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As veterinarians, we can often lead very stressful lives. It is hard to step away and get perspective and find relaxation, to remember why we wanted this career. Have you ever considered participating in a volunteer veterinary trip? What about mentoring a student? What about doing both in a developing country?

You may be asking, “How will mentoring a student on a volunteer veterinary trip in a developing country decrease my stress?!” If you have never participated in a volunteer veterinary trip or traveled to a developing country, the secret is this: it is rejuvenating. This work helps puts into perspective the problems we are stressed about at home and the problems others in the world face.

Through your skills, you will tangibly decrease suffering and you will see the good you can do with limited resources. To top it off, it is rewarding to help future veterinarians develop essential skills, both clinically and in life.

Program Goals

  • Provide alumni who are primarily based in the U.S. an opportunity to travel to and work with service organizations in foreign countries, thereby enhancing the veterinary care in resource-poor areas and providing alumni an opportunity to make an impact in a short one or two week time frame

  • Provide students informal mentorship with a Tufts alum on neutral ground while gaining an understanding of a new culture and an appreciation for the medical resources we have at home

  • Improve the surgical and clinical competency of our veterinary students by increasing opportunities for practicing primary care

  • Provide avenues for alumni to help develop/participate in student research projects and make a positive impact in the diagnostics and treatment of at-risk populations

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Service Locations

Amici Cannis is a small animal hospital in Cotacachi, Ecuador which provides free sterilization and veterinary care for the street dogs of Cotacachi, low cost sterilization for pets of families in need, and high-quality veterinary care of the surrounding area. Students will develop their surgical skills, mentored by an alum, as they aid in controlling the street dog population.

Mara North Conservancy Dog Project, based in Kenya, is a project of the Karen Blixen Camp Trust. The goal of this project is to establish a sustainable population of healthy guard dogs in a fragile ecosystem; investigate its longterm effect on wildlife; and improve its coexistence with the increasing human population. Students will enhance their clinical skills by conducting canine castrations and spays as well as performing vaccinations and health checks.

All Creatures Great and Small, an animal sanctuary located outside of Delhi, India, is refuge to injured large and small animals. Students will gain experience in shelter medicine, working with limited resources, and prioritizing medical needs. Miscellaneous surgical procedures will be conducted.

Three Ways to Support the Program

  1. Mentorship. Commit to one to two weeks of working with a student at one of our project sites (currently seeking alumni mentors for India & Ecuador).
  2. Donation of supplies. Each group has a specific list of requested supplies to bring. If you are willing to be contacted for supply requests, please contact the Office of Development & Alumni Relations at (508)839-7905 or vetalumni@tufts.edu.
  3. Donation of money. Your gift will help facilitate student participation. To make a one-time or recurring gift, visit tuftsgiving.org. Donors should choose the drop down box marked “Select an Area,” then select “Other,” then type in International Alumni-Student Service Program. You can also mail a check to:Development & Alumni Relations
    Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
    200 Westboro Rd., N. Grafton, MA 01536

    Checks payable to Trustees of Tufts College. In the memo section write "International Alumni-Student Service Program."