Vet Nurse Awareness Month: Spotlight on WVS Vet Nurse Volunteers

Vet Nurse Awareness Month: Spotlight on WVS Vet Nurse Volunteers

This Vet Nurse Awareness Month, we are shining a spotlight on our veterinary nurse volunteers who have helped animals receive expert care around the globe. We are so thankful for the vet nurses who have given up their time and volunteered with us. Together, we are creating a more compassionate world for animals.

In January and February, we conducted a sterilisation and rabies vaccination project in Tanzania, in partnership with Mbwa Wa Africa Animal Rescue and Mission Rabies. The aim of this annual project is to create healthier animal populations, provide essential veterinary care and protect communities from the deadly rabies disease. This year, 8,219 animals were vaccinated against rabies, 314 animals sterilised, over 23,000 children educated in rabies prevention and 74 schools visited. In this article, hear from superstar veterinary nurses Debbie and Kasia about their experience volunteering with us in Tanzania. 

Debbie, Veterinary Nurse: 

“I have done many WVS trips, and I don’t tire of the excitement of a new country and clinic. Mbwa Wa is unique in that I have been twice but is a very special place for me. Tanzania is a genteel country. It’s colourful, warm, friendly, self-sufficient and humble. Expect to work hard alongside the team the shelter/clinic who are great fun to work with and very knowledgeable. Everyone is on the same page... To make the lives of the dogs better and the lives of the population safer.  

The dogs are happy souls, it always amazes me how chilled they are. At outreach clinics there will be many dogs, puppies, some cats, yet rarely a cross word. The cats may be held or in sacks, which they don’t seem to mind, and never try to make a run for it. If the lads are out catching in the truck, 5-10 dogs may be travelled together loose with not even a growl.  

This year's trip was 6 vets and 2 nurses, we all mucked in to prepare the dogs, monitor anaesthetics, recover, return to kennels or owners, clean instruments, sterilise, clean and wash drapes, hang them over bushes to dry, record each neuter and vaccination (rabies) status, and still find time to play with the kids who watch the proceedings through windowless windows, and find us fascinating and funny. 

You will learn new skills, generally supplies are good, but it is not the UK, so sometimes you need to adapt and be fairly inventive to achieve your aim! The dogs are loyal, so loyal to their young masters and mistresses. Mostly bought to the clinics by young children and not necessarily on leads, they have their eyes on their young carers, and follow them everywhere. 

Once the day is finished, we head back to our accommodation to catch up with the Mission Rabies team, chill, chat, drink and eat. Card games are very competitive and will no doubt be continued next year! On our two days off we head off for some much-needed R and R, and a chance to see more of the country with a safari thrown in."

"You will feel immensely satisfied on your return home, you will have new friends and new experiences in your memory box. You will also be counting down the days till next time.” 

Kasia, Veterinary Nurse: 

“I recently volunteered at WVS neutering campaign in Tanzania. Our surgical team was working along with Mission Rabies to prevent rabies in Tanzania – this was the main goal of our campaign. We have done an amazing job, and I am very proud that I had an opportunity to be a part of it. 

It was an amazing experience for me as an RVN and as a person. Being a part of the campaign made me realize how often we are taking everything for granted. I have learned different ways of anaesthesia and how to manage without modern equipment. 

Neutering was the main part of our job, but there were other patients that we have been able to help during the campaign. I was part of an orthopaedic surgery for a few months' old puppy with a broken leg. This was a challenge for me, but very rewarding in the end. 

This experience made me a better nurse and my knowledge increased profoundly over those two weeks. The entire team was great, and it was a pleasure for me to work with them."

"People in Tanzania were very friendly and welcoming; I felt like a part of their family. Being a Registered Veterinary Nurse is the best career I could choose. It gave me an opportunity to make a difference and feeling fulfilled at my job. I believe that every RVN should spread their wings and go for a campaign like this one.” 

Are you a vet nurse interested in volunteering?

We have lots of opportunities for vet nurses to get involved in, visit our volunteering page and filter the trips to vet nurses to discover more. If you have any questions about volunteering visit our FAQs for support or email us at

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