A team of vets, vet nurses and other keen helpers from the Canberra Mob has just returned from another successful trip to Utopia, 240 km northeast of Alice Springs.
This is the third visit by the Canberra team of volunteer AMRRIC supporters. The group, led by Drs Michael Archinal and Alison Taylor, has adopted Utopia and its communities (Utopia has16 permanent outstations spread over 3,500 square km), committing to twice-yearly dog health programs.
Others in the team included Bill Taylor, Louise Nicholls, Naomi Treloar, Geraldine Wickham and Kathryn McKinley. Despite a few logistical challenges, the team continued to build a good rapport with the local community and their dogs. Over 100 dogs were desexed and many treated with Ivermectin for internal and external parasites. AMRRIC added to the dog program outcomes by delivering an education program with children in a number of local schools. Coinciding vet work with education is proving to be an excellent way to enhance the program’s impact on the community.
Dr Taylor said, “It was extremely heartening to visit some of the outstations where we worked on the last visit, and to see the difference we’d made to the health of the dogs. We’re already planning our next visit in April 2013, and focusing on how we can improve communication with local Indigenous community members prior to our visits.” She said the group was excited about the awareness the program was creating in the ACT community, and the support (including funding) they were receiving for future Utopia dog health programs.