Shelter Medicine is a young field of veterinary medicine caring for unwanted or underserved animals. Shelter medicine champions in providing a guide on how to deal with situations that arise in a shelter environment. The main goal is to improve the lives of animals in shelters and homeless animals by focussing on their health and well-being.
Animals in Need
From time to time animals can find themselves in life-threatening situations and we want to be able to be there for them. Research has repeatedly proven that animals can feel pain and they can suffer just like each and every one of us. Animals deserve to be treated with respect because they are independent sentient beings.
We help animals in need, enhance animal welfare standards through education and build a better future through community outreach. With continuous effort and sufficient support we can improve the lives of many animals and alleviate or prevent their suffering. That is why we persist in taking fundamental steps to highlight the importance of educating communities about animal welfare.
In 2019 we travelled all the way to India and volunteered at the animal shelter ‘Peepal Farm’ for two weeks. We also visited two other well known charities, Dharamsala Animal Rescue and Sanjay Gandhi Animal Hospital in New Delhi. During this trip we experienced various difficulties in caring for homeless and injured animals on the streets of India. Offering helping hands means a lot to charities all over the world. Read more about our adventures in India in our blog.
In August 2022 we organised our first Animal Birth Control project in the Netherlands. This kind of project reduces the expensive veterinary bills for the animal shelters without reducing the quality of care. With a team of voluntary veterinarians and veterinary nurses we neutered 40 cats from 3 different local shelters in 1 day. We also vaccinated and microchipped those cats that needed it. It was a successful day as all the cats recovered well from the procedures and were sent back to the shelters ready to be adopted.
In 2023 we started a new program called the FIV/FeLV screening program in Belgium. In collaboration with the college ‘Thomas More’ we aim to collect as much data available to us and analyse the results in order to highlight the current situation of FIV/FeLV infected cats. With this Shelter Medicine program we focus on supporting the shelters by providing evidence based advice, but we also intend to set-up useful protocols to reduce cross-contamination within the sheltered environment. The results of our work and the advice for the shelters will be available to all organisations internationally.
Our Mascot is a special cat and his name is Bob
Bob did not have the best start in life. He was only a couple of weeks old when he started to feel really ill. His owner could not look after him anymore so he abandoned him at the nearby Animal Hospital. Luckily the veterinary team gave him all the necessary treatments and care he so desperately needed. The story of Bob is an example to remind us that the undivided attention of one person has the potential to save many lives. Bob gives us the power to continue helping other animals in need.
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A small but brave puppy called Yogi
It is sometimes hard to understand why animals are abandoned, especially when they are feeling poorly and need our support the most. But this is exactly what happened to little Yogi as soon as he became sick. He was suffering from various illnesses. Thankfully the veterinary team did not give up on him and continued the treatments against all odds. It is a miracle that little Yogi has survived, but with dedication and the right treatment a lot of lives can be saved.