Wednesday, September 30, 2015

World Vets Romania

Since I was a kid, I have always had an fascination with helping non-human creatures. My Grandmother used to love to tell this story about how I would spend hours hanging out with slugs in the garden (I can only imagine that I was a very imaginative child) - In highschool, I nursed baby bunnies and baby birds back to health. As an adult, I fostered dozens of kittens and numerous dogs. In the present, I AM that crazy-person that everyone calls when they find a random animal on the street. Last year, a friend called me and said, "A pigeon followed me home from work today. I don't know what to do with it. Can you take it?"

Makes a ton of sense that I would be drawn towards an organization that works with animals. World Vets travels the world offering free vet-care to animals in need. At first, I was not sure if they would consider me for a position. I am not a Vet-Tech and have little medical training. But it seems that my history with animals landed me an "Assistant" position.

Met the World Vet Team at the airport on Saturday morning. All the volunteers eagerly piled into the Transport van and drove three hours to the small town of Galati. Many of the volunteers slept during the drive. Many of them had flown over 24 hours to reach Romania. (these are just a few of my 'patients', do not worry, they are not dead just waking up from anesthesia)

Our team started work on Tuesday. I remember thinking, "Why aren't we volunteering every single day?" .... UNTIL we actually started working - 14 hour days are exhausting. Mentally and Physically. The space that we were working in had been abandoned for a few years and it needed to be cleaned top-to-bottom for surgery. My job was the Recovery Room. The first day, I shadowed a talented Vet-Tech. But later that evening, the Team Leader asked if I would mind taking over her job: Injections and catheters for the rest of the week. Needles, blood and feral cats do not work well together - Not to mention, giant dogs with muzzles. So much work. Exhausting work.

167 surgeries in three days. Many were the pets of locals. Others were homeless animals from the street. The small town of Galati was SO thankful to have free Veterinarian care. All day the locals stopped by the clinic with gifts. Homemade pottery, garden vegetables, bakery goods, fresh cut flowers. Even the Mayor stopped by to commend World Vets for volunteering in Galati...

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