Friday, January 13, 2012

World Spay Day Event- World Vets and NicaVets

NicaVets is a group of Nicaraguan veterinary professionals committed to helping animals in their country.  World Vets has worked with many of its members for years.  This year the NicaVets group will be holding a large scale sterilization campaign in commemoration of World Spay Day.   The event will be held Feb 27-28, 2012 at the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.  The goal is to provide spay and neuter surgeries for 200 animals.  Please help support their efforts by donating to help purchase veterinary supplies needed for the project.  For more information on NicaVets visit their Facebook page.    

One of the many street dogs in Granada, Nicaragua

Another street dog in Granada, Nicaragua

L to R Claudio Mayorga, Dr Jasson Figueroa and Dr. Jose Antonio Gomez Campos.  These are three of the veterinary personnel that will be running the NicaVets Spay Day event (they also happen to be instructors at the World Vets Training Center). Other Nicaraguan veterinarians and volunteers will also be involved.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Grand Opening of the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center

Last month World Vets had the official Grand Opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for our new Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.  For years we have been training veterinarians all over the world in proper surgical techniques especially as it relates to spay and neuter.   We are very excited to now have a centralized training center where Spanish speaking vets from all over Latin American can take part in surgical training courses taught by Spanish-speaking vets.  Just as important is that we now have a year-round clinic which provides free spay/neuter surgeries for street dogs and low income pet owners.  This much needed service to the community will not only help animals and veterinarians but will also help to decrease the spread of zoonotic diseases such as rabies and parasites.  The clinic is fully equipped with everything needed to provide high quality patient care which is our top priority.  We are grateful to the support of the Fondation Brigitte Bardot (Paris, France) which helped make this program a reality.

The parade coming down the street at the Grand Opening event for the World Vets Latin America Veterinary Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.

The Grand OPening Ceremony drew quite a crowd!   It was great to have so many people from the local community.

One of the thousands of Nicaragua street dogs that will benefit from the clinics free veterinary services
The French Ambassador to Nicaragua speaking at the event.  

The ribbon was cut by Claudio Mayorga (Clinic Manager), Brigitte Auloy (Director of International Programs at the Fondation Brigitte Bardot of Paris France) and Cathy King (CEO of World Vets)

The cutest little dancers show their stuff at the Grand Opening!
Another one of the many street dogs in Granada, Nicaragua.
World Vets helps to bring veterinary care to animals like this  one.
Highly trained and skilled Nicaraguan veterinarians serve as instructors at the center
and oversee care of all of the patients.
The center is equipped with modern
equipment for optimal patient safety

Monday, November 28, 2011

RESCUE OPERATION! World Vets helping to save Thailand's dogs

Since early November, World Vets has been actively responding to the severe flooding in Thailand that has left thousands of street dogs in a life-threatening situation.  Our vet teams, working with local Thai organizations, are rescuing dogs from the floodwaters, delivering food and medical care to stranded dogs, providing triage and urgent care at the temporary shelters and performing spay/neuter surgeries on the rescued dogs that are well enough for surgery.  Although it has received very limited press coverage in the United States, the flooding is a major catastrophe especially for animals who struggle to keep their heads above the floodwaters.  As it turns out, most of the rescues are street dogs, of which there are tens of thousands in Thailand.  A few cats have been rescued as well (most were able to climb to safety) and the team has tended to the occasional elephant and even a tiger.   Donations are still needed to continue this effort which seems to have no immediate end in site.  In some areas the flooding is increasing and resources are becoming scarce.    So far, World Vets has donated over $20,000 worth of veterinary supplies to aid in the relief efforts.  Donations are still urgent needed for the relief efforts.  You can help by donating here:  DONATE

Last year World Vets was one of the winners of Heska Corporations Inspiration in Action Contest which helped provide equipment and supplies for our disaster relief program.  Earlier this year, World Vets was one of the first international veterinary aid organizations to arrive in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.  With disasters happening so frequently these days, there is an extremely high demand for our services especially for animals in developing countries that sometimes have no one to look out for their safety.

HESKA has just announced this years finalist in the Inspiration in Action contest so we encourage you to vote for your favorite!  I had the honor of being one of the judges to select the 5 finalists.  There were so many great ideas it was hard to choose!  The contest was great for World Vets and we wish all of the finalist the best of luck!  You can see the finalists and vote here:  VOTE

Thursday, August 25, 2011

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. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

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

Thursday, June 3, 2010

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

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

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