“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of being a whole human being.” –Abraham Lincoln
Some of our patients have four legs, or wings. In areas where health care for people is rare or absent, animals definitely suffer with no preventive or emergency care. Whenever we are lucky enough to have a veterinarian, the line for the vet sometimes is longer than the line to see the doctor!
After all, do our patients keep dogs and cats and the odd jungle animal as pets, a family may have its entire annual wealth invested in a cow or pig, or they may depend on their horse to make a living. Chronic parasites that weaken a domestic farm animal, or acute accidents that put animals’ health at risk may be catastrophic not just for the animal, but for the family that relies on it to survive.
Additionally, there are quite a few ‘Zoonoses’ (diseases of animals that can infect humans) like worms that can be reduced not only by treating community members but also by treating animals, so even beyond our commitment to advocate not only for those who have no voice, our commitment to addressing the root causes of human disease and illness in our region includes combating zoonotic diseases.
We also sometimes attend jungle animals that have been tamed in the villages or rescued from poachers for the exotic pet trade. Some of the exotic cases we have seen include rescuing two baby mountain lions, removing wood slivers from a howler monkey, treating a possum attacked by dogs, relocating snakes and stranded sloths, and one of our favorite animal cases: a pretty healthy-looking parrot who was brought to our veterinarian because it was not talking!
Dr. Dan Evers-animal whisperer extraordinaire, and the kind of vet who could probably take an animal completely apart and put it back together successfully-founded our veterinary program in 2015 while living in Panama. Rarely have we encountered such a skilled clinician who can communicate with animals like he can; to watch Dr. Dan in action is to witness something mysterious that cannot be explained. Although he is now back in the USA, Dr. Dan still provides guidance and mentorship before and during veterinary volunteers’ trips to work with us. This is an extraordinary opportunity for experienced veterinarians or veterinary students alike, with the opportunity for a wide range of interesting presentations and the chance to demonstrate kindness for a truly underserved population. To find out how to come assist our veterinary program, please visit out Veterinary volunteer page. [hyperlink or icon or other click-to-link to the veterbnary volunteer page in our volunteer section of the site]
Videos: our jungle cat rescue video, our veterinary video, and the short clip of max, the kinkajou we rescued). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQfBg7zhCdU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQfBg7zhCdU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aacc3pndo3A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjJ1fW8REQ8
Would not mind including embedding this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5EusLhxTIA with this caption:
“A young Ngabe girl brings her pet sloth to our clinic to see our Veterinarian. Wild animals should stay in the wild, but the future at least of this healthy young sloth is hopeful. This family has a tradition of raising young wild sloths, which begin to spend most of their time hanging around and exploring the forest around the family home, and eventually wander off into the forest to live wild.”
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