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A Simple Question ... Answered

Zuni Child with catHopi VolunteersWhat started out in summer of 2001 as a simple question, followed by a simple answer has blossomed into one of most successful people to people projects ever undertaken by a veterinary group. The question asked by Dr. Ted Robinson (UP 1974) of an attending Native American at a fund raising party for the organization, Americans for Native Americans, was, "what type of veterinary care exists on the reservations in the southwest?" The simple answer was, "little, if any."  In that year, four Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) member veterinarians participated in what was thought to be a one-time, two-day volunteer veterinary clinic on the Navajo Reservation in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

Native American Veterinary Service (NAVS), sponsored by Americans for Native Americans of Doylestown, PA, has now expanded to serve five reservations in the Southwest: Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Santa Domingo and Chociti Reservations. They not only perform both surgical and medical procedures on all the animals (dogs, cats, horses, cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats and llamas) found on the reservations, but also hold educational lectures on the proper care of animals and talks on how to become veterinarians at the middle and high schools. Students also are able to observe while the veterinarians and vet nurses perform their procedures. The group has expanded from just 4 veterinarians in 2001 to 40 participants (veterinarians, veterinary technicians, vet and vet tech students, and clerical helpers) in 2012 that service the reservations twice yearly for two weeks on each visit.

We look forward to new challenges, growth, and further success.

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Date this page was last edited: 09/01/2012

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