Reports from the Field

Animal Balance

Animal Balance is a U.S.-based nonprofit that uses large-scale animal sterilization campaigns to benefit island communities across the globe. The organization was founded in 2002 by Emma Clifford after discovering that cats and dogs in the Galapagos Islands were being poisoned to reduce their populations. Animal Balance was established to reduce animal populations humanely, bringing about “solutions without suffering.”

Throughout its 15-year history, Animal Balance has used sterilization as a tool to control free-roaming dog and cat populations on islands worldwide, and has brought Mobile Animal Sterilization Hospitals (MASH) to the Bahamas, Cape Verde, the Galapagos Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the Samoan Islands. These sterilization clinics serve owned and unowned animals alike. As they promote and provide animal sterilization in these island communities, Animal Balance volunteers are committed to education, outreach, and creating local partnerships.

To prepare for the introduction of non-surgical fertility control options, Animal Balance expanded its MASH program to a “MASH Menu,” designed to offer veterinarians a choice of sterilization options that best meet the needs of each patient and community.

The Z*M*A*S*H model introduced in Oahu opens up exciting new possibilities for future campaigns, both for Animal Balance and other organizations as other non-surgical options become available.

Animal Balance founder Emma Clifford explains the choice to incorporate non-surgical sterilization into their campaigns: “Offering new tools and technologies will be cost-and-resource-effective, empower communities that may resist surgical sterilization or cannot access anesthesia or pain medications, and reach dogs who are not well enough to undergo anesthesia.” In other words, using non-surgical products will allow their procedures to be minimally invasive and enable them to help more animals through maximization of time and resources, creating a more sustainable, affordable and culturally-acceptable option for the island communities that Animal Balance aids.

 

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