(Originally published on PR Newswire)
Ottawa, ON, Nov. 29, 2023 – Veterinarians Without Borders/Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, a Canadian non-profit organization focused on animal health to improve the health of communities, today announced an expansion into the United States, with the establishment of the registered U.S. charity Veterinarians Without Borders USA. Together, these two charities are rebranding as Veterinarians Without Borders North America (VWB North America). VWB North America works in more than a dozen countries and serves more than 1.5 million people and animals annually through a range of programming including emergency response efforts, establishing animal health systems and empowering marginalized populations.
“From providing emergency response support after the Maui fires to recently offering training services to animal welfare organizations in Vermont and Pennsylvania, we have a strong presence in the United States and look forward to officially capturing this inspiring work under VWB North America,” shared Charmaine Brett, Executive Director, VWB/VSF. “Our work is truly driven by the support of our team members, volunteers and donors, and we hope this expansion will lay the foundation for growth in our programming, leaving a lasting impact on more animals, people and communities.”
A key pillar of the organization’s work is emergency response, providing immediate, on-the-ground support to ensure that no animal is left behind during unprecedented natural disasters or conflicts. VWB North America recently provided support in response to the Saipan typhoon, Türkiye earthquake, Ukraine crisis, Northern Canada wildfire response and Pakistan floods. In Ukraine, for instance, VWB North America supported more than 255,000 animals, delivered more than 1,286 tons of food, conducted more than 11,000 spays and neuters and held more than 3,000 online veterinary consultations.
Embracing the “One Health” approach formed by the World Health Organization (WHO), VWB North America recognizes the innate interconnectedness between healthy animals, healthy people and healthy environments. To improve the well-being of animals, the people who live with and rely on them and their shared environments, VWB North America invests in community-centered animal health systems. In the U.S., VWB North America is offering training services to animal welfare organizations, specifically geared toward animal shelter staff and volunteers, including the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society in West Windsor Vermont and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, an organization that is receiving training around animal handling and rescue.
VWB North America also supports remote Northern Canadian communities to improve animal health through temporary spay and neuter clinics, reduce the spread of rabies and create the conditions for long-term, community-led sustainable animal health services. On average, annually, more than 700 animals are vaccinated across remote northern Canadian communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in nearly a dozen communities.
Accounting for more than half of VWB North America’s programming, the organization’s international development work champions better living conditions for the world’s most vulnerable populations. VWB North America is working to improve the economic and social well-being of these communities, and particularly women and girls, through veterinary and agricultural services, sustainable animal production, training, value chain development and sustainable natural resource management. Each year, VWB North America reaches more than 3,100 small-scale farmers across Africa and Asia with training in animal disease prevention, animal welfare and livestock productivity.
All of VWB North America’s work is not possible without the organization’s community of skilled volunteers—with expansion into the U.S., VWB North America will have an expanded list of volunteer opportunities for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians to help provide aid both nationally and internationally. Volunteer opportunities include providing direct medical care, pet owner education, support to farmers in developing countries and response to disasters, and placements range from three weeks to two years, depending on the nature of the position.
Whether volunteering time or making a donation, supporting VWB North America’s expansion into the U.S. means giving the gift of veterinarian care, new opportunities for underprivileged communities and a healthier future for all. For more information on volunteer opportunities and how to make a donation to VWB North America, visit www.vwb.org. U.S. donors are eligible to receive a qualified tax receipt.
About Veterinarians Without Borders North America: Veterinarians Without Borders North America (VWB North America) is a non-profit organization founded in 2005, operating independently as the North American affiliate of VSF International. VWB North America adopts a "One Health" approach, emphasizing the interconnectedness of animal health, human health, and the environment. They work in 12 countries, partnering with diverse stakeholders to enhance community-centered animal health systems, serving over 1 million people annually through a range of programs. Initiatives focus on improving the well-being of animals, people, and the environment, with a particular emphasis on empowering marginalized populations, especially women and girls, through veterinary and agricultural services, sustainable animal production, and more. VWB North America is also actively involved in emergency response efforts, ensuring animals are not neglected during crises. For more information, visit their website: www.vwb.org