In May 2011, we rolled out our 2nd volunteer veterinary trip to the Kingdom of Tonga. We outdid our own expectations in terms of surgery and reach, thanks to our volunteers and on island supporters.
In 3 weeks of surgery time, our team of 8 volunteers managed to perform 3 surgeries (1 x cherry eye, 1 x pig hernia, 1 x tumor), euthansed 2 critically ill dogs, visited 8 pig farms, arranged 3 remote village clinics, desexed 77 male dogs, 61 female dogs, 23 male cats, 26 female cats and prepared two lucky dogs for export to their new NZ and Australia homes. On top of this, our team visited 6 schools delivering humane education to hundreds of school children and provided hundreds of individual flea and worm treatments to dogs, cats and livestock.
All of this was provided free of charge, running with our policy that no animal will suffer due to financial constraint or lack of access to our care. If we were an operational veterinary clinic in NZ we would be in the money, with these treatments worth $47,000 in chargeable fees to a NZ veterinary clinic. But we dont charge, instead, we raised the money to purchase anaesthesia drugs, sought the help of our sponsors (Pfizer and Shoof) and relied on the donations from various sources around NZ (Kahu Vets) plus those donations made by our volunteer team who were collecting items for months before the trip to bring with them.There was also those kind people on Tonga and Vava'u who donated towards our services, assisting with our on island costs.
There are lots of people to thank including our volunteers and on island helpers. Jo and Vini Kupu provided invaluable support to our volunteer team and worked tirelessly throughout the month to manage logistics. The Ministry team - Mika, Mote and Nau are wonderful people who welcome us into their world and allow us to work alongside them to benefit their communities animal welfare efforts. To all the wonderful people who opened up their homes to our volunteers, allowing them to live in relative comfort while they volunteered - thank you so much. To the Vava'u team - Fran, Lisa and others, thanks for providing the most wonderful leisure experience for the team. Really - we cannot thank anyone enough.
If anyone has any queries about this trip or future trips to Tonga or other pacific island nations, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.