A Canadian veterinarian wants to inspire others to treat animals compassionately as he tours the world to provide voluntary vet services.
Dr. Cliff Redford, a vet for 20 years, routinely travels to different destinations to rehabilitate distressed animals.
“Veterinary services are desperately needed in a lot of under-serviced areas around the world.
“Any vacation time I get, I do volunteering as a vet,” he said.
On a recent 11-day trip to Hyderabad, India funded by his Wellington Veterinary Hospital, he tended to cats, dogs, a circus elephant, a giant fruit bat and a Rhesus monkey.
He said: “I kind of want to inspire people to understand veterinarians do, to maybe volunteer their own services for something else, get out and see the world, get away from the resorts, and meet people who speak a different language, and also be kind to animals.
“We share this world with them and we need to do what we can to help them out.”
He observed that although there is often deep care for stray animals in India, they are not welcomed into homes.
He said: “Although there are some poverty issues and serious economic and infrastructure issues, they actually treat their stray animals like family, just family that happens to live out on the streets. The neighbors come together and feed them. They have different names for them. The dogs wag their tails when they see them.
“They actually put their funds together and help them find veterinary treatment.
“In India, they revere animals. They have a spiritual connection with them, not only with cows, but monkeys and dogs and elephants. So, it was quite an amazing spiritual kind of connection that they have that they taught me,” he added.
In India, Dr. Redford worked with local vets, clinics and shelters and managed to treat several animals despite shortages in available hand tools and inhalant anesthetics.
He treated a rhesus monkey with multiple injuries to the skull, jaw and hand. He even had to amputate her paw because of extensive nerve damage.
For his next trip, he plans to travel up north to the Northwest Territories or northern Quebec after visiting Cuba in February.
What do you think of Dr. Cliff Redford’s volunteering services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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