Posts by: dvm

SeaWorld Conservation Fund Makes Multi-Year Grant to World Vets to Help Build Largest Capacity for Marine Animal Rescue on San Cristobal Island in the Galápagos


The SeaWorld Conservation Fund recently announced a multi-year grant  to help World Vets build the largest capacity for marine animal rescue on San Cristobal Island in the Galápagos, in collaboration with the Galápagos National Park. The funds will improve the infrastructure of the existing small facility used for wildlife response, build additional capacity for responding to and rescuing sick, injured, and entangled marine animals and other wildlife of the Galápagos Islands, and enable the study and baseline health monitoring of native species. Priority species will primarily be marine mammals, especially Galápagos sea lions and will also include Galápagos fur seals, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, Galápagos penguins, marine iguanas, and other native and endemic wildlife of the archipelago. The Galápagos has many species of animals not found anywhere else in the world and is a United Nations World Heritage Site protected by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“We are very grateful to the SeaWorld Conservation Fund for their support which will help us fill a critical need in the Galapagos Islands, providing long-term and foundational capacity building and consistent veterinary support for marine species and other wildlife,” said Dr. Cathy King, Founder and CEO of World Vets and a conservation medicine veterinarian. “The many endangered and threatened wildlife species of the archipelago need our help as they face significant threats from climate change, introduced species, plastics pollution, and interactions with a growing human population. With this funding and our collaboration with the Galápagos National Park, we can have an even greater positive impact on the conservation of marine life.”

Specific project goals and objectives that will be made possible by the funding include:

  • Facility upgrades for expanded veterinary services and short-term hospitalization, treatment, clinical care and field response. The grant will also make it possible to provide full-time veterinary staffing and 24×7 field responder coverage and availability.
  • Improved data collection, identification, and recovery of animals. A new data collection app will be developed for use by field responders, veterinarians, park rangers and naturalist guides to facilitate and improve reporting and documentation. Public outreach to improve the identification and reporting of animals in distress, as well as routine beach surveys and drone surveys to spot and remotely evaluate animals in need will be included.
  • Documenting and monitoring health trends, unusual mortality events and disease outbreaks. The funds will help facilitate more routine post-mortem examinations and to disseminate information on outcomes and any emerging health and disease trends.

Dr. Chris Dold, President of the SeaWorld Conservation Fund and Chief Zoological Officer of SeaWorld said, “At SeaWorld, we believe that marine animal rescue is a key tool for the conservation of marine species, and we are proud to help World Vets develop the added capacity they need to expand their important work. The rescue and rehabilitation of all species, both those living in abundant numbers and those deemed vulnerable or threatened, gives us and other marine health practitioners invaluable information about wildlife health and the diseases and threats present in the ocean. Marine mammals are sentinels for the health of the ocean and by caring for them we improve our ability to protect and preserve animals and their ocean environment today and into the future.”

All work will be done in collaboration with and under the direction of the Galápagos National Park. The Galápagos Islands are located on the equator, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an area legally protected by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The public can help support funding of projects like this one by making a SeaWorld Conservation Fund donation online or in the SeaWorld parks. Since inception in 2003, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund has provided more than $20 million in grants to provide financial and scientific support to 1,391 different animal conservation and ecosystem projects on all seven continents.

About World Vets

One of two major focus areas for the World Vets program in Galápagos is developing the capacity for rescue, response, and veterinary services for sick, injured, entangled and dead marine animals and other native wildlife, especially in cases of human interaction. Efforts also contribute to research and conservation efforts for native wildlife species, especially the endangered Galápagos sea lions which are a primary focus.

World Vets was established over 20 years ago (with NGO status in 2006) as an international veterinary aid organization, bringing veterinary expertise, capacity building and direct care for animals to underserved areas of the world. Since then, World Vets has worked extensively in over 50 countries on 6 continents, has responded to major international disasters, has deployed numerous veterinary teams on US military humanitarian aid missions aboard US Navy hospital ships, has provided care that has benefitted over a million animals and has provided training in surgery and anesthesia techniques to over 1100 veterinarians from developing countries.

World Vets has an established presence in the Galápagos Islands and extensive experience in international development, marine mammal stranding response, rapid program implementation in challenging locations and over two decades of successful veterinary aid work in developing regions, especially Latin American countries.

About the SeaWorld Conservation Fund

Established in 2003, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit private foundation that supports grassroots conservation projects that make a difference in species research, habitat protection, conservation education, and animal rescue and rehabilitation. It has provided more than $20 million in grants to provide financial and scientific support to 1,391 different marine and land-based animal conservation and ecosystem projects on all seven continents. More than 100 different species have been helped through these grants. Funding comes through a variety of sources including contributions by SeaWorld’s corporate entity, SeaWorld Entertainment, and from the parks via roundups at the register, merchandise sales, and special events. Corporate partners contribute to the Fund, and consumers can support the cause by making donations in the parks or online. SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. covers all expenses and overhead for the Fund. This enables it to return 100 percent of every penny donated directly to the projects supported. Grant applications are accepted annually, though 2022-2023 grant applications are by invitation only. Both one-time and multi-year support is provided for recipient organizations.

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World Vets Announces Iconic Project for Wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

World Vets marks significant milestone in efforts to protect critically endangered wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.

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Dr Cathy King, CEO of World Vets and Danny Rueda Córdova, Director of the Galápagos National Park, cut the ribbon to place the first stone for the new Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center on the Galápagos Islands. (San Cristobal Island,Galápagos)

Last week, World Vets and the Galápagos National Park signed a landmark cooperation agreement for the construction of a Wildlife Rescue, Response, Rehabilitation and Conservation Center on San Cristobal Island, home to the largest population of Galápagos sea lions in the archipelago. As part of a larger agreement, World Vets will also provide permanent veterinary support to the Galápagos National Park Rapid Response Program, provide health monitoring of endemic species and contribute substantially to the conservation of critically endangered species through field response and rescue work, conservation research, foundational capacity building and public outreach and education.  The groundbreaking ceremony for this iconic project, which was attended by numerous Park Rangers, government officials, and other agency representatives, marked a significant milestone of this multi-phase project that will contribute to the conservation of the unique biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands.


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World Vets CEO Dr Cathy King (center) and Park Rangers of the Galápagos National Park

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Danny Rueda Córdova and Dr. Cathy King sign a formal agreement of cooperation between World Vets and the Galapagos National Park.



The development of the Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center will occur in two phases on adjoining properties. Phase I, underway in December 2023, will include the construction of an urgent care rescue center that will include digital radiology, ultrasound, laboratory, surgery and personnel work stations. In addition, upgrades will be made to an existing structure and sea lion holding pens to increase rescue capacity. Phase II, a full service wildlife veterinary hospital, rehabilitation center and conservation research facility (already designed), will commence following phase I and when full funding is secured.



World Vets is grateful to Danny Rueda Córdova (director of the Galapagos National Park) and the leadership of the San Cristobal Technical Unit (DUTSC) of the Galapagos National Park for their countless hours of collaboration that went into the development of this project over the last couple years. Pictured (left to right) Gabriel Vásquez, Rentao Herrera, Dr Cathy King, Jimmy Bolaños.



Recognition of Major Donors for Phase I- We are grateful for the generous support from the SeaWorld Conservation Fund and donations made in memory of Dr Jerry Brown and Joan Wattles which contribute to the Phase I Rescue Center construction, equipment, rescue work and capacity building.


If you would like to support our Wildlife Conservation and Rescue work in Galapagos you can donate through our website at  or contact us directly at

World Vets other work in Galapagos:

World Vets has been working in Ecuador for 15 years including the last several years on the Galápagos Islands. The Galápagos Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the equator, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, with a population of over 33,000 people.  The many endangered and threatened wildlife species of the archipelago face a variety of significant threats including climate change, introduced species, plastics pollution and interactions with a growing human population.  In addition to wildlife rescue and conservation work, World Vets a operates a seperate full service veterinary hospital in Galápagos for domestic animals (opened in 2021).  The domestic animal (urban fauna) program is a collaboration with the Municipality of San Cristobal, the Biosecurity Agency of Galapagos and Founding Sponsor Lakfield Veterinary Group and is aimed at controlling the pet population through sterilization; proving critical veterinary services to keep pets healthy and to prevent the spread of disease; all in an effort to protect wildlife while providing a critical services for community members.






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Helping Pets Across the Globe During the Pandemic

From 2020 through 2022 World Vets delivered care to pets across the globe during the global pandemic. Thousands of pets benefited from much needed medical and surgical care that would not have otherwise been possible.  From fixing broken legs, to treating cancer to skin and ear and infections to providing life-saving treatment for poisonings, our veterinarians and local partners brought care to those who needed it most.  Our last big campaign of the pandemic aid program is coming up next week in Cambodia where a World Vets team will be setting up mobile clinics at several Pagodas in and around Siem Reap Cambodia where we have worked for several years with local animal welfare groups.


(Above) Pet owners lined up to receive free veterinary care from World Vets in Peru during the pandemic (2022).  Just a few of the many pets that received free veterinary care (above and below)





Helping Pets on the Galapagos Islands



World Vets operates a full service veterinary clinic for dogs and cats on the Galapagos Islands, offering a full range of medical, surgical, diagnostic and preventive health care services for island pets as well as large scale sterilization campaigns. We are grateful to the many volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters who have contributed to the ongoing success of the clinic that provides services free of charge to island pets. Over 1700 patients have been served at the clinic in the last year including over 1300 sterilization surgeries. These efforts are not only helping pets but also play an important role in protecting the local wildlife population. The clinic, which opened in November 2021, was made possible by the financial support of Lakefield Veterinary Group, the founding sponsor of the clinic. We appreciate the cooperation and collaboration with with several agencies including Galapagos Conservancy, ABG, Animal Balance, and the Municipality of San Cristobal. The clinic is staffed year round and we also have volunteer veterinary teams throughout the year.   Are you interested in volunteering with World Vets in the Galapagos Islands? Join World Vets as Member and get updates when the next volunteer opportunities open up.



Helping Marine Mammals in the Pacific NW

In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, World Vets provides rescue and response for stranded, injured and sick marine mammals.  Working under an official federal permit, World Vets provides emergency veterinary response, beach response and rescue, disease investigations, triage and short-term in clinic care for stranded marine mammals throughout Washington. World Vets Marine Mammal Urgent Care Center in Gig Harbor provides triage, urgent care, diagnostics, stabilization and short term hospitalization for marine mammals in need of care, especially harbor seal pups.   And thanks to our partnership with Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists / Lakefield Veterinary Group our patients also have access to state of the art CT Scans with advanced diagnostic imaging services to evaluate injuries and give us a more complete picture of their health.


Dr Cathy King positions a harbor seal pup for a CT Scan to evaluate injuries sustained when this newborn pup was attacked by a dog on the beach.



World Vets Launches Conservation Medicine Program on the Galápagos Islands


Official announcement ceremony of World Vets Galapagos, Conservation Medicine Program, held at World Vets new facility on San Cristobal Island. November 6, 2021

World Vets, along with our founding sponsor Lakefield Veterinary Group, is excited to announce the official launch of World Vets Galapagos, Conservation Medicine Program on the Galápagos Islands.  Several years in the making, this ambitious program will work collaboratively to help protect the vast biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands especially as it relates to the unique challenges brought about by the interface of wildlife populations, domestic animals and humans.  World Vets will be working together with multiple agencies including the Galápagos National Park (Parque Nacional Galápagos, PNG), the Galápagos Conservancy, Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad para Galápagos (ABG), the Municipality of San Cristobal and Animal Balance.  World Vets CEO Dr Cathy King signed an official agreement with Galápagos Conservancy with support from Mr. Danny Rueda, Director of the Galápagos National Park and Dr Marilyn Cruz, director of ABG. The official announcement ceremony, along with the signing of an additional cooperative agreement between World Vets and Mayor Henry Cobos for the municipality of San Cristobal Galápagos, was attended by officials of the various agencies at an event held at our new veterinary facility on San Cristobal Island on November 6, 2021. The ceremony, attended by many dignitaries, included speeches from Dr Marilyn Cruz (ABG), Wacho Tapia (Galapagos  Conservancy), Emma Clifford (Animal Balance), Mayor Henry Cobos (Municipality of San Cristobal) and Cathy King (World Vets).

World Vets Conservation Medicine Program will include efforts in a variety of areas including work on marine animals and other native and endangered wildlife species as well domestic animals.


A Galapagos sea lion naps on a bench on San Cristobal Island. Photo:Cathy King



San Cristobal, Galapagos Mayor Henry Cobos and World Vets CEO Cathy King signing a collaborative agreement.

Programs will include:

-Providing veterinary support and staffing to respond to sick, injured and entangled marine animals, as well as other native and endangered wildlife in the field and at the new Galápagos National Park (PNG) wildlife facility on San Cristobal Island (primarily as it relates to causes related to human interaction).

-Working to build capacity and resources of the PNG Rapid Response Network, especially related to the large population of Galápagos sea lions on San Cristobal.

-Working to build additional capacity for stranding response and veterinary support for marine animals throughout the Galápagos Archipelago, working together with PNG and PNG veterinarian Dr Andrea Loyola (based on Santa Cruz Island)

-Research related to understanding and protecting marine species as well as other endangered and native wildlife, including health and disease monitoring.

-Working together with ABG to monitor invasive species in the Galapagos Islands

-Education and training programs

-Working together with ABG, Animal Balance and the Municipality to keep local dog and cat populations healthy and manageable though sterilization programs and year round availability of veterinary services provided free of charge to the local community. For many years Animal balance, led by Emma Clifford, has worked together with ABG to provide successful and ongoing community-based sterilization campaigns throughout Islands.  In recent years, the need for year round access to veterinary care has become an urgent priority.  Our work will build upon their foundation and ongoing work as World Vets opens our new veterinary facility that will provide access to year round veterinary medical and surgical services and spay/neuter programs with a primary focus on San Cristobal Island.

Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to share the details of the various programs.    We look forward to working together as part of this multi-agency effort to protect the Galápagos Islands.

We are grateful to Lakefield Veterinary Group for their support of this program and to all of the various agencies that have made this program possible.





World Vets Partners with MSD Animal Health to Help Animals Impacted by the Global Pandemic

World Vets is excited to announce that we have been awarded a $100,000 grant from MSD Animal Health to help animals across the globe that are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Working with partners across 12 countries, spanning 5 continents, World Vets will provide urgent and critical care to pet owners who cannot afford services because of financial or other pandemic-related hardship. Thanks to this grant, we will be able to provide widespread veterinary relief in Ecuador, Brazil, Australia, Nepal, Italy, Spain, Peru, United Kingdom, Moldova, Tanzania, Guatemala and Dominican Republic.  We are very grateful for the generous support from MSD Animal Health as we work to bring much needed care to animals in need.  The project is recently underway and is already bringing life-saving veterinary care to those that need it most.  Below are just a few of the animals that have already been helped.  We look forward to sharing these stories of hope from around the world as we embark on this important mission.

About MSD Animal Health

For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.



Washington Wildfire Update

  • IMG_9877 3World Vets disaster response team has been working hard providing veterinary relief for animals impacted by the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires in the Omak, Washington area.  We currently have veterinarians providing mobile response to address the needs of primarily horses and cattle that have been impacted by the fires.  There are numerous animals with varying degrees of burns, many of which are severe.  Other animals have wounds (wire cuts etc) resulting from fleeing the fire. There have been limited small animals cases presented so far. We have set up a dedicated veterinary response hotline (509-842-3440) that is available to the local community to call in requests for assistance.  The additional current scope of our work includes :
  • -Clinical assessments and treatments of any and all animals affected by the fires;
  • -General assistance with recovery efforts (husbandry, fence building, feeding) assisting and working within the disaster response under the “Okanogan County Fairgrounds Cold Springs Fire Relief”
  • -Identifying specific supply needs and procuring resources needed to assist local animal populations for short term and long term needs (hay, feed, fencing materials, veterinary medications, etc)
  • -Providing herd health assessments and evaluations for livestock
  • -Updating disaster management officials on daily response summary and scope of work

Special thanks to the Okanogan County Fairgrounds for providing facilities for our team.

  • Below are some photos of the devastation and animals that have been impacted and are being helped.  (Warning some photos are graphic)

Click here to donate to our disaster relief drive



We are grateful for the support of the many individual donors and supporters who help make this work possible.  We also greatly appreciate supporting contributions from a variety of companies and organizations including Lakefield Veterinary Group, Uptown Animal Hospital, AmerisourceBergen, Patterson Veterinary Supply, Zoetis and People for Animal Care and Kindness.


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