World Vets is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing, implementing and managing international veterinary and disaster relief programs to help animals, educate people, and have a positive impact on communities.
Earlier this summer, our very own Dr. Vanessa Lanzetti donated her time to this amazing organization. She visited villages in Nicaragua to care for pets, educate communities, and teach surgical skills to veterinary students at the spay/neuter clinic.
Upon her return, we asked her the following about her experience:
What are the top two moments that stand out for you?
The vet students were just finished with their 1st or 2nd year and had no surgical experience. Watching the progression of their skill set from not knowing basic suture patterns to being able to successfully complete a spay and neuter was very exciting for them and myself as well. I feel honored to have been a part of their learning experience and knowing they will become fantastic veterinarians and surgeons.
One of the days we went to a local village to perform physical exams, rabies vaccines, deworming and flea and tick preventative. World Vets had never been to that village before. Even never having been there the number of people that came out all for the care of their pets and that even agreed to have them spayed or neutered was amazing. The local people love their pets and want what is best for them just as we do here. I love being a part of client education in terms of what is best for their pet and how that in turn helps promote human health in their country. There were also a lot of children at this event and knowing that they will grow up to learn how to care for animals as well is very rewarding.
What is a main objective you accomplished?
Main objective for me was helping the local community with education as well as helping reduce the street dog population (which in turn leads to better human health). Many of the countries that World Vets works in has a very large street dog population and disease that is transmitted to people. The One Health initiative is very important (helping animals and people) and is my favorite part about working with World Vets.
Name one person from Nicaragua that stands out in your mind.
Choosing just one person that stands out from Nicaragua is very difficult. The people that came to Nicaragua (veterinarians, vet students, technicians and pre-vet students) are all amazing, hardworking people. I enjoyed getting to know all of them and learning from them as well. I also learned a lot from the local veterinarians and technicians. It was very inspiring to see how hard they all work and how important this field is to them. If I had to pick just one, I would say it would be our field service veterinarian. He now lives in Nicaragua and the work he has done with World Vets and how much the community has changed because of him is truly inspiring.
Is there anything we can do to help the cause?
I would say to anyone wanting to help the cause one of the best things to do is raise awareness. They are also always open to donations and of course volunteers for future World vets trips!
Will you go again?
I will definitely go again. I would love to go back to Nicaragua and I would also love to visit another country. I really enjoy seeing different cultures and helping to further knowledge all over the world.