Dr. Avery Bennett, chief of surgery at LVS, recently returned from Tanzania, Africa, where he headed up a humanitarian mission to spay and neuter pets and provide some general health care. The project was organized by Professor Margareth Hoenig in conjunction with the University of Illinois, and partially funded by the Gates Foundation . It also served as a hands- on learning experience for veterinary student volunteers from The University of Colorado and the University of Illinois .
After almost two days of travel to the Capitol, Dar es Salaam, the group set up their base camp in the town of Morogoro. From there they branched out to the local villages where they set up their surgery theaters under the trees. The locals lined up with their animals , (considered more like possessions than pets) for their turn to have their operations. They often took home the animals, still asleep from anesthesia, on the back of their bicycles. Several of the clinics were even set up at the rural prison where the “pets” of the prison workers were given their operations. In total, there were 76 spay and castrations, 330 rabies vaccines administered and 350 de-wormings, and all for free!
The final perk for the visit was a safari to MiKumi National Park where they were lucky enough to take photos of the much elusive lions.
Earlier this summer , Dr Lynel Tocci, participated in a similar mission in Central America. We at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialist are proud to have such dedicated and generous individuals on our staff. The world is a better place because of their unselfish community service.