This summer, Enajite Igho of Hillside, New Jersey, spent two weeks in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling with the Boston-based Loop Abroad, Enajite was part of a six-person team that volunteered giving care at a dog shelter and then spent a week working directly with rescued elephants.
The Veterinary Service program brings students to Thailand for two weeks to volunteer alongside a staff veterinarian. For one week, students volunteer at the Animal Rescue Kingdom dog shelter in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The shelter is home to over 100 dogs who have been rescued after being abandoned, beaten, or abused. While the dogs can be adopted, any who aren’t will be cared for by the shelter for their whole lives.
While they learn what it’s like to be a veterinarian, students also made a difference in the lives of these dogs. By providing check-ups and cleaning, diagnosing and treating ear and eye problems, testing blood, administering vaccines, cleaning and treating wounds, and helping with sterilization surgeries, the students were able to help support the health and well-being of these dogs.
After learning the basics at the dog shelter, the group headed to the Elephant Nature Park to learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The Elephant Nature Park is home to over 40 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging, or forced breeding programs. Many of them have been abused and suffer from chronic injuries. At the Elephant Nature Park, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Students were able to feed, bathe, and care for elephants, as well as learning about their diagnoses alongside an elephant vet. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to over 400 dogs rescued from flooding, abuse, or the dog meat trade. Students were able to observe the surgeries provided for a number of these dogs.
Loop Abroad is now accepting applications for its high school and college veterinary service programs for the summer of 2014. Financial aid is available.
Enajite will be a junior at The Ethel Walker School this year.