Meet World Vets Trip Leader Dr Mike Corcoran

>World Vets has about a dozen project leaders who provide leadership for our international projects. Dr Mike Corcoran, an emergency and critical care veterinarian from Vancouver, Washington is one of them. I first met Mike several years ago when I was giving a lecture to the International Veterinary Medicine class at Washington State University. After my talk, Mike came up and introduced himself and offered his help if there was ever an opportunity for him to be involved with World Vets. If I recall correctly, he was a sophomore in veterinary school at the time. Little did he know that one day he would be one of our project leaders coordinating projects and leading veterinary teams to the far reaches of the globe. Most recently, he led a group to Loreto Mexico and later this year he will be taking a group to Ibarra, Ecuador for the first of a series of spay neuter projects in that area. As I write this blog, Mike is in Fiji (a rough life it must be!) on vacation. As it turns out, we had received a spay/neuter project request a couple months ago from the Fiji SPCA. I sent Mike on a mission, while he was vacationing, to meet up with the group and see how we could help. I don’t have all the details yet, but it sounds like we will be sending teams to Fiji within the next year. Thanks, Mike, for all you do for World Vets. As the years go by, I hope I will have many more stories like Mike’s, of students involved in our program who later go on to be project leaders when they graduate. It’s the great people we meet along the way who make World Vets what it is today.

Team Granada Dodges Bulls in the Streets of Nicaragua

It seems like there is always some excitement on the main cobblestone street of Granada, Nicaragua. When I was there a couple months ago, there were hundreds of stallions parading down the street during Hipica, a local Nicaraguan tradition. Our newest World Vets arrived yesterday and found themselves in the midst of Granada’s version of the Running of the Bulls which culminates with a rodeo rather than a bullfight, from what I understand. So instead of a relaxing day touring the city, the team had an experience they will not soon forget dodging bulls and people in the heart of this historic Spanish Colonial city. Luckily everyone survived unscathed and managed to get the supplies and equipment set up for toady’s early morning start at the clinic. I suspected they were greeted with a long line of surgery patients waiting for them at Casa Lupita. Go team!

The Running of the Bulls in Granada, Nicaragua

Team heads out for Granada Nicaragua today!


Santa Fe, New Mexico veterinarian Dr Tom Parker in Granada, Nicaragua (above and below pics)

Its only been a couple days since Team Panama returned home and we already have another team headed for Central America. Early this morning, eleven World Vets volunteers headed for the airport en route to Granada Nicaragua. We had a team in Granada just a few months ago doing a spay/neuter clinic as well as working on horses. We had a huge turnout at both clinics and in the end had to turn away some of the small animal patients as we had run out of time and supplies with such an overwhelming response from the local community. Our Granada project, like most of our programs, strives to be sustainable by providing ongoing support. In keeping with that mission, another team is on the way! This time the team is lead by Susan Paseman and Dr Tom Parker. Susan is the vice-president of World Vets and has travelled with many teams to Central America. Tom Parker is a veterinarian from Santa Fe, New Mexico who I met earlier this year. Tom contacted World Vets about the possibility of starting some programs in Nicaragua (where we previously had not worked). Well, that was just 8 months ago and we have already been there four different times doing veterinary projects and have plans for regular continued support. During the Granada trip, we will be working at Casa Lupita, a clinic run by Donna Tabor of Building New Hope. Dr Tom has worked extensively with Casa Lupita and has managed to fully outfit the clinic with equipment and supplies, one suitcase load at a time. Tom is one of the hardest-working, most dedicated people I know and is an all around great guy! Dr Tom will oversee the veterinary work on the Granada project. We wish the team good luck this week and will keep you posted on their progress.

Susan Paseman, project leader and Vice-President of World Vets, working during our last Granada project in May 2009.

The Tale of the Finger Puppets

>I’d like to share a story of just one of the many kind gestures that has been bestowed upon World Vets. Alex, Nancy and Sarah Sherertz have been loyal supporters and volunteers of our organization from the beginning. On a recent trip to Peru, they came across some cute and very unique finger puppets which they bought for World Vets. Having been on projects with us in the past (Belize and Mexico)they knew that local kids are always a part of our programs. On their return, Nancy packaged up the puppets and shipped them and as luck would have it they arrived the day before our departure to Nicaragua. I made room in one of our medical supply duffels and the finger puppets were off on another travel adventure. The fact that they were small and lightweight made them perfect for the journey. During our clinic in barrio Las Delicios Nicaragua, each kid who brought in an animal for surgery or consultation got to choose a finger puppet for their very own. It was a serious job picking just the right one as they were all unique and unlike anything they had seen before. For children who have so little, I suspect this small gesture will not be soon forgotten. The finger puppets travelled from Peru, to Maryland, to North Dakota and finally to the homes of children in Nicaragua. Thank you for your kind gesture, it was a big hit!

Alex, Sarah and Nancy Sherertz and Evan Hansen pose for a picture in Aguas Calientes Peru modeling the finger puppets they bought for World Vets.

A few of the lucky kids in Nicaragua who were thrilled to receive the finger puppets on our project last week.

World Vets Team Returns From Panama


Every month, World Vets sends a team to work with our Panama division, called SpayPanama. The team arrives on Tuesday, works in the clinic in Panama City for a couple days then heads out for a weekend “spay blitz” in a remote community. To date, over 22,000 animals have been spayed and neutered in Panama under this program. SpayPanama has become a model for what can be accomplished with a dedicated sterilization program. This months team travelled to Farallon, Panama for the spay blitz. It rained all the way there (it is rainy season!). During the weekend blitz, 241 animals had surgery (202 dogs and 39 cats). Anyone who has been a part of a remote spay blitz knows how much work is involved in doing this volume of surgery. Great job! The animals were also dewormed, vaccinated, treated for fleas and had their ears cleaned. A special thanks to Shirley Chen and Liz Pollak!