Darwin Animal Doctors


Category Archive: Monthly reports

  1. Piggy’s next stop – Morocco!

    This year has been huge already and we’re not even through the first month yet! We are proud to announce Piggy’s programs are coming to another region of Africa: Morocco!

    We are starting another wildlife habitat restoration and school rebuilding program with local Moroccan partner and fellow UN animal group RAPAD-Maroc. We are thrilled to be working together this way!

    A falcon at our Moroccan partner's aviary

    We have been working together for the past year in our capacity at the UN, and we will be starting our new collaborative program in the Moroccan city of Essaouira. A very important location, and the home of the tree-climbing goats!

    Tree climbing goats in a National Geographic article

    But there are a lot more animals to protect and bring back through ecological restoration. And their restoration will mean a more sustainable future for the local community!

    A local hedgehog at our local partner's facility
    A local jackal near our partner's facility
    As always, the thanks goes to all our supporters  for making all of this possible, and to all our local partners like RAPAD-Maroc help these animals and the local community!


    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

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  2. IFAW helping stem the Sumatran wildfire emergency!

    A dramatic rescue story, which could easily have been a tragedy!

    You may be aware just how devastating the Indonesian wildfire situation has become. Rainforests in Sumatra and Borneo are burning at a more intense rate than ever before, leaving one million Indonesians struggling to breathe and survive in the smoke and the wake of the fires. Sadly countless wild animals are in trouble as well.


    Thankfully, The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has stepped in to give communities and wildlife the support they so desperately need! Thanks to a generous grant by IFAW, DAD’s local Indonesian partner Indonesian Species Conservation Program (ISCP) has been able to increase capacity to help stem the wildfires and save countless more animals now in need of rescue.

    Our collaboration with ISCP has recently expanded to Aceh which lies at the edge of the Sumatran rainforest, increasing the range of our partnership’s protection to over 240 kilometers! Here we share the first dramatic rescue and rehabilitation story from Aceh, an injured, one-eyed slow loris.

    Two rescued slow lorises in an enclosure at the Sumatran wildlife authority

    His friend in the cage will also be rehabilitated and released, after some current wildlife conflicts are resolved near this wildlife authority facility.

    One-eyed slow loris looking out of his rescue cage with food

    In addition to our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation effort, when our collaborative ISCP network discovers a new fire about to be set, they intervene, and offer local farmers alternatives to setting palm oil fires, giving them sustainable options. These initiatives are already underway in the Leuser Ecosystem village of Batu Rongring, where we have been working for the past year. We are happy to report have shown great success, thus, the local farmers have decided not to continue with palm oil farming after learning from our sustainability education program.


    As for our one-eyed slow loris friend, the ISCP team, in cooperation with the Wildlife Authority rehabilitated him; transferring him to a transport container to be released back into the Leuser Ecosystem UNESCO Site rainforest.

    ISCP weighing the slow loris
    The slow loris in his enclosure, next to his transport enclosure
    ISCP transfers the slow loris to his transport enclosure
    One-eyed slow loris peering out of his transport enclosure
    One-eyed slow loris in his travel enclosure

    And thanks to this amazing team, our one-eyed friend is now back in the rainforest living his best slow loris life, while he could very easily have been a victim of a growing forest fire in the region instead.

    One-eyed slow loris released in the rainforest

    All of us cannot thank IFAW enough for the opportunity to give these communities, animals, and ecosystem a chance in the face of growing wildfire disasters!

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

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  3. Building Education.

    We are so excited to share the year ahead with you all!

    Firstly, we want to share the effectiveness of our education program in Sumatra from the past year. The results speak for themselves. We are so proud of our local partner, Sumatra Sapo Zuma Zuma, with whom we have been creating rainforest school classes and implementing rainforest restoration, in a heavily palm oil farmed region. We have been interviewing palm oil farmers there, to see what changes they will be making a year since our program was implemented. We are thrilled to see that farmers are now planning to end the planting of palm oil trees, and instead will grow sustainable fruit trees!

    Click here for a YouTube video of one of our community’s farmers explaining their end to palm oil farming:

    A local Sumatran farmer

    Our partner Sapo Zuma Zuma has also begun compiling data from the past year about our collaborative rainforest school, to discover how effective our education and Youth Rangers initiatives have been in enhancing the lives of children in this UNESCO Site community.

    Our friends in Sapo Zuma Zuma compile data on our collaborative children's education program

    Our local Sumatran partner team shirt

    We’re excitedly awaiting more results and look forward to sharing it with you soon! Thanks to your support, we are helping to transform Sumatra and stop the deforestation devastating the community!

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

    Piggy and Friend Gazing at the Camera

    Cute Piggy photo (and probably a band photo) of the week!


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  4. A Preview of 2020!

    As 2019 draws to an end, we want to take this opportunity to say how thankful we are for the continued support of our followers. Without your generous donations, our work would not be possible. We have made incredible impacts this past year, from the USA to South America to Africa to Asia, all thanks to you!

    Slow Lorises in a rescue carrier

    Sumatran slow lorises you helped save!

    Puppy in two leg casts

    One of our adorable Galapagos Islands patients

    Looking forward to 2020, we are excited and committed to making even greater progress. Thus, in this coming year, Darwin Animal Doctors will be expanding its programs to Borneo, Morocco, and Tanzania!! All thanks to you!

    Puppy in Tanzanian shelter
    Puppies in Tanzanian shelter

    The very first animal shelter on mainland Tanzania, by our local partner!

    Morocco school

    The very first Moroccan school and ecosystem ready to be transformed!!

    A river in Borneo

    Borneo, where we will be responding to the wildlife and communities in danger from the wildfires

    We can’t wait to tell you all the things you help make happen in 2020 as it unfolds!

    -Tod and Piggy, Presidents, Darwin Animal Doctors

    Puppy next to stockings

    Cute Piggy photo of the week!

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  5. Thank you Ben and Jessie

    This week, our clinic changed leadership. After 6 months of running the clinic, Ben and Jessie are off on the next adventure. Before they took off, they were able to answer a few questions from DAD:

    When asked about which case stood out to Ben the most, he asserted his favorite cases were their 2-month old puppy, Frida, who had a blood transfusion after almost collapsing from anemia, and Hera the joyful Mother of puppies that developed horrendous mastitis and had to have a mastectomy. He said, “The cases themselves were not the focus, but the animal was why they stick in my memory. It’s so rare to have two very ill animals that still come in wagging their tails with excitement at seeing you.”

    Jessie recalled all of the distemper cases that they saw and treated over the past few months. She wrote, “It’s really reiterated the importance of vaccines and education. Without education it’s hard to explain the life saving capabilities of a vaccine.” Jessie noted that she loved meeting all of the interesting veterinarians who came through, as well as getting to be a part of the community.

    Although the duo spent the majority of their time in the clinic, they were also able to explore Galapagos’ wonders. Ben loved diving on his free time. He felt, “The opportunity to see the world beneath the surface of the water is breathtaking. From manta rays to hammerheads, the Galapagos always has something new to show you.”

    Neither Ben nor Jessie have a clear plan for what’s next, but first they will enjoy the Galapagos’ Islands for a few weeks. Jessie loves being a Vet Tech and hopes to continue to work in the Tropics for the next few years. Ben is keeping his eyes on for his next project, and we hope he joins us on one of our other international projects down the line! 

    On behalf of Darwin Animal Doctors, we want to thank you, Ben and Jessie. You both arrived in the Galapagos and took ownership of the clinic right away. Not only did you focus on treating the animals, you created a beautiful atmosphere in the clinic with your days of painting. You connected with the community and took care of all the volunteers that passed through the door. Your dedication to DAD and the animals was evident, as you pushed through hard weeks of Distemper breakouts and multiple sterilization campaigns. The best photo that shows your work was during the middle of the San Cristobal Campaign in June. In one day, the team completed 50 neuters and you two managed to keep a smile on your face:

    Thank you for sharing this time with us. We hope to work with you in the future!

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    Desde 2010, Darwin Animal Doctors ha brindado atención veterinaria gratuita y de alta calidad a los animales y la comunidad de las Islas Galápagos. Nuestro objetivo original al establecer la primera clínica gratuita a tiempo completo en Galápagos, Patrimonio de la Humanidad de la UNESCO, era proteger la vida silvestre extraordinaria y endémica de estas magníficas islas conocidas como el Laboratorio Viviente de Darwin. Hemos trabajado incansablemente para lograr este objetivo, tratando a más de 20,000 pacientes para limitar humanamente el número de animales domésticos y asegurar una población sana de animales domésticos, y realizar campañas veterinarias en todas las islas habitadas de Galápagos.

    Nos hemos asociado con el Parque Nacional para apoyar el tratamiento directo de la vida silvestre cuando sea posible, trajimos equipos de laboratorio de última generación a las islas y recibimos a cientos de talentosos voluntarios de todo el mundo que aportaron una dedicación, pasión y experiencia increíbles para proporcionar veterinaria de clase mundial. cuidar a estas islas de irremplazable importancia internacional. Brindamos educación humanitaria esencial y capacitación veterinaria local, incluido un programa de becas para estudiantes veterinarios ecuatorianos.

    Desde que abrimos la clínica en 2010, hemos visto cambios profundos en Galápagos. Las islas se han transformado de un lugar donde faltaba la disponibilidad de atención veterinaria o educación humana, las iniciativas de envenenamiento mataron cruelmente a animales domésticos no deseados, y no había conciencia de la importancia de la esterilización. Ahora vemos un Galápagos con la agencia gubernamental, ABG (la Agencia de Regulación y Control de Bioseguridad en Galápagos) que lidera con éxito iniciativas para prácticas responsables de mascotas en las islas, clínicas veterinarias privadas en funcionamiento, y hay una importante conciencia de la población sobre la importancia de los veterinarios. cuidado de los animales y la participación de los jóvenes para el bienestar animal.

    Además de esto, debido a la continua importación de animales a las islas y, por lo tanto, a una demanda exponencialmente creciente, los costos de la clínica han explotado mucho más allá de cualquier presupuesto que podamos proporcionar, y por lo tanto, financieramente, ya no es la forma en que tratamos de servir a la comunidad. A medida que nos acercamos a la finalización de nuestro décimo año de operaciones, nos enorgullece haber servido a la comunidad y los animales de Galápagos, pero no continuaremos brindando servicios veterinarios como clínica en 2020.

    Nos gustaría agradecer a nuestros socios, campeones locales, veterinarios y voluntarios talentosos e ingeniosos que viajaron de todo el planeta para donar su tiempo, experiencia y pasión para hacer de la última década un éxito y salvar tantas vidas.

    Darwin sigue comprometido con la protección de Galápagos a través de otros programas que ofrecemos en todo el mundo, que incluyen educación humanitaria, apoyo a la esterilización y vacunación, capacitación profesional para maestros y rescatadores de vida silvestre, capacitación en investigación científica para aumentar las habilidades locales de ciencias de la conservación y desarrollo juvenil.

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    Since 2010, Darwin Animal Doctors has provided free, high quality veterinary care to the animals and community of the Galapagos Islands. Our original goal in establishing the first, full-time free clinic in Galapagos UNESCO World Heritage Site was to protect the extraordinary and endemic wildlife of these magnificent islands known as Darwin’s Living Laboratory. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this goal, treating over 20,000 patients to humanely limit the numbers of domestic animals and ensure a healthy domestic animal population, and run veterinary campaigns on all the inhabited islands of the Galapagos. 

    We have partnered with the National Park to support the direct treatment of wildlife when possible, brought state of the art laboratory equipment to the islands and welcomed hundreds of talented volunteers from around the world who brought incredible dedication, passion and expertise to providing world class veterinary care to these islands of irreplaceable international importance.  We have provided essential humane education and local veterinary training including a scholarship program for Ecuadorian veterinary students.

    Since opening the clinic in 2010, we have seen profound changes within the Galapagos. The islands have transformed from a place where the availability of veterinary care or humane education was lacking, poisoning initiatives cruelly killed unwanted domestic animals, and there was no awareness of the importance of sterilization. We now see a Galapagos with the government agency, ABG (the Agency of Regulation and Control of Biosecurity in Galapagos) successfully leading initiatives for responsible pet practices across the islands, private veterinary clinics running, and there is significant population awareness of the importance of veterinary care for animals and youth led involvement for animal welfare.

    On top of this, due to continue importation of animals to the islands and thus exponentially growing demand, clinic costs have exploded far beyond any budget we could possibly provide, and thus, financially, it cannot be the way we try to serve the community anymore. As we near the completion of our 10th year of operations, we have been proud to have served the Galapagos community and animals, but will not be continuing to provide veterinary services as a clinic into 2020.

    We would like to thank our partners, local champions, talented and resourceful veterinarians and volunteers who traveled from around the planet to donate their time, expertise and passion to make the last decade such a success, and saving so many lives.

    Darwin remains committed to protecting the Galapagos through other programs that we offer worldwide including humane education, sterilization and vaccination support, professional training for teachers and wildlife rescuers, scientific research training to increase local conservation science skills, and youth development.

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  8. Frida

    At the end of June, two-month old Frida was brought into the clinic very fragile and pale. Her owners were so diligent with her and upon examination she had a PCV of only 7% (the amount of red blood cells in your blood – normal is 28-40%- she was incredibly anemic).

    She was admitted immediately and received a blood transfusion, borrowed from a friend of hers. Little Frida was the youngest recipient of a blood transfusion at our clinic.

    10 days later, her anemia had corrected to 25%, she was eating, playing, and her symptoms were resolving. Her owners were taking great care of her!!

    Frida recently came back into the clinic to check up, and what a difference we saw! She transformed from being on the edge of collapse to, now, doubling in weight and playing with her sibling! She is a champion in our eyes!!

    To help us continue to treat patients like Frida, consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors today!

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  9. Maya and Charlie

    Maya came into us suffering from Ehrlichia (tick fever). This is a very common issue we face here in the Galapagos. Maya’s owner brought her in, and a good thing she did because we found that Maya was incredibly anaemic and suffering from a lot of other problems as a result of the chronic infection, including a septic joint and skin lesions.

    Once we realized the issue, Claudia brought down her other dog, Charlie, to save the day! Charlie donated his blood to his friend, Maya.

    Both were absolutely golden in the clinic and the transfusion was a success.

    Maya is still in the clinic recovering, she has a long road ahead of her but she is still here after the blood transfusion and will not stop fighting!

  10. Sweet Peggy

    This past month, the practice had a terrible week for emergencies. In only 3 days we had 6 emergencies; the majority were unfortunately hit by cars. However, out of this week came one particular patient that has warmed all of us at the clinic: meet Peggy!

    She arrived at 8 pm on a weekday in a lot of pain and severe shock from a car hit. The team kicked into gear and she was immediately placed on a drip with a combination of pain relief and muscle relaxants so we could examine the damage.

    Peggy stabilized over the evening and we were able to identify that there was one major concern: she had a very swollen right back leg that was very painful. We suspected she had a fracture.

    The next day, the care takers of Peggy and our team discussed a plan forward. We needed to know more information and agreed that an x-ray of the leg would provide us with exactly that. Here on the Galapagos, our diagnostic equipment is very limited so we found a local clinic where we could take Peggy for some imaging.

    Rightfully so, we found a very impressive femoral fracture. Poor girl!

    Without much surgical equipment to correct this fracture, we decided to anaesthetize Peggy and tried to manipulate the bone into the right position and then splinted the leg with a special type of bandage called a ‘Robert Jones’ Bandage.

    Every 5 days Peggy returned to get this large bandage changed, and after 3 weeks the fracture had stabilized and she was able to use it again.

    Peggy has a long way to go yet before the leg will work the way she needs it to, but the fact that she has made it this far is what our team are delighted in!

    Our clinic is able to treat animals such as Peggy due to your continued support. Consider contributing today!!

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