The Galápagos Islands are world-renowned for their unique and fearless wildlife. But, sadly, unregulated populations of domesticated animals, and now the economic struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, are harming the biodiversity of the endemic wildlife and the protected ecosystems through predation, competition, and infectious disease introduction. Not only that, but the health and welfare of the island’s pets and strays are suffering.
Our vets are in the Galápagos Islands to treat and sterilise local cats and dogs, and help restore the balance of nature.
Galápagos Animal Doctors, a project launched in 2021 by Pan Animalia and supported by our vets and local governing body ABG, aims to reduce the conflict and suffering caused by lack of sustainable veterinary care and overpopulation.
We’ve set up a veterinary clinic in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz to offer free expert veterinary services to the community and their animals, including humane sterilisation surgeries. With a consultation and waiting room, three outside kennels, a surgical theatre, a kitchen, and a small laboratory for basic clinical work, the clinic will enable the veterinary team to provide expert care.
With the support from other local organisations, we’ll also run regular outreach and education programmes on the other islands to ensure the team and charity can make the greatest impact on the area’s unique natural wonders.
Just late last year, Dr Ben Howitt (International Veterinary Manager for WVS) and Dr Erika Medrano (Head Veterinarian for Pan Animalia) travelled to the islands to finalise aspects of the project and provide immediate veterinary assistance to ABG. In a two-week period in collaboration with ABG, the two teams sterilised over 200 dogs and cats, as well as helped vaccinate and microchip 35 dogs on the islands.
But, we can’t do all of this on our own. A volunteer programme will enable qualified professionals and veterinary students to lend a hand and gain practical experience, as well as help us to sustain the project long-term. The volunteers, from both the local area and overseas, will provide expert personnel on-site, further funding, and help to offer better and more widespread services to the community. Interested in volunteering on the Galápagos Islands? Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date as we launch this exciting new project in 2021.
Galápagos Animal Doctors is the newest project supported by our vets, but it is not the only way we support the health and welfare of pets, people, and wildlife across the world. Click here to learn more about our conservation work through veterinary care, and how you can get involved.