Tuesday, July 9, 2013: Going to Jail

Tuesday, we traveled to the prison camp Dakawa. It was the first companion animal surgery ever performed in the camp.

The prisoners are mixed together. They are not separated by level of the crime they commit. There is only one jail in all of Tanzania that takes those that have committed murder. Tanzania does have the death penalty but there have been no deaths under the current president. This particular camp is an agricultural camp. It allows the offender to learn trades that will be useful for when they complete their sentence. They grow sunflowers, tomatoes, corn, wheat and have livestock. The ones who are close to the completion of their sentence look after as many as 100 cattle a day.

The dogs were very feral and vicious. Most of the dogs couldn’t be touched and had to be manipulated with a rabies pole and ropes. All of the dogs were infested with ticks and fleas. A few of the dogs had transmissible venereal tumors and according to Professor Muhairwa, these tumors are quite common in Tanzania. All of the dogs were very thin but, according to Nickson, live very long lives. We performed 8 castrations, 3 spays that day and vaccinated and dewormed 46 and 52 dogs, respectively.