PACIFIC OCEAN (May 17, 2012) - World Vets, a non-governmental organization (NGO), embarked aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) May 17, to provide veterinary assistance to host nations of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as part of Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12).
The organization has been a participant in Pacific Partnership since 2009, and provides veterinary aid to developing countries and veterinary disaster relief worldwide.
"World Vets was founded in 2006, by an American veterinarian to create a global organization dedicated to the spaying and neutering of cats and dogs," said Helle B. Hydeskov, volunteer veterinarian from Denmark. "The organization has expanded into something far greater, and now provides a diverse variety of veterinary aid worldwide. World Vets is currently providing veterinary assistance in 36 countries."
World Vets will work with U.S. Army Veterinary Corps service members, and partner nations to perform a range of procedures including castrations, spayings, disease treatment, vaccinations and de-worming.
"It's important to perform these types of procedures for the welfare of the animals, but also to help prevent veterinary diseases from effecting humans," said Army Capt. Shannon McLean, Veterinary Corps Officer.
"PP12 is a very special and unique opportunity," said Hydeskov. "I am really looking forward to seeing a completely different aspect of veterinary medicine and how other parts of the world are providing veterinary care."
All of the veterinarians attached to the mission have years of experience working with animals.
"I've wanted to be a veterinarian since I was five-years-old, and I never deviated away from that plan," said McLean. "Being a veterinarian gives me a great sense of pride and self-fulfillment. Nothing compares to the feeling of saving an animal that wouldn't have made it without veterinary treatment."
"I am participating in PP12 because I had such a great experience participating in Continuing Promise 2011, and I knew I wanted to do a similar mission again," said Hydeskov.
Hydeskov said another one of her goals is to share her knowledge and experience, so others might have a better understanding of diseases and nutritional management.
"I think this mission is a great opportunity to provide veterinary aid in developing countries and to see the world in a different way," she said.
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission in the Asia Pacific Region and is designed to strengthen regional relationships and increase interoperability between the United States, partner nations, and international humanitarian and relief organizations.
For more information about the PP12 mission, please visit the Pacific Partnership Blog or engage with Pacific Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.