Project Samana Volunteer Alert
CLICK HERE for more information about Project Samana
We are looking for Vets to join our small animal team heading to Samana Dominican Republic.
We go 3 times a year June, August and November. The June trip is June 4th thru June 10th. We are looking for 1-2 more vets to fill our team. Must be able to perform spays/neuters. We will also need a few more technicians to prep, monitor and recover patients. The June trip will be exclusive small animal team, August and November will have a Equine team as well.
We are looking for volunteers to join us on our trips to Samana Dominican Republic in 2023. Every year I get asked why do I take 1 week of precious vacation time and pay to work in the hot sun. I get it, it seems bizarre to my friends, family and some in our veterinary community. But trust me, if you take the leap and join us, it is a humbling and unique experience. Project Samana is a group of veterinarians and technicians who travel from across the country for 1 week to Samana, a peninsula in the Dominican Republic. We open an outdoor mash type temporary hospital in some of the poorest and remote regions of the country. We offer FREE veterinary/ surgical care for dogs, cats and equines. I am the team leader for the June trip and will be on my 11th trip in 2023. It isn't always sunshine, puppies and kittens, though I promise you will have that. I have seen some terrible cases of abuse and neglect but for every sad case I see, I have seen ten times that involving cases of love, compassion and generosity. I have developed life long friendships not just with the other team members but with locals who will stop by to say Hi every year, even if they don't have a pet needing our services.
We have seen a marked decrease in stray dogs/ cats roaming the streets, not just because of TNR but because we are invested in educating the locals about proper pet care and the need for spays/neuters. Partnering with a local small animal vet has made a considerable impact. With his help, we are able to move around to other local areas that need care. In the four days we generally do about 200 surgeries from sp/n to amputations, lumpectomies, wound repairs and enucleations , not including the countless medical exams.
In Equine medicine, the small team travels across the peninsula performing field castrations, floating teeth and many medical exams. The area lacks a Equine practitioner so the need for veterinary care is high. Just like with small animals, we are seeing a change in care of these animals. Horses, Donkeys and Mules are potentially their owners only source of income. The area has seen a shift from agriculture to ecotourism. And Again, with education, owners and equines are seeing a pay off. Tourists, after all, want to see a happy healthy horse carry them on the beach or up to the waterfall. It is a remarkable sight to see equine owners lined up on the beach waiting for the vets to examine their animal. We will book 4 or 5 and 20 show up. Still we have much work on both fronts, our aim is to see Samana become self sufficient by training local veterinarians and educating owners.
I could go on for hours and I am happy to talk Project Samana any time, any day. I cannot stress this enough, every time I go, while its a lot of work and sometimes it can be heartbreaking, I feel reinvigorated to deal with the everyday craziness that envelopes our lives.
The cost range depends on airfare, hotel and car rental. The hotel we stay at is very nice, on the beach and all inclusive. We have 4 days of surgery and 1 day off to explore the countryside or relax poolside/ beachside. Average cost is around $1500.00 though we try and plan early so we can get the best deals for air and car rentals. Step out of your comfort zone! Dr Labdon will soon send an update on the success of the November trip.
Thanks for your consideration!
Sarah Quigley CVT- Project Samana Board Member