Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest post: Sentient team volunteers veterinarians in Fiji

Dr Adele Lloyd (Sentient Vice President) & Sue (Animals Fiji Vet Nurse) 
attending to a kitten with a fractured leg.
This is our first guest post from Sentient, the Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics. If you are a veterinarian interested in volunteering, read on.

Our vice president, Dr Adele Lloyd, along with Publicity Officer, Matthew Lloyd, and committee member, Dr Franca Mazzone used their annual leave last year to volunteer at the Animals Fiji clinic in Nadi.

Unfortunately, Animals Fiji does not have a permanent veterinarian so they are always looking for volunteers (veterinary and non-veterinary) to help them help the animals of Fiji.

Animal Fiji’s vet nurses Lynn and Sue are the fabric of this clinic, which could not exist without them. As locals, they have a solid understanding of the welfare issues that Fiji faces and how best to work within the community. They strive hard to educate the local population about welfare issues whilst providing care and a re-homing service for local cats and dogs.
Lynn (Animals Fiji Vet Nurse), Dr Adele Lloyd (Sentient Vice President),
Franca Mazzone (Sentient committee member) & Sue (Animals Fiji Vet Nurse).
In the planning for the Sentient representatives to arrive, Sue and Lynn arranged a spey & neuter clinic for both private clients and welfare cases. They had planned for approximately sixty surgeries,  however the Sentient team worked their way through between 80-90 animals including some urgent emergency cases.
Dr Adele Lloyd (Sentient Vice President) & Franca Mazzone (Sentient committee member) 
during the spey & neuter clinic.
Adele also had to assess ‘Poppy’ who after surviving a horrendous ‘hunting accident’ involving a cane knife or machete which resulted in the loss of a substantial part of her nose and upper jaw, arrived at the clinic starving and close to death. There was no vet at the clinic at this time so Lynn and Sue did their best to care for her medically and emotionally. The vet nurses did an amazing job of this which meant no only did Poppy survive but she was the picture of health (apart from her obvious injury of course) and amazingly loved everyone that gave her the slightest bit of attention. She totally is a ‘popstar’ as we affectionately nicknamed her – the fact that she isn’t frightened of humans after her horrific ‘accident’ is truly amazing and just goes to show the forgiving nature of animals, something we could all learn from.

Poppy's initial injuries. She has since made a wonderful
recovery thanks to surgeons at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital.
Adele liaised with a number of surgery specialists in Australia about possible corrective surgery for Poppy and eventually (to cut a very long story short!), Poppy was flown over to Australia on the back of a lot of fundraisers, and had corrective surgery (which the Small Animal Specialist Hospital in Sydney did for free) and is now in a loving, forever home and will have nothing to fear as she lives out the rest of her days in Australia. The same fundraisers are helping to raise much needed funds to get a permanent vet at the Animals Fiji clinic – there are so many animals in need of help and with only one clinic on the west side of the main island (there are only a total of three in the whole of Fiji, one private and two animal shelters and clinics), there are always a lot of animals to care for.
If anyone is interested in volunteering at Animals Fiji or if there is a vet out there who would love the opportunity of a longer or a permanent posting out there, please contact Dr Adele Lloyd via email ( or via the Animals Fiji facebook page. To see other animal welfare initiatives you could volunteer at, got to and look under the ‘Volunteering’ section.
SAT supports animal welfare initiatives that improve the lives of animals, and welcomes guest posts to this effect (subject to editorial approval). Please contact me for further information.