Posts by: Katie

Fostering Animal Wellness in Rural Nicaragua

Photo: Katie Horn/World Vets

Photo: Katie Horn/World Vets

Photo: Katie Horn/World Vets

Photo: Katie Horn/World Vets

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Photo: Katie Horn/WorldVets

Photo: Katie Horn/WorldVets

As World Vets team pulled up to the local school, which was to be our clinic site, piglets and chickens were busy foraging on the school grounds. Unafraid of our presence they continued about their daily routine. As we proceeded to set up our work stations we were greeted by a donkey that happened to preside over a family’s small agricultural plot next door. He provided constant reminders of his presence, “hee – haw”, that enticed many of us to go see him throughout the work day.

As veterinary services got underway, children and grown men dressed in their Sunday’s best began to form a line around the registration desk. Dogs were brought to us in handbags, on carts and wheelbarrows and cats surprisingly enough were carried in on string leashes or in cardboard boxes. Half came to us to receive spay/neuter surgery and the other half for health consultations

Until recently World Vets had not set up a direct veterinary service campaign in this particular community. Located 25 minutes or so outside of the main town of San Juan del Sur, the rural community of Escamequita is a world of its own. In contrast to town, houses are scattered over considerable distances and made from all kinds of materials; from wood to metal scrap and/or brick. All animals, including dogs, pigs, chickens and turkeys roam free, yet everyone knows which house they belong to. Furthermore, potable water may only be accessible from a well and during the rainy season the only road to and from Escamequita may be washed out, limiting contact with town and its subsequent products and services.

Even though World Vets had never visited the area before, the animals of Escamequita have quite a history with World Vets and the services we have provided in San Juan del Sur over the years. This has much to do with concerned and kind hearted expatriates who also live in the area. Without hesitation, they have rallied local households and loaded up their trucks with animals, accompanied by their owners, to receive our services, wherever they would be provided. The animals brought to us in their vehicles were always the ones that had the worse body conditions and needed the most TLC from our teams.

After years of their dedication and demand for veterinary care, it made perfect sense to bring our services directly to them. Our recent campaign in Escamequita has acted to harness this growing awareness of animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, especially amongst the young population. Many animals from the original “truck loads” were first brought to us to receive spay/neuter surgery. Now we happily welcome them back for follow up medical treatments. And wouldn’t you know it; they were some of the healthiest looking bunch during our recent campaign!

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Photo: Van Olsen Photography

Our visit to Escamequita has also served to further promote the concept of animal wellness, specifically for new pet owners who had not previously sought out our services either due to distance and/or logistics. In consultations we saw one young boy who brought his puppy for a check up and to receive preventative health treatments. This is the first step we explained, to being a responsible pet owner, and his father proudly agreed.

More than anything our veterinary services in rural communities such as Escamequita provide the means for individuals to care for and be responsible pet owners. It is a huge misconception that people in foreign countries simply do not care for their animals. They do! This young boy is but one example.

All of World Vets veterinary services are provided free of charge
Story write up: Katie Horn, World Vets International Programs Manager

World Vets Working in Tonga; Farm Calls, Education & Spay/Neuter Services

As part of the 2013 Pacific Partnership mission, a World Vets veterinary team provided a variety of services in Tonga alongside US Army personnel as well as host nation partners. Below we provide a photo essay to highlight the work accomplished as part of the veterinary program provided during our recent visit to Tonga.

US Army Captain, Cherise Neu, and World Vets volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Kristin Camp, answer questions about proper care for both dairy cows and beef cows from local farmers, para-vets, and veterinarians

US Army Captain, Cherise Neu, and World Vets volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Kristin Camp, answer questions about proper care for both dairy cows and beef cows from local farmers, para-vets, and veterinarians

U.S. Army Captain, Cherise Neu, lectures local farmers, para-vets, and veterinarians about cow body scoring and proper nutrion and diet based on how the cow will ultimately be used

U.S. Army Captain, Cherise Neu, lectures local farmers, para-vets, and veterinarians about cow body scoring and proper nutrion and diet based on how the cow will ultimately be used

World Vets volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Kristin Camp, gives a calf a physical exam to ensure that the calf is healthy

World Vets volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Kristin Camp, gives a calf a physical exam to ensure that the calf is healthy

World Vets volunteer, Dr. Kristin Camp, talks to the local veterinarian, para-vets, and farmers about the importance of testing for Mastitis in cows, which will help ensure that the milk they are producing is healthy for both human and calves to consume

World Vets volunteer, Dr. Kristin Camp, talks to the local veterinarian, para-vets, and farmers about the importance of testing for Mastitis in cows, which will help ensure that the milk they are producing is healthy for both human and calves to consume

Dr. Kristin Camp, volunteer veterinarian for World Vets, shows locals how to easily test for mastitis in cow’s milk.

Dr. Kristin Camp, volunteer veterinarian for World Vets, shows locals how to easily test for mastitis in cow’s milk.

Dr. Abbey O’Connor, a World Vets volunteer veterinarian, and Lt. Hannah Castillo, prepare a young dog for desexing as part of the free clinic that was held for locals

Dr. Abbey O’Connor, a World Vets volunteer veterinarian, and Lt. Hannah Castillo, prepare a young dog for desexing as part of the free clinic that was held for locals

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World Vets volunteer veterinarian, Dr. Abi Collinson, and U.S. Army Veterinarian Technician , Sargent Lynn Marsh, clean Brown Senior’s ear after having been in a dog fight

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Dr. Abbey O’Connor, a World Vets volunteer veterinarian, and Lt. Hannah Castillo, prepare a young dog for desexing as part of the free clinic that was held for locals

Pacific Partnership is a multinational mission of host nations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and regional partners that include Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United States that join together to improve maritime security, conduct humanitarian assistance and strengthen disaster response preparedness throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

World Vets volunteers travel on board a US Navy ship as part of this mission.

All photos and captions: Amanda Saavedra

World Vets Volunteer Makes Local News in the Marshall Islands

PP13 MI newsMAJURO, Marshall Islands (July 4, 2013) Tori Hall, a volunteer with the non-governmental organization World Vets, lets a Marshallese child listen to the heartbeat of a dog during a Pacific Partnership 2013 health fair.

Pacific Partnership is a mission that brings host nation governments, U.S. military, partner nation militaries and non-governmental organization volunteers together to conduct disaster-preparedness projects and build relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to better respond during a crisis.World Vets has provided veterinary personnel for this mission since 2009.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laurie Dexter/Released)

A Successful Pilot Project in Suriname, South America

LS1A7328World Vets recently operated a pilot project* in Paramaribo, Suriname. We sent a volunteer veterinary team that provided a very successful large scale sterilization campaign which resulted in 250 surgeries being performed. Our team worked with Henk Abrahams Foundation, a local animal welfare organization. We thank Fondation Brigitte Bardot for their support of this visit as well as all the volunteers for their efforts. See pictures of our Suriname campaign here

 *A pilot project is a new project location where a World Vets team has not previously worked

World Vets aids Pacific Partnership response to Hit & Run

Hit n RunMALAPO, Tonga — Three Pacific Partnership members acted as first responders to a hit and run automobile accident on a local pedestrian during the Tongan portion of the 2013 mission.

U.S. Army Capt. James Dillon, U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Lund and Dr, Abi O’Connor, a volunteer veterinarian from nongovernmental organization (NGO) World Vets, were en route to the South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) clinic to pick up supplies when they saw a man walking down the street get hit by a passing truck.

“The truck was driving about 50 km/hr when he hit him,” said Dr. Abi O’Connor. “The driver of the truck paused, and then drove away after the man landed on the street side.”

Read full story here

Story and photo by World Vets photojournalist Ms. Amanda Saavedra

World Vets Brings Veterinary Care to Remote Region in Guatemala

RioDulce1A World Vets team has just returned after a great adventure to the Atlantic Coast of Guatemala. Following 7 hours of travel, in a van and boat ride from the capital, they arrived in the Livingston/Rio Dulce region. During their visit they provided free veterinary services, a luxury for local cats and dogs, as local services for animals are hard to come by in such an isolated area. Many communities are only accessible by boat making veterinary care a great challenge.

Our team provided a large scale sterilization campaign where 164 surgeries were RioDulceSXSuitperformed as well as an additional 200 plus health consultations and treatments provided to local animals.  We also saw patients at the dock of our accommodations during the evening along the river. In these activities, we were joined by local volunteers and veterinary students from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.

We would like to extend our many thanks and gratitude to our team members and local coordinator, Aska, of El Hotelito Perdido. We would also like to thank CATUR, the RioD 2local Centro de Salud and municipality of Livingston for all their support in helping make this campaign possible. And finally we would like to thank local businesses and the community of Livingston for their warm welcome and hospitality.

See pictures of World Vets visit to Rio Dulce, Guatemala – coming soon!

1 Vet Spot Left for Otavalo, Ecuador Project! July 2013

otavaloThere is just 1 VETERINARIAN spot left open for our July 2013 Otavalo, Ecuador Project. Join us on a trip to the Ecuadorian Andes July 17 – 24, 2013 and provide a three day large scale sterilization campaign in the town of Otavalo!

World Vets has been providing regular high volume spay/neuter services in EcuN59 editEcuador since 2009. We have also secured an agreement with the municipality of Otavalo stipulating that they will not carry out poisoning campaigns in exchange for our free spay/neuter services for community animals.

Aside from veterinary work, volunteers will have free time to explore the area, visit Otavalo’s famous markets and much more! What are you waiting for? Check out this volunteer opportunity here

See pictures of  World Vets in Ecuador here

This project is supported by Fondation Brigitte Bardot of Paris, France

 

World Vets Provides Education & Veterinary Services in Samoa

Samoa1

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

Photo Credit: Amanda Saavedra/World Vets

World Vets volunteers were hard at work this past week on the Samoan islands of Upolu and Sevai’i doing everything from spay and neuter clinics, educational lectures, and even having some fun with kids at two Special Olympic health fairs. While they were there, they witnessed a culture very different from their own, where community and sharing are very much the way of life. Along with the U.S. service members and other partner nations participating in the Pacific Partnership 2013 mission (PP 2013), they integrated into the different villages of Samoa working to better their communities and the health of both the people and the animals in them.

Spay and neuter clinics were held on both Upolu and Sevai’i, where World Vet volunteers and U.S. Army veterinarians and vet techs set up free clinics at local churches and various other sites. Countless families came with their furry friends to get them spayed and neutered to better their communities. In Samoa, dogs have begun to create a problem due to overpopulation, lack of regulation and proper confinement. Many homes in Samoa are called “fallahs,” which is a home without walls. The homes are a part of communities where everything is shared among them. Naturally, these communities have no fences and many dogs run freely, contributing to the dog over population problem. Spay and neuter clinics provided by Pacific Partnership gave these communities the opportunity to bring their dogs and cats in and prevent their own pets from contributing to the problem.

An overpopulation of dogs also means dog bites are a common occurrence. World Vet volunteers and U.S. Army veterinarians visited several schools educating young children about dog bites, how to prevent them, and what to do in case they get one. The children in these schools were so eager to learn and quickly caught on to the signs of what a mean, scared, or unthreatening dog looks like. US Army vets also spoke about the importance of washing ones hands after petting animals and even gave the kids a great way to remember how long hands should be washed for by singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with them. With these tools given to the children Vets are hope that not only will the information be passed on to their families at home, but that dog bites will be prevented in the future.

World Vet volunteers and U.S. Army Veterinarians also held educational lectures for the members of the Animal Protection Society in Upolu and those who work in the meat industry. Lectures covered everything from body scoring of horses, learning about new drugs available for neutering dogs, proper physical examinations of both large and small animals and properly preparing animals for slaughtering and the process that follows. These lectures brought the local veterinarians and “para-vets” up to date on the latest information and also ways to complete procedures and examinations with what the local community has, making the procedures and examinations available to them in the future.

On both Sevai’i and Upolu, World Vet volunteers and U.S. Army vets joined other U.S. service members Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and other partner nation service members of PP 2013 for Special Olympic eligibility health fairs. While children were checked-out by various members of the PP 2013 medical team they were given the opportunity to learn about preventing dog bites and color in books featuring their unique furry friends. With more than 100 kids in attendance, many children got to meet with veterinarians for some fun and learning. Some vets even got to throw around a rugby ball with the kids participating in the events.

Samoa is just the beginning of the Pacific Partnership 2013 mission and World Vets has already accomplished so much. After departing Samoa, World Vets, other NGO’s, partner nations, and U.S. service members will be heading towards Tonga, where more exciting and community based projects are waiting.

*This article was written by Amanda Saavedra, World Vets photojournalist on board the 2013 Pacific Partnership mission

World Vets Helps Animals Impacted by Tornado in Oklahoma, USA

942279_10151369423591571_720522014_nIn response to the tornado that hit Oklahoma this month, World Vets teamed up with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and BlogPaws to help animals impacted by the disaster.

World Vets set up a tornado relief fundraiser that provided direct support to three organizations operating in the area. The recipient organizations were the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Relief Fund and the Pampered Pets Veterinary Clinic Disaster Relief. We also sent a  truckload of veterinary and pet 941767_10151373418956571_1194790480_nsupplies that were delivered as part of a shipment organized by local Fargo, North Dakota TV station Valley News Live. These donated supplies were set up next to the “Reunion Facility” for owners that had been recently reunited with their pets to “shop” for food, crates, toys and more.

A huge thank you is in order to all of those who have supported us and our partners; BlogPaws, American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and Pet360, and everyone who contributed to our tornado relief fundraiser – it made a huge difference in the lives of both pets and pet owners affected by the disaster.

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