Posted: 26 Feb 2010 07:57 AM PST
You've probably heard of Doctors Without Borders. This organization travels the globe providing much needed medical assistance in war or natural disaster ravaged countries. They were on the scene in Haiti within days of that disaster.
Turns out we have a similar group of Veterinarians, Animal Health Technicians and Veterinary Students. World Vets is an international animal aid group that currently has projects in 12 countries on five continents.
While they are sending a team to Haiti, their model is a little different than Doctors Without Borders. World Vets focuses on sustainable relationships with partner nations. They work with local authorities, health officials and community leaders to establish ongoing veterinary aid programs in mostly developing nations.
They also provide donations of much needed veterinary medications, vaccines, equipment and other supplies. They focus on communities and developing cross cultural ties between volunteers and local participants. Another big initiative is education and a focus on public health.
Many developing countries have problems with zoonotic diseases. These diseases can be transmitted back and forth between people and animals and World Vets helps establish programs aimed at eradicating zoonotic disease.
If you want to get a feel for what they do visit their blog. Written by CEO Dr. Kathy King, the blog is full of photos. The most recent post details the work they are doing in Loreto Mexico. It looks like they have a genuinely good time doing their good work.
World Vets is a volunteer organization and is funded by members and donations. The Vets, Techs and students pay their own travel expenses when they head out into the field. I think it's pretty admirable to volunteer your time and professional expertise, but to pay for the privilege goes above and beyond the call of duty.
For the most part animals in developing nations don't get the level of care our pets receive. Groups like World Vets serve a critical animal health and humanitarian function. If you have a few extra bucks you can make a donation on their web site. The critters will be most appreciative.
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