Caleigh in Costa Rica

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Caleigh in Costa Rica

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"It was an incredible experience. Not only was I able to help many animals, but I was also immersed in a different culture and learned SO much more about veterinary medicine and how it's practiced in other countries. 

The clinic I worked for provided low or no cost to locals and held high-volume spay/neuter services at the shelter and in other communities throughout Costa Rica.

All of the experiences I gained from the trip were things I could not have gained in the United States . . . I also learned a LOT about myself." 

Thanks for all your hard work Caleigh, we can't do what we do without dedicated volunteers like you! 

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Nicole in Houston

"Following hurricane Harvey I started searching for an organization that I could volunteer with for disaster relief efforts. I stumbled upon a Facebook post stating that vet techs were in desperate need in Houston to provide medical care to displaced Harvey animals. I knew it was perfect for me so I partnered up with VTWB and headed to Houston.

Once arriving we got straight to work and didn't look back! It was an extremely rewarding and humbling experience. We provided medical treatment and cared for hundreds of displaced cats and dogs.

Many of these animals were sick, injured, or had severe fear and/or anxiety due to the potential situations they had endured prior to being rescued. Even in the short time that I was able to care for these animals I found myself forming a bond with many of them.

I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to work with such talented and passionate veterinary professionals from all over the country, including VTWB's founder Abbie and volunteer Ashley."

You rock, Nicole! We are lucky to have you on our team. 

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Kim and Erika in Guatemala

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"Erika and I just returned from an amazing stay at a wildlife rescue center in the lovely Peten rainforest of Guatemala.

There are over 500 animals at the sanctuary, including Macaws, Parrots, Toucans, Howler and Spider monkeys, Deer, Ocelots, Pumas, Anteaters, Coatimundi, Peccary, Owls, Margay, Kinkajou, Otters, Crocodiles and Turtles. Many of these animals were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade or removed from other potentially dangerous situations.

Every morning at 6 the volunteers would wake up to feed and clean the temporary homes of the different critters they were assigned to, followed by repeat feedings at 11 and 2 pm. The rest of the time was spent on odd jobs on the sanctuary grounds, and assisting with medical procedures on some of the animals. 

It was such a great experience to interact with so many unique creatures, and to help play a part in their rehabilitation with the goal of release back into their natural habitat. Thanks again Vet Techs Without Borders."

Thanks for all your hard work, Kim and Erika!

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Dogs in Ohio need our help

Love dogs? Like working in a team environment? Want to learn ASPCA emergency sheltering best practices and meet like-minded individuals?

Right now, more than 200 dogs—most of them rescued from a life of dogfighting and now at our temporary shelter in Ohio—need your help. 

Who:
OH-licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians and daily caregivers

What: 

  • Medical teams provide expertise for treatment and care of animals 
  • Daily care responders provide direct care and maintenance including feeding, cleaning kennels and providing enrichment

When: 
NOW! The ASPCA FIR Team is scheduling responders daily. We have a critical gap beginning 1/31 and there is no exact end date for these shelters. FIR expects to be there well into 2017.

For how long: 
Length is flexible, from one to 14 days per person. (Note: If participation requires a flight, there is a 7-day minimum requirement.)

How: 
Airfare, mileage, hotel and meals will be covered if needed. Volunteers will receive an orientation and specific training relevant to the operation.

Why: 
Most volunteers who deploy to ASPCA operations describe the experience as life-changing, and are eager to come back, learn new skills and work with others who care just as deeply about animals.

Learn more about joining the FIR team at the link below. 

http://aspcapro.org/field-investigations-and-response

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Costa Rica October 2016

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Costa Rica October 2016

Pura Vida!

We just returned from Costa Rica, where we visited with three of our partner organizations. We had a great time with lots of rain, potholes, mud, good food, and friendly people. We learned a lot, and I am excited to share some highlights and give our volunteers an idea of what to expect if they visit these wonderful groups.

Costa Rica is a country in Central America with a tropical climate year round. It has been declared the greenest country in the world because of its progressive environmental policies, and conservation is an important part of the overall attitude of the people and legislation. Much of its income is based on ecotourism because of its natural beauty, wide variety of animal species, and friendly residents. The predominant language is Spanish.

 

 

 

At all three places we visited, we were consistently impressed at their dedication, efficiency and cleanliness, as well as the positive and attitude of the staff and volunteers. It is clear that the focus of these groups is the welfare of the animals. The main goal of the wildlife refuges was to release wildlife back into the jungle whenever possible. The animals who could not be released were either from the pet trade (too accustomed to humans to live wild), or had suffered injuries too severe to allow them to function in the wild. In these cases, every effort was made to make their lives comfortable and enriched. Please contact us with any other specific questions about these organizations.

It is important to keep in mind that these facilities are dedicated to the rehab and release of wild animals, so human contact is kept to a minimum. Even the animals in sanctuary are not pets, and they could do serious damage. This is not a vacation where you get to cuddle baby sloths all day—you will work hard and get dirty and feel great about the difference you are making!

The first group we visited was a wildlife refuge in the Manuel Antonio area. This group has a dedicated full-time veterinarian and vet tech. They have a variety of enclosures and a small vet clinic on-site where they are able to perform basic medical procedures. They require a minimum one month commitment for volunteers. Duties include helping the veterinarian, but also preparation of animal food and general cleaning and maintenance of animal enclosures. Everyone pitches in with different jobs.

The second group was further up the coast in the Samara area, and focused mainly on Howler Monkeys (Mono Congos). As well as acting as a sanctuary and rehabilitation facility, this group focuses on education and conservation. Since electrocution is the #1 killer of Howler monkeys in CR (they use power lines as “highways” to cross roads where tree branches are not available), this group is working with the local electric companies to insulate the transformers on these lines, as well as hanging rope cables to provide safe passage for the animals. Their facility has a full-time vet and they are able to perform some surgeries as well as basic medical care. They also require a one-month minimum commitment with a range of duties—including medical care—depending on what needs to be done.

 

Our third visit was to a domestic animal shelter that serves the community in the suburb of Heredia and the surrounding areas. Their focus is on spay/neuter and adoption of dogs and cats, as well as offering general medical services to the surrounding community. They also have a mobile S/N facility to provide outreach to outlying locations where medical care is not available. We were impressed by their facilities, including a large and high-quality veterinary clinic. They have four veterinarians who are skilled at high-volume S/N. The enclosures were large and clean, and the animals were well cared for. They have no minimum time commitment for volunteers, but the level of involvement depends on an individual volunteer's experience with shelter medicine and high-volume S/N.  

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