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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Students Plan Service Trip

June 23rd, 2017

The Oregon State International Veterinary Student’s Association (IVSA) will be traveling to Ometepe, Nicaragua in August for their annual veterinary service trip. This group of dedicated veterinary students will be conducting six days of free clinics on an island that has no regular veterinary care for their animals. The clinics include physical exams, de-worming, vaccinations, spays, neuters, and public health education.

Ometepe Island is home to an estimated 10,000 rural people and approximately 50,000 animals, many of them under-nourished. The community relies on its pigs, cows, donkeys, horses and chickens for food, transport and work.  In addition, there is a large population of stray dogs on the island which can spread disease and causes a public health concern.

OSU students, under the supervision of volunteer veterinarians, spay and neuter hundreds of dogs and cats on Ometepe every summer. Now in its tenth year, the program has made a visible impact on the over-population of strays. “We now see many dogs that come to the clinic and only need preventive care, since so many have been spayed and neutered.,” says Dr. Sue Tornquist, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and long-time volunteer on the trip.

OSU veterinary students plan, organize and fund the trip independently from the college or any other organization. In addition to funding their own travel costs, students must also raise money to purchase medical supplies needed for the trip, such as vaccines, needles, syringes, gauze, and sutures. The total averages about $1,500 per student.

You can help support the students by adopting a Nicaraguan animal for only $20. “In exchange, you will receive a photo and story about the animal that was in our care, including a description of the type of care provided for the animal,“ says Kristin Wineinger, IVSA co-chair. For more information about the service trip, or to donate, visit http://stuorgs.oregonstate.edu/ivsa/donate.


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