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.