Sunday, July 17, 2005
A View from the Vaccine Table
From the vaccination table, the Shot Fair looked like an amazing event. As soon as I arrived from Tri-Valley, I started prepping DHLPP (a basic yearly shot for dogs) and rabies' shots as fast as my fingers could pull back the syringes and peel off the paperwork.
On my left, two lines of people waited patiently with their pit bulls, rottweilers, chihuahuas, dachsunds, Heinz 57s, and even their large Tupperware bins full of puppies. All to sign up for free shots and cheap microchips.
After people had their paperwork, they came to our table. We asked them some basic questions about the health of their dogs to make sure we could vaccinate at that time: "How does he feel today?" "Is he eating and drinking okay?" "Any vomiting or diarrhea?" A few people asked us to look at ears or feet, and we referred them to our clinic in Oakland, and explained what a visit would likely entail.
Then it was vaccine time! We asked each person to hold the head of her own dog, and showed her where the shot would go. Most dogs were extremely tolerant and acted as though they didn't feel anything. A few small dogs were quite frantic about the crowd of people and dogs, and had to be muzzled. A few people were quite alarmed at the shots--their dogs had never been vaccinated before--and they cooed to their dogs, telling them that everything would be okay.
We microchipped quite a few dogs, too. This means fewer lost dogs will stay lost.
After the shots, microchips, and flea control, people moved to the right, to the tables with free spay neuter vouchers and the tables with cool, free leashes (we saw lots of those on the dogs that came to get shots, some with tags still on). There were also tables about pit bulls with information provided by BADRAP. The West side of the lot had tables with shots for cats and cat things.
Yesterday was a great day for the city of Oakland's dogs and cats. I got the feeling the little kids liked it, too. All those needles and not a single kid got a shot! There was a jumpy machine for the kids to keep them busy, and sodas, water and popcorn for everyone.
The need for the Shot Fair was clearly there: so many dogs had never had their shots, or had out-of-date shots. And even more, so many of the pets were intact and have the potential to lead to the next generation of homeless dogs and cats. Hopefully, the people with intact pets made their way directly from the vaccine table to get a free spay and neuter appointment, and our clinics will be hearing from them soon!