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  1. Goodbye Kate and Carmen!

    As of this last week, Carmen and Kate have been our lead veterinarians in the clinic. Carmen has run the clinic for a total of two years over a three-and-a-half-year period. Kate joined her for the past six months. They have left this clinic in good hands, with Ben Howitt. Before they took off, we asked them to give us a little interview about their experiences and their future plans.

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    What was your most impactful case during your time at the clinic?

    We’ve had a lot of interesting medical and surgical cases but the one that touched us, and the volunteers the most, was Frankie. She was brought to us after being hit by a car and abandoned.  She had a crushed paw and fractured pelvis and was close to death from the resulting infection. After her amputation surgery she stayed in the clinic for 6 weeks while her pelvis healed. We all got very attached to having her here in the clinic to cuddle and play with every day. She was adopted by a wonderful new family in Quito and we are so proud to be a part of her happy adoption story!

    To read about Frankie’s adoption story, click here!

     

    What was the best part of your experience in the Galapagos outside of the clinic?

    Diving! We both love to dive, so in our limited time away from the clinic we got in the water as much as we could. We were lucky enough to go on a dive cruise to Darwin and Wolf, small uninhabited northern islands. We go to see lots of beautiful creatures but our favorites were hammerhead sharks, manta rays, dolphins, orcas, and whalesharks!

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    Where are you going next?

    First, we are first going home to visit our family and friends. Then we will work over the summer: Carmen in South Africa at a Cheetah Park, and Kate in emergency medicine in the States. What we are most excited about is moving to Grenada, one of the Spice Islands in the Caribbean, in September to be the new head vets for the Grenada SPCA. We will get to continue with our mission of helping animals in underserved areas by providing the best veterinary care possible.

     

    Do you think you will come back to work with DAD?

    Who knows where life will take us next?? But we will always hold the DAD Clinic close in our hearts for the many happy memories we have here and most importantly, introducing us to each other!

    From everyone at DAD, we want to thank you, Carmen and Kate, for your hard work at the clinic. Your dedication was evident as you put in long hours, especially during the parvo-outbreak, and helped train many veterinarians and students that came through the clinic. You touched the lives of many animals and people that you encountered during your time in the Galapagos. It has been an honor to work alongside of you.  Good luck on your next adventures and enjoy your vacation! You deserve it!

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  2. Frankie Found a Home!

    Frankie entered into our lives back in January. She had been found on the side of the road and was badly injured. Her back leg had been crushed in an accident and without treatment, became infected. Ros Cameron brought her into the clinic and the veterinarians at the clinic took one look at Frankie’s freckled face and knew they would do whatever they could to help.

    Dr. Carmen took her to surgery to remove the leg and we started her on antibiotics. She quickly became comfortable at the clinic and her infection subsided.

    Frankie lived with us at the clinic, and her true personality came out. She turned out to be a sweet playful girl who completely won our hearts.

    Frankie was part of our family. She even got to celebrate Kate’s birthday!!!

    Although we loved having her with us, we were actively looking for a permanent home for our girl. Jackie Rodriguez, a great friend of the clinic, came to visit Frankie daily and was the one who found Frankie’s future family. She even flew to Quito to meet them! We had a big send off for Frankie at the airport.

    Frankie is now with her forever home, with the Salazar-Mejia family. This is new mother, Jessica Mejia, father, Juan Salazar, her human siblings, and her dog-sister, Gala.

     

    She is happy, healthy, and loves to play at the dog park!

    We want to thank Ros Cameron, who brought Frankie into the clinic, all our veterinarians and volunteers who helped with Frankie’s care at the clinic, Jackie Rodriguez who was a great friend to Frankie and found her a home, and the Salazar-Mejia family, who opened their hearts and home to Frankie. 

    We also want to thank you, our supporters, who allow us to continue our work providing free veterinary care to those who need it most. Please consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors today!

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  3. Poor Little Mirri

    Mirri, a four month old kitten, suffered a tough week. A child had placed a hair tie around one of Mirri’s legs right before she went missing for three days. Upon her return, her owners noticed she could not walk on her front leg. Her blood supply had been cut off by the hair tie.

    They brough Mirri into Darwin Animal Doctors’ clinic. Our veterinarians did everything they could to save the paw, however the hair tie was on for too long. The paw had no blood flow and was severely infected. The best option for Mirri was to amputate.

    Our talented vets did an amazing job on the amputation, and Mirri returned later to remove her sutures. She is healing great and getting used to running around on her three legs.

    Consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors today so we can continue to treat animals, such as Mirri!!

     

     

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  4. DAD’s Work with Rayo de Luna

    From September 16, 2017 to October 2, 2017, Puerto Rico was drastically affected by Hurricane Maria, regarded the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since 2004. Over a year has passed, and although the news has moved on, Puerto Rico is far from “recovered.” The death toll still rises and a huge portion of the island is still without access to electricity or clean water. Most of the population that had the means to leave the country already has, leaving those who have no other options. Many of the locals, while thankful for the international relief effort, unfortunately lament that much of the effort has finished and, worse yet, has not prepared them at all for this year’s hurricane seasons or future disasters.

    Darwin Animal Doctors was brought to Puerto Rico by Harimau Conservation. DAD has been working with Harimau Conservation for over a year now in Sumatra. Our projects have included rebuilding schools, rebuilding communities, and bringing knowledge sharing programs to the Leuser Ecosystem. Harimau Conservation is a Puerto Rican group, made up of local Puerto Ricans, who have an innate desire to help disadvantaged communities in precious ecosystems, that resemble Puerto Rico. Harimau Conservation started a local initiative in Puerto Rico, Rayo de Luna, to help rebuild the shattered neighbors and infrastructure alongside with the local communities. Rayo de Luna understands the power of knowledge, and endeavors to give communities the training to take care of themselves and prepare for future climate change disasters.

    Where there are communities with no access to drinking water, Rayo de Luna has been building basic water towers for them. Where there is no electricity, Rayo de Luna has been building solar power infrastructure for local communities to have electricity.

    We approached Rayo de Luna, asking if our DAD programs could benefit their efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico.  The answer was a resounding YES!

    We decided to work with Rayo de Luna instead of any other larger international relief group, because Rayo de Luna was made up of locals, who were embedded in the local communities, who understood local needs, values, and concerns. Their efforts have been targeted to the long term good of all who live in Puerto Rico. We decided to combine Rayo de Luna and DAD’s efforts to further our common goals in Puerto Rico: to foster long term sustainability while helping to rebuild with a focus on education infrastructure.

    First, we are helping the locals rebuild a huge wildlife reserve in Morovis, which was used by the surrounding communities. This includes building a new ecology laboratory, tree nursery, and butterfly nursery to start repopulating the native flora and fauna and research capacity for the local communities.

    Second, we are rebuilding the education infrastructure in the communities around the wildlife reserve at Morovis. Not only are we helping rebuild these primary schools around Morovis, and giving them our sustainability curriculum, but we are also helping train them to use the wildlife reserve to increase their research, observation, and cooperative project skills.

    Piggy’s education and hands on conservation by children in Puerto Rico!

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read more about the School Rebuilding and Education Program, click here

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  5. Education and Sustainability in Puerto Rico

    Education and Sustainability Program

    We began rebuilding schools around Morovis, starting with three, then five, now we are negotiating possibly 12 more. With them using our curriculum while we all rebuilt.

    We do still focus a lot of the education on our sustainability curriculum, but we also make a lot of the focus on getting the kids outside, moving, learning about their world by exploring it and empathizing with the animals they see. And, gathering seeds from the reserve, planting seedlings with them in the new school tree nursery.

    Sustainability and Advanced Skills for Children:

    Within our programs, the chidlren are learning a TON! However, regardless of the individual lesson content, want them specifically to gain critical thinking and cooperative project skills. Critical thinking skills are essential for them to begin being able to tackle future challenges, such as future climate change disasters. We also focus on cooperative project skills, in order to teach the children to work with others whom they would not normally have paired up with. Through this, the children learn the value that everyone can contribute no matter how different.

    Ongoing Legacy

    Our project’s influence is only beginning, it seems. Like in Sumatra, for each school we reach, many more schools approach us asking for the program as well. And these teachers really understand the goal as well. They also share the goals of critical thinking skills growth, cooperative project growth, and general preparedness for an ever developing future. Because they know what to expect as well.

    Thank you for your ongoing support. Please consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue projects around the world.

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read about the overview of our projects in Puerto Rico, click here

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