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Reference Desk May 2012

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association's Rural Area Veterinary Services Clinics Now in 18th Year

    Eight domestic and six international trips scheduled for 2012 summer season

    WASHINGTON, DC, May 29, 2012—The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association-Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS) program is gearing up for its 2012 summer campaign of direct-care veterinary field clinics on Indian reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington state. Additionally, HSVMA-RAVS’ international component will be making trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.

    Now in its 18th year, HSVMA-RAVS is a nonprofit veterinary outreach program combining community service and veterinary education to bring free veterinary services to rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible. HSVMA is an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States.

    The upcoming clinics will provide basic health care services for dogs and cats including; spay/neuter surgery, vaccination programs, parasite treatment and control programs, various soft tissue surgeries and urgent care issues. In addition to the free veterinary care the program will provide valuable training and experience for hundreds of future veterinary professionals that go far beyond anything they could learn in a classroom alone.

    “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.”

    This spring, HSVMA-RAVS clinics were held at the San Carlos Apache and White Mountain Apache Reservations in Arizona. Internationally, 2012 clinics have already been held in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. For a complete schedule of RAVS clinics, please visit the Web site here.

    Dr. Susan Monger, DVM, director of HSVMA-RAVS-International adds, “HSVMA-RAVS-International lays the ground work for sustainable programs by enhancing education and providing supervised training. 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.

    The success of the program depends on the generosity of volunteers and donors who support this important work. To find out more about volunteering time or making a tax-deductible donation to the HSVMA-RAVS program, please visit hsvma.org/ravs.

    About the HSVMA
    The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States.

    Source: Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

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