471 Surgeries in Laos

The World Vets team in Laos recently completed 471 free sterilization surgeries for pets in the capital city Vientiane. World Vets also provided 250 rabies vaccinations, all of which were administered to patients free-of-charge. No-cost veterinary services such as these help low-income communities control animal overpopulation and help to reduce the spread of the deadly rabies virus in high-risk areas.

The three-day event from March 15 to 17 included veterinary volunteers from U.S.A, Canada, Australia, and Israel, led by field service vet Dr. Winnie Neunzig and head technician Christina Sloan. The World Vets team worked alongside volunteers from World Vets’ local partner and host group Vientiane Dog Paradise with its manager Analin Phoutsavath to spay and neuter hundreds of animals. Local veterinarian Dr. Melody Bomon and several Laos veterinary students and other local volunteers also joined in the campaign.

Photo credits to Vientiane Dog Paradise, Winnie Neunzig, and Donna Gingras.

Veterinary Care for Galapagos Pets

Helping Pets in Galapagos! World Vets community veterinary clinic on the Galapagos Islands has now provided care to 3765 patients with over 2100 sterilization surgeries, as well as many complex medical and surgical cases. Thanks to our amazing veterinary team this month, under the skilled leadership of World Vets Field Service Veterinarian Dr Winnie Krogman, another 101 sterilization surgeries were performed along with numerous medical consultations and other life-saving surgical procedures. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our donors and volunteers who make this work possible, as well as our important collaboration with GAD Municipal de San Cristóbal Galápagos, Agencia de Bioseguridad para Galápagos, Animal Balance, and Lakefield Veterinary Group. This program delivers critical service for local pets while playing an important role in protecting the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.

200 Free Sterilizations on San Cristobal Island

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, loyal donors and supporters, and local collaborators, World Vets wrapped up another successful veterinary campaign in the Galapagos Islands this month.  Through facilitation with local government agency ABG (Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad para Galápagos), the municipality of San Cristobal (GAD Municipal de San Cristóbal), and local partner Animal Balance, World Vets sterilized 200 dogs and cats on the island of San Cristobal. Besides spays and neuters, the volunteer veterinary team performed several life-saving surgeries and essential procedures and completed countless health consultations and treatments. All services were offered free of charge to resident pet owners in an effort to benefit small animal health, control dog and cat populations, and protect local wildlife in the region.

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 www.worldvets.org  or contact us directly at info@worldvets.org.

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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