The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association-Rural Area Veterinary Services program will provide clinics at Indian reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington state in summer 2012. Additionally, HSVMA-RAVS’ international component will be making trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
Now in its eighteenth year, HSVMA-RAVS combines community service and veterinary education to bring free veterinary services to rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible.
“The services provided by HSVMA-RAVS' volunteer teams are greatly needed. The impact of these services for families in communities hit hard by economic conditions and lack of access to veterinary care is clear,” said HSVMA-RAVS director Windi Wojdak, RVT. “Our clinics mean the difference between high quality veterinary care and no care at all, and everywhere we visit, residents and community leaders express deep appreciation for the care and attention their animals have received.”
Many of the volunteers are future veterinary professionals. “HSVMA-RAVS-International lays the ground work for sustainable programs by enhancing education and providing supervised training," said Dr. Susan Monger, DVM, director of HSVMA-RAVS-International. "Our programs inspire veterinary faculty and students from the Peruvian Andes to the jungles of Guatemala and the long term gains in animal welfare in economically and resource challenged areas multiplies exponentially.”
In 2011, the program's seven staff members and 400 volunteers provided $1.5 million in free veterinary services to more than 8,600 animals in 42 communities where no other animal services exist, on Native American reservations throughout the United States, and remote villages in Latin America and Africa.
Watch the video above to see a 2011 clinic.