SANGIHE, Indonesia (June 11, 2012) U.S. Army Spc. Bradley McWillie, right, and World Vets volunteer Helle Hydeskev work with a local Indonesian veterinarian to administer inoculations to a cow during a veterinary civic actions project (VETCAP) in Sangihe, Indonesia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Feddersen)

SANGIHE, Indonesia (June 11, 2012) - A Pacific Partnership joint-veterinarian team has helped local villagers in Najah by treating their animals for parasites and rabies.

Army veterinarian Major Loren Adams said the Veterinary Civic Action Project (VETCAP) was held to educate local residents and help reduce the risk of rabies in the area.

“We are most concerned about rabies here,” he said.

“Rabies vaccinations have the longest affect and the most impact on the area.

“Combined with knowledge given to the veterinarians and residents, it is likely that it will be controlled.”

Adams said the VETCAP started with a subject matter expert exchange in the morning, where local residents were educated on rabies and swine diseases, followed by cattle, goat and dog vaccinations in the afternoon.

“The attendants of the presentations asked a lot of good questions that we were able to answer,” he said.

“We shared a lot of good knowledge in ways to reduce the spread of rabies as well as the different swine diseases known in the area.”

“After the presentations, we split our group into three teams.”

“Two of the groups went door to door in the village to vaccinate dogs for rabies, and the third team moved to a new area to de-worm more cattle and goats.”

World Vets team leader Helle Hydeskov said cattle and goats are expected to gain weight and grow better due to the vaccinations.

“The vaccine lasts for three to four months,” she said

“During that time, the animals should do much better, and stay healthier.”

Hydeskov said approximately 200 animals were treated over the course of the day.

She said the team also worked with local veterinarians throughout the day to treat the animals.

“The locals were very eager to learn our techniques and practices,” Hydeskov said.

“They helped give the immunizations and took a huge interest in the whole process.”

She said the VETCAP was a total success.

“We treated about 200 animals and engaged approximately 300 people,” Hydeskov said.

“I think we were able to make a real impact on the community and their animal population.”

During Pacific Partnership 2012 similar VETCAPs will be held to provide care to animals as well as promote healthy and safe animal practices.

Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civil assistance mission U.S. military, host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations and international agencies designed to build stronger relationships and disaster response capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the PP12 mission, please visit the Pacific Partnership Blog or engage with Pacific Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.