Darwin Animal Doctors


Category Archive: News and updates


    Darwin Animal Doctors is raffling off tickets for a week away in paradise!


    A charitable supporter of our organization has generously donated the use of a brand new, 5-star condominium located on the spectacular island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, which has been voted the leading travel and holiday destination by the World Travel Awards two years in a row!

    And we want you to experience the wonder!

    Until June 1st,  you have a chance to WIN a week holiday at this breathtaking resort. The resort is located directly on the beach with an astounding view of the Caribbean Sea. You will have access to restaurants, swimming pools, free kayaks, and an on-site grocery store! The entire stay is valued at approximately $3,000/week.

    Raffle #1: $100 donation per raffle ticket. Maximum of 50 tickets sold.

    Raffle #2: $50 donation per raffle ticket. Maximum of 100 tickets sold.

    All proceeds from the raffle will directly support Darwin Animal Doctors and our life-saving campaigns around the world!

    Purchase your raffle ticket TODAY and be part of this exciting offer for a chance to win an unforgettable holiday! Please email your name, email address, and phone number to media@darwinanimaldoctors.org. A Darwin Animal Doctors representative will contact you for the donation payment.

    Some restrictions apply. Please read the information posted below.


    Raffle Information / Rules

    There are a MAXIMUM of 50 tickets sold for a donation of $100 per ticket for a chance to WIN a vacation on a tropical island in Belize.

    There are a MAXIMUM of 100 tickets sold for a donation of $50 per ticket for a chance to WIN a vacation on a tropical island in Belize.

    • All proceeds go to Darwin Animal Doctors, a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization whose mission is to travel to developing and remote countries in an effort to save animals, educate children in the local community and protect the region’s delicate Biodiversity.
    • The vacation is for an eight-day/seven night (contiguous) stay at a 5-Star Resort on an island off the coast of Belize. (Belize is an English speaking country.)
    • This is a “brand new”, two bedroom Condominium and it will sleep a maximum of six (6) occupants.
    • The Condominium is located directly on the beach. (It is located approximately 30 feet from the Caribbean Sea, with no obstruction to one’s view).
    • Some of the Resort’s amenities include: three (3) restaurants (including a swim-up bar), 10 swimming pools, on-site grocery store, air conditioned workout room, free kayaks and 24/7 security.
    • This two-bedroom Condominium usually rents for $2900/week.
    • This package DOES NOT INCLUDE airfare to/from Belize City nor transfers from Belize City to the Island.
    • This Package does include transportation from the Airport (or Ferry) to the Resort and return. There are two (2) methods of transfer to/from the Caye (Island), by air or sea.
    • The winner of the raffle must select their desired stay (8-day/ 7 night contiguous week) within 60 days of winning the award.
    • The winner may select their contiguous week of vacation any time during 2017 or 2018, however, the selected time period is on a first come – first serve basis. If someone else has already booked the same time period, then said time period is no longer available and another date must be selected by this raffle winner.
    • The winner may request to reschedule (one-time only) the original selected 8-day/ 7 night (contiguous) vacation, however as stated in the previous bullet point, selected dates are on a first come – first serve basis. If someone else has already selected the same dates, said time period is no longer available and another time period must be selected by this raffle winner.
    • The winning ticket (number) will be selected utilizing a random number generator.
    • The drawing will occur when the specified number of tickets are obtained or by June 1st, 2017 (whichever occurs first).
    • All ticket-holders will be informed when the drawing has been completed
  2. Luna, the cat that was not such a regular cat…

    Life in a veterinary clinic is always interesting, with different cases coming across your surgery table every day. Some stories, however, are just that bit more interesting than the rest. This is one of those such stories.

    On one Thursday morning in the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic on the Galapagos Islands, Luna, a male cat was brought in for a routine sterilization surgery. The usual process was followed; the cat was put in a holding box, the owners signed a consent form for the surgery and the cat was brought in to wait his turn. During the pre-sedation examination, the vets discovered that the male cat did not have testicles. Some cats in the Galapagos (and other locations) are neutered without tattooing or  documentation so it was possible that Luna may already have been sterilized. It was, however, also possible that Luna was a cryptorchid. (Cryptorchidism refers to the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum.) So, the question became; was Luna a cryptorchid or just previously neutered? As Luna had started to become quite aggressive, the vets developed a plan; to have Luna return to be examined under sedation to determine if he was a cryptorchid or neutered.


    So, on Monday morning, Luna returned for the investigation… But the results were stranger than the vets had thought… Upon sedation, it was discovered that Luna not only lacked testicles, but also did not have male genitalia. Luna was also not a female. S/he had a deformed type of genitalia and was likely a form of hermaphrodite; i.e. s/he was neither male nor female. Even stranger, Luna had very masculine features; a big head, long feet, and was quite a large cat! Unfortunately, without ultrasound, the only way to examine Luna further would be through surgery. As Luna was not threat to carry or father kittens, the vets decided to spare Luna the surgery. Thankfully, Luna’s mother thought it quite hilarious that her macho cat was a little more interesting than expected…


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  3. Rodriguito, the lovable cat…

    As is now not such uncommon practice in the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic, two young girls walked in, one as young as three, cat in hand, asking to see a vet. As the girls presented the cat to the veterinarians, it was clear that he was in a bad state. Little Rodriguito had suffered a dog bite to the face, resulting in extensive damage to the eye. Still covered in dried blood, the attack was clearly not fresh.

    Rodriguito Before    Rodriguito before

    Rodriguito was quickly put under anesthesia, for further examination. The right eye was badly damaged; punctured, swollen and infected, but the veterinarians wanted to give Rodriguito every chance possible to save his eye. The issue, however, was that the treatment to potentially save the eye was rigorous, and would involve consistent, around the clock attention. Considering the age of the two young girls who brought Rodriguito in, the team knew that it was virtually impossible to ask them to adhere to such a schedule. Due to little space and resources, normally animals can also not be kept in the clinic. The team were faced with a dilemma.

    Then, like a child begging to get a cat for Christmas, one of the volunteers piped up “Please, please, can’t we just keep him here? I promise I will take care of him! You won’t even know he is here!”And like the not-so-reluctant parents, the rest of the team agreed.

    And so it began. For 10 days, the team dedicated around the clock attention to little Rodriguito. This included 24 hour intravenous medication, and a demanding schedule of eye drops, followed by an eye lubricant every four hours. The volunteers’ hard work was repayed with nothing but the sweet appreciation of a cat who was otherwise helpless. But for them, this was enough. Over the days, Rodriguito’s affectionate personality grew on the team, and the veterinarians showed the lucky cat every bit of love and attention that he could possibly take in.

    Rodriguito the loved cat!    Becoming friends with the clinic cat    Rodriguito

    Despite showing signs of improvement along the way, unfortunately, after 11 more days, now a total of 21 days of working around the clock, the eye had not shown sufficient improvement to validate not removing it. The owner was consulted and the surgery was set for the next day. The next morning, the team set to and conducted what is called an “enucleation” surgery, or a surgery to remove the eyeball. The surgery was a great success, and Rodriguito made a rapid recovery.

    Although the team had grown so fond of Rodriguito and had shown him such continuing commitment and care, the day then came for him to go home. The veterinarians handed the happy, healthy now one-eyed cat back to the arms of the little girl who was so very delighted to have him back.

    A bitter-sweet day for the team, one of the volunteers expressed it perfectly; “This is what being a veterinarian is all about; though our time with our patients may be short, we can do such good!” Thank you to the team of volunteers at the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic who consistently demonstrate true compassion and dedication, no matter how much is asked of them.


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  4. Spay/Neuter Campaign February 2016!!

    This week we did a very successful spay/neuter campaign on the island of San Cristobal. Working together with the vets from ABG and their local floor team, we managed to neuter 23 male cats, 30 female cats, 11 male dogs and 23 female dogs. Although we were working long hours with limited resources, fighting together to protect the biodiversity and bringing veterinary care to a place where it is needed is very rewarding and never tiring!!!

    dad 5

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    dad 1

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  5. A special barn owl patient!

    Last week we had a special patient, an endemic Galapagos Barn Owl. This poor thing was hit by a car and was brought in with a broken leg and in state of shock. Despite all our love and care, this beautiful owl didn’t make it. We would like to thank Dr. Jochem Lastdrager and the rest of our staff and volunteers who gave their best efforts for this beautiful animal!

    owl 1

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    owl 4

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  6. May Monthly Report!!!

    May was a big month for our first Galapagos patient Simon! He got to do his first comic event while Piggy was away doing other fundraisers!! Simon had the duty of going to Free Comic Book Day at Carmine Street Comics, and he LOVED every second of it!!! If it were up to him cats would just live in comic stores, but unfortunately for him he had work to do, so it was outside for a time to promote his special comic cover and socialize with the public, including other dogs! Overall he had a blast and is requesting to appear at all other comic events!

    IMG_6668 IMG_6678(1) IMG_6681 IMG_6683 IMG_6688


    In the clinic we treated over 150 cats and dogs! Parasite treatment was once again the main type of treatment, but we also had 30 gereral check ups! A big shout out to our clinic volunteers: Maria Moreno, Catherine Lorenz, Jennifer Chen, Damaris Scotland, Simone Penaherrera and Danna Penaherrera!! To read our full May report click here!

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  7. March Monthly Report!

    March is a wrap for Darwin Animal Doctors! With our busiest month of the year, we definitely had a lot of work that needed to be done!

    In the United States we took on our greatest tabling challenge to date when we took on both The Seed Experience and NYC Vegfest AT THE SAME TIME!!! (They were also right next door to each other!) It was a little stressful for everyone involved, but we got through it and had an AMAZING weekend! A special thanks to both events, as well as to everyone who came out! Tod, Andrea, Piggy and all the other volunteers loved meeting everyone!!

    DAD table at the SEED

    DAD table at the SEED

    Tod at NYC Vegfest

    Tod at NYC Vegfest

    Meanwhile at the clinic we treated almost 250 animals and performed 54 surgeries and 172 deparasite cases. Parasites are becoming a big problem in the Galapagos and we are doing all we can to keep the animals and the islands parasite free. We are always collecting any and all deparasite supplies to send to our clinic. If you have any on hand please contact us asap if you would like to donate them!! Read our full March report here!!

    Cats come to our humane education events too!!!

    Cats come to our humane education events too!!!

    Puppy at the humane education event!!

    Puppy at the humane education event!!

    Double surgery for this pup.

    Double surgery for this pup.

    We also helped in the rescuing of a baby finch!

    Baby Finch!!

    Baby Finch!!


    All in all March was a great month for DAD and we can tell April is going to be just as great, if not better!!

    We would also like to send a big THANK YOU to our March clinic volunteers: Theresa Keating, Ilona Jochem, Charlotte Neubert, Sagen Gunnoe, Francesca Rueda,

    Damaris Scotland and Melina Torres!!  We couldn’t have done March without you!!!

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  8. March 25th Education Event!!!

    On March 25th, along with the ABG and Nova Galapagos, we hosted yet another humane education campaign!!! Held in the park of the Arrayanes from 4-7pm we gave animal check ups, educated the public on prevention and provided children with both education and entertainment!! As always this event was FREE to the public to attend!! We hope to have more pictures from this event soon!!!! Thank you to everyone who came out!

    Darwin Animal Doctors's photo.
    Darwin Animal Doctors's photo.
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  9. Finch Update!!!

    We have an update on the little finch that was brought to our clinic earlier in the week!!!


    It turns out that the finch is not hurt, and is doing well. It will (hopefully) be released in a few days. Andrea Loyola the Galapagos National Park vet is taking care of it, with feeding instructions from scientists at the CDS!!

    This finch is one lucky birdie indeed!! We wish it all the best!

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  10. Finch Rescue at the Clinic!!!

    Recently a young man with a box in his hands rang the bell at our clinic in the Galapagos asking if we could help him. In the box was a young Finch, and it appeared to be injured.

    Finch fledgling upon arrival

    Our vets agreed to take care of the bird and find someone who could help it long term. Unfortunately, being a Sunday it was difficult to get hold of  people. Luckily after calling Arturo, director of the Galapagos National Park, we were contacted by Andrea Loyola, a vet at the Galapagos National Park. While we waited for her to come check out the bird, Mayra prepared a cat cage from the clinic to keep the bird safe!

    Building a makeshift home for the little bird!!

    Building a makeshift home for the little bird!!

    After a short time, help had arrived!! We asked what they were going to do with it the little bird and as luck would have it, at this moment some scientists are working to save Mangrove Finches and are taking care of fledglings at the Charles Darwin Station!

    Home Sweet Home!!!

    Home Sweet Home!!!

    We felt pretty good having been able save the bird. Some would say, who cares, it is just a bird…well yes but it is better to have one more than one less. Don’t you agree?

    We will do our best to keep everyone updated on the birds condition, we wish it a speedy recovery!!!

    For more information on the effort to save the Mangrove Finches visit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-raid-mangrove-finch-nests-as-they-battle-to-save-birds-discovered-by-charles-darwin-from-extinction-10125363.html


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