and Mayhew volunteer from Kutaisi, Georgia, who is keen to expand his knowledge. Dr Nugazri had previously been travelling to Tbilisi to join Dr Ana for training once a week, but at the time of writing has had to pause his visits due to new restrictions around Covid-19.
“We will renew [his visits] when we can,” says Dr Ana, “and hopefully Nugazri can start making changes in his own community in Kutaisi as soon as possible, as veterinary services there are extremely limited and animals are in need of our help. Just one vet can do so much to make a difference, but when you train others and pass on skills and then those vets then train others too, that really is something that can create long-term change.”
In Tbilisi, our neutering and vaccination programme will continue throughout the winter, making sure our team is only a phone call away from concerned residents. The team will also be on hand to help local dog guardians – many of whom are vulnerable themselves and can become isolated during the holidays – as they keep an eye on the community dogs in their neighbourhoods.
Find out more about the vital work of Mayhew International and the projects we carry out and support in Afghanistan, Georgia and India.Find out more
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