Volunteer spotlight: Vet student Nicole joins WVS in Santa Cruz

Volunteer spotlight: Vet student Nicole joins WVS in Santa Cruz

Fourth year veterinary student, Nicole Isacowitz, joined our Galápagos Animal Doctors project on the island of Santa Cruz.

At the Galápagos Animal Doctors clinic our team treat sick and injured animals, deliver population control surgeries, train vets, engage the community in animal welfare, and help to restore the balance of nature.

Our passionate and dedicated volunteers help to provide these services for more animals in this incredibly unique part of the world - home to wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.

We were delighted to welcome Nicole, a vet student at James Cook University (Australia), to join us at this project. Read all about Nicole's experience below.

"I recently volunteered at the Galápagos Animal Doctors veterinary clinic on the Galápagos Islands which provided me with valuable insight and confidence to engage with a broad spectrum of animals, and exposed me to a diverse range of clinical cases that are not commonly seen where I study in Australia."

"Working at the clinic allowed me to embody a sense of pride by contributing towards the preservation of the islands through animal population control and tackling the health challenges of the domesticated animals and the implications of the presence of these introduced species."

"Through this experience I was also able to put my theoretical clinical and surgical skills to practice where I was taught how to spay and neuter both dogs and cats as well as build on my interpersonal skills when communicating with clients."

"The programme offered a deep insight into the concept of ‘One Health’ where we looked beyond the scope of the clinic to approach the root of the challenges of these introduced species through education to both the volunteers and the community."

"This included a day spent at the Charles Darwin Research Station with a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the research facilities, where I learned about the fragile biodiversity of each island and the integral role each project played in contributing towards the conservation the Galápagos Islands."

"By participating in local community outreach education programmes for schools we were able to teach students about how to care for pets, explaining the role of vaccinations and how they work in preventing diseases; and how to identify the early signs of a sick animal to allow for early intervention."

"My volunteer experience with the Galápagos Animal Doctors is one that will forever stay close to my heart where the veterinary team welcomed me with open arms and became a family to me."

"The entire veterinary team were always willing and eager to teach and each day offered a new and exciting learning experience. There is no doubt I will be back volunteering in the future!"

Volunteer with WVS

Discover more about volunteering with the Galápagos Animal Doctors here, or view all current opportunities here.

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