Typical Demonstration Clinic Tour

Set Up: The "Stop Pet Over-Population Today" Van arrives with the supplies
The van usually arrives the night before the event. The Task Force provides the supplies and equipment to set up a spay / neuter clinic with up to 6 surgical tables!
When they arrive, the Task Force decides where to set everything up. The community provides plenty of clean bedding for the recovery stations! Note all the Thank-You posters recognizing the local businesses who have supported this event.
The Clinic Begins!
After being met in the parking lot by Greeters, pet owners are directed to: Check-In Every animal must be signed in. At the station, all animals are collared with permanent ID tags, assigned tocrates, and put in line. All the dogs are weighed. (Feral cats are collared after knock-out!)
The Line -Up begins. These volunteers keep the animals in the proper order on their way to the Pre-Op Station.
Supervised children make excellent volunteers. They will learn from this experience and fondly remember "Pet Care Week". This little girl worked her pants off!
Many people like to stay with their pets during the wait.
As they go down the line, volunteers clean the wait-crates, to get them ready for the next animal. This is Sandy Gibbs, a volunteer from Durango, Colorado. She and her husband Dick spent their 40th wedding anniversary volunteering at "The Fixer Upper" in Livingston!  
In Pre-Op, the cats and dogs are knocked out by experienced veterinary technicians and volunteers. Jonathon Vernwald, shown here, has been working on Task Force events since he was 12 years old. The first MTSNTF Clinic was held at his home in Blackfeet County, Montana!
When the animals are unconscious, they are shaved, and special eye drops are put in their eyes so they don’t dry up. The cats are taped on to special operating "boats" which they stay on from knock-out thru prep and surgery.
Next they are "scrubbed" several times with products that sterilize the incision area.  
Elastic collars with ID tags are put on the wilder cats at this time. The paper work is kept with the animals at all times. When you are fixing 100 cats a day, you don’t want to forget who is who,or mix up the black cats!
Once they are shaved and scrubbed, the animals are delivered to the waiting veterinarians.
Bunnies await snippage.
The Surgeries
The cat vets hard at work.
The dog vets hard at work.
The veterinarians work openly, in the same room where recovery takes place. This is what makes the clinic an educational demonstration. People are welcome to observe the operations. The vets are also nearby to assist if there are questions in the recovery section.
Sterilizing the Surgical Instruments
Between surgeries, the surgical instruments are sterilized. First, they are scrubbed and cleaned in a special solution.
After being washed, they are laid out and made up into packs that contain these instruments and some surgical gauze.
The packs are then sterilized in an autoclave. This is a non-stop job. Autoclave volunteers are constantly collecting the used instruments, cleaning them, re-packing them, putting them in the autoclave, and delivering them to the vets!
Animals under the effects of anesthesia can not regulate their body temperature, so they must be kept very warm. (Or cool in very hot weather.) This boy is laying "hot socks" (microwaved socks filled with rice) along each side of the cats. Then each cat is covered by a towel or blanket.
Animals in recovery get one-on-one attention. These volunteers are under the supervision of an experienced "Team Leader". When they wake up and are breathing well, the cats are returned to their crates.
The bedding is changed for every new animal. That is why there is SO much laundry!! Many pet owners assist in the recovery of their own animals. Just look at this family!
This cat had ear mites, so a volunteer is giving it ear drops.
Supervised children make excellent volunteers. They take their jobs very seriously. This Girl Scout troop observed a dog surgery, and then spent the morning assisting in cat recovery.
Dog recovery takes place on the floor, where they can be observed from head to tail. It is a good idea to have a strong guy in dog recovery to carry the unconscious dogs from pre-op to surgery, and from the vet tables to the recovery area.
When the animal is awake and the owner is ready to take it home, the owner is given special after-care instructions. This volunteer is making sure the owner understands the important after-care information.
What else is going on?
Some of these clinics go 12 hours a day! It’s important to keep the vets, techs, and hardworking volunteers fed. The kitchen volunteers fix 3 meals a day, and keep snacks out all day.
This lovely volunteer is Hillary Johnson. She not only helped in the kitchen, she also designed and hosted the first version of our web site! Thanks Hillary!
It’s great to have a massage therapist on hand to give the veterinarians and vet techs breaks through out the day. Fixing animals 12 hours a day can really be a pain in the neck! Sara Gibbs Cook, owner of Peace Thru Touch Massage Therapy in Big Sky, donated one full day of her time at The Fixer Upper. Thanks Sally!
At the end of each day, a volunteer crew cleans up.
Last Day -Tear Down
When all the gonads have been removed, and all the animals have been taken home, there is still a lot of work to do! Volunteers are needed to tear down the tables, clean the building, and REPACK the van!
After the clinic, the van is unpacked, inventory is taken, supplies are reordered, and the van is packed all over again for the next clinic. We do about 20 clinics every year!
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.
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