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WFFT Vet Team Supports Local Community In Difficult Times

Providing veterinary treatment to the local community is one of the key values of the wildlife hospital at WFFT. By providing hugely discounted treatments we are able to provide care for those who simply can’t afford it and we give awareness and education about all the work we do here. Being a large part of the local community is a huge responsibility which have been tested in recent weeks.
The surrounding area has seen outbreaks of parvovirus and distemper virus. Thailand is seeing cases of rabies in most districts, the closest being 40km away. As well as wanting to be able to provide support for our local patients we also wanted to try to help stem the outbreaks and to prevent rabies reaching this area. This has had to be done in a way that does not put our own animals at risk: many of the 600 animals in our care are at risk of these diseases.
Strict disease control measures have had to be implemented and limits placed on when we can treat sick patients. By limiting this till the end of the day we ensure after treating these cases we are able to thoroughly clean the hospital and the vet team before any wildlife are treated. This has successfully prevented the spread of disease while still allow us to provide support to the local community.
We have also recently undertaken a large vaccine strategy to try to try to limit the outbreak and stimulate awareness of the problem. This has required the help and support from many people around the world.
John, one of the vets at WFFT contacted the UK and managed to secure the generous donation of 100 dog vaccines. This was coordinated by his sister Margaret Fletcher who manages his old practice in Surrey. Margaret first contacted their vaccine supplier MSD who responded quickly and generously. The vaccines were then delivered to Austen and Deborah Reid who were due to fly out and visit WFFT. They kindly brought the vaccines with them.
With the vaccines in hand the vet team then contacted the local temple to arrange a vaccine clinic. When a suitable day was found when the temple and staff were available a date was set and announcements made by the village chief to the local community.
Three hours were set aside when we expected to vaccinate the local temple dogs and expected a handful of cases to turn up. The day turned out to be a huge success. Over 100 local cats and dogs were vaccinated as well as the temple cats and dogs.
Vaccines and wormers were provided free of charge as well as an offer to sterilize most of these animals over the next month for free. Despite the difficulties, costs and risks involved we have been able to continue to support the local community as well as educate and implement long term improvements in the health of the animals around us. Thanks to the generosity of many people we are able to continue the varied and valuable work we do. This is not the end of this story but the beginning. Having shown it can be done we will strive to expand this to halt the spread of preventable disease and educate and support local communities who are vital in halting the abuse of wildlife in Thailand.

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