Posts by: dvm

Inspiration in Action


Last week I had the opportunity to participate in an amazing program that helps prepare new veterinary students for the academic and personal challenges ahead.   As the keynote speaker for the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicines White Coat ceremony this year, I was invited to take part in the orientation program, known as Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE), for the class of 2015.  It was an opportunity to connect with the new veterinary students and hear about their dreams and goals.  Many of them have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian for as long as they could remember.   Held at a pristine waterfront camp in Northern Idaho, we worked through challenge courses that were both mental and physical and got to know each other on a pretty deep level, considering the length of the program.  The students came away from the experience with an amazing level of enthusiasm and a reassurance that they would not be going through veterinary school alone.  It’s very different from how my class started veterinary school 18 years ago where we just showed up at the Anatomy lab on the first day and got to work.   Another difference I noticed was that the career goals of todays’ veterinary students have shifted.   It seems like more students are thinking beyond private practice to more diverse opportunities including research, international work, public health and exotics.  Their generation is ready and willing to change the world.  It was inspiring to hear their future plans and also to hear that many of them were keeping an open mind to all the possibilities this diverse and amazing profession has to offer.  As I delivered my keynote address, I challenged them to find the courage to discover and pursue their true passion, whatever it may be.  Every journey is made up of many individual steps and all you have to do is be facing in the right direction and take one step at a time.  They have the opportunity to discover what inspires them and turn that into their life’s work.  Fortunately, the opportunity to turn inspiration to action is not just for veterinary students, but for all of us. 

World Vets Volunteers Return from Pacific Partnership Deployment


Volunteers Return from Pacific Partnership
After a summer long adventure, all World Vets volunteers have returned home after living onboard the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship, and working onshore alongside military veterinarians as part of Pacific Partnership 2010.  Pacific Partnership is a humanitarian aid mission operated on an annual basis and is made possible through the collaboration of the US Navy with partner nations, foreign military and medical personnel as well as NGOs to provide medical, dental and veterinary care. World Vets volunteers assisted their veterinary program and provided veterinary aid to four different countries this year; Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor Leste. They treated not only small animals, but water buffalo, cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep and much more. We are proud to be the veterinary NGO represented on this mission and look forward to doing it again next year! More pictures can be seen here

Fondation Brigitte Bardot provides support for a large scale sterilzation campaign in Nicaragua


It is with much enthusiasm that we heard the news that the Fondation Brigitte Bardot will be providing funding and support for our large scale sterilization campaigns in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.  In 2010, multiple campaigns will take place in the city and surrounding barrios to provide spay/neuter surgeries and medical consultations to the local animals.  With much enthusiam, the project is already underway!  The animal situation in Nicaragua is quite desperate with thousands and thousands of animals in need of attention.  There are so many people who make this work possible- the Fondation Brigitte Bardot, the World Vets volunteers, the local community volunteers, the local Nicaraguan veterinarians and veterinary students, community leaders and the local veterianry school.  In fact, the team is working hard right now offering free veterinary services to the local community.  Although the team has battled obstacles such as extreme heat and humidity, mudslides, scorpions and power outages, they have continued to work hard and stay focused on the mission.   I will provide more updates and stories as the work continues in Nicaragua.

Volunteer Veterinary Team working hard in Nicaragua


The World Vets clinic continues today in San Juan Der Sur, Nicaragua with the team working out of a local church for this clinic.  Our clinics move around the city on different weeks so that the free veterinary services are available to as many people and pets as possible.  This project is part of a large scale sterilzation campaign which is graciously supported by the Fondation Brigitte Bardot.  We are very thankful for their support which has made this work possible.   Here are more pictures from the Nicaragua clinic in action.

The waiting area outside the clinic
A medical consultation appointment
Prepping for Surgery

World Vets Teams Prepare for Pacific Partnership 2010


Ten World Vets volunteers were recently selected to take part in what will likely be an experience they will never forget.  Next month, the USNS Mercy hospital ship will leave San Diego enroute to Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific for Pacific Partnership 2010.  The ship will be home to the World Vets team of veterinarians, technicians and students while they provide veterinary aid to Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Timor Leste working under a team of US military command.   Pacific Partnership is an annual, 4-month long,  humanitarian aid mission carried out by the US military in collaboration with partner nations and NGOs to provide medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid to different areas of the world.  Last years mission was the first for World Vets and included visits to Samoa, Tonga, Kirabati, the Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands.  One of the main goals of Pacific Partnership is to establish multi-national relationships between military and civilian organizations during a time of calm so that they are better able to respond during disasters such as pandeminc disease outbreaks, typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis.  World Vets is proud to be a part of this mission and is looking forward to contributing to the 2010 mission.

World Vets in Granada Nicaragua

>World Vets sends a team to Granada Nicaragua a few times every year to provide spay/neuter teams to work at Casa Lupita.  Surgeries and medical consultations are provided free of charge to the community.  In a place where the majority of the population earns less than $2/day, it’s financially out of reach to pay for such services for animals.  Nonetheless, its obvious that the people of Nicaragua love their pets very much and do what they can to take good care of them.   The huge turn-out at the clinic is evidence of that.   Our latest team led by Dr Jerry Brown of Yelm, Washington and Dr Tom Parker of Santa Fe, New Mexico brought together volunteers from all over the country (aging in range from 19-70+) for the common goal of helping animals in need.   Half of the team was veteran World Vets volunteers who met on  a previous trip to Honduras and signed up to do it all over again.  The rest of the team was hopefully on the first of many future trips to come.  Without our fantastic volunteers, these projects would not be possible.  Each person brings unique skills and experience that collectively form a well-oiled surgical team.   In addition to the regular small animal work, part of the team also did some horse work.   For more information, visit our website at

Disaster Relief: Helping the Animals of Haiti


World Vets volunteers, working with the Dominican group SODAPRECA, have been in Haiti helping animals displaced and injured by the recent earthquake.  Despite all of the devastation and loss the Haitians have sufferred, it is very evident that they still care deeply about their animals.  The team treated dogs, cats, donkeys, goats, sheep and even chickens.  Thank you to our volunteers who donated their time and resources to help the animals of Haiti. 

Another successful project in Loreto, Mexico

>A World Vets team has just wrapped up yet another successful project sterilizing dogs in Loreto, Mexico.  Several times a year we send teams to this fishing village on the Sea of Cortez to work with Animalandia, a local animal welfare group under the leadership of Lucy Gonzales.  Our friends at Animalandia are always so good to us and share some great hospitality ever time we come.  We are happy to provide ongoing support to this very worthy group. 

World Vets at Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas


Dr Andrea Berger, Dr Amanda Thomas, Dr Robert Bruner and Susan Paseman represented World Vets at Western Veteirnary Conference in Las Vegas this week.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to learn about our exciting programs and volunteer opportunities around the world.  Tuica, a paralyzed dog found roaming the streets of Romania during one of our World Vets projects there, also came to Vegas as our mascot.  She was fortunate to receive a complimentary therapeutic laser treatmeent while she was there and amazingly was able to stand for 30 seconds the next day.  Thanks to Phil at K-LaserUSA for helping our little friend Tuica.  We look forward to working with all of our new volunteers!

Katie Horn joins World Vets team as International Logisitcs Coordinator


World Vets is excited to announce that Katie Horn will be joining the World Vets team as our new International Logisitcs Coordinator.  Katie, originally from Ontario Canada, has a degree in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the University of British Columbia and has worked since 2008 as the Director of the Stones and Waves Veterinary Clinic in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.  She is a long-time animal advocate with experience in the veterinary field, international relations, latin american culture and is also fluent in Spanish.  She will be relocating to Fargo, North Dakota to work full time at the World Vets Headquarters.  We are thrilled to have such a great addition to our team. 
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