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October 16, 2018

Providing Veterinary Care Where It’s Needed

Armload of puppies

As part of its commitment to serve the local community, Zoetis has sponsored South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) since its inception in 2010. SPAW is a charity that provides veterinary care and population control programs to animals living on islands in the South Pacific, where there is limited to no professional animal care available. The organization recruits veterinarians and veterinary nurses from New Zealand, Australia, and around the world to deliver free veterinary services to the islands of Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Samoa, and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

In addition to sponsorship, several Zoetis colleagues have volunteered throughout the years to provide health care in these countries where it is needed. So far, colleagues have provided a total of eight weeks of volunteer work.

The most recent trip a couple months ago was the most productive week ever recorded by SPAW. Under the leadership of Victoria Chapman, Veterinary Operations Manager, and Nicola Wilson, Infovet Product Manager, nearly 400 dogs and 10 cats were examined, treated or vaccinated with Zoetis products. Additionally, 200 surgeries, mostly spaying and neutering, were completed by three veterinarians and six veterinary nurses and assistants.

Nicola Wilson and puppy

Nicola Wilson and puppy

Victoria Chapman (center) operates on a puppy and two nurses assist

Victoria Chapman (center) operates on a puppy and two nurses assist

This level of productivity is impressive considering the working conditions the veterinarians are faced with – buildings are ill-equipped for surgery with windows that don't close, poor lighting, and the animals are often so badly infested with fleas, they jump into the operating field!” said Victoria. "These conditions are challenging, but the work is very rewarding. The lack of veterinary care and medicines in these countries is heartbreaking, and I am happy to be a part of a company that wants to help these animals and their owners."

Nicola added, "I have seen firsthand the huge difference our work makes, from administering vaccines and parasiticide treatments to performing surgery. Zoetis is making a very positive impact for animals in the South Pacific."

Over the eight years Zoetis has sponsored SPAW, over 5,000 animals have been treated. The program will continue in 2019.

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