Here at the Cornell Feline Health Center, we understand the importance of supporting the education of tomorrow’s veterinarians and researchers today. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s feline experts, and the generous support of our donors provides much needed financial and logistical support for students interested in feline-related issues. From individual veterinary student scholarships to the support of the Leadership program and Clinical Investigators' Day, our donors' dollars actively support the future of basic research and clinical medicine focused on issues of feline health.
FARVets (Feral, Abandoned and Rescued animals)
Health Center has been supporting the promotion of feline health and wellness clinics both locally and internationally. Dr. Paul Maza, faculty member and consultant for the Cornell Feline Health Center, is also the director of a small group called FARVets (Feral, Abandoned, and Rescued animals) that assists animal welfare organizations abroad, in their missions to treat feline diseases and tackle overpopulation issues that may lead to abandonment of cats, inability to care for cats as pets, and feral cat populations.
Every year Dr. Maza leads a group of veterinary students and technicians to places abroad on Feline Health Center supported trips to assist organizations that share the Center’s missions of improving the health and welfare of cats.
“We are very grateful for the support that the Cornell Feline Health Center provides, to us in this important mission of being conscientious global veterinary medicine citizens. By assisting animal welfare organizations abroad, we help them realize that they are not alone or isolated in trying to improve feline health,” Dr. Maza states.
On the Caribbean island of Grenada, FARVets worked with the Grenada SPCA, led by Dr. Sharon Sage. Through collaboration and cooperation, the groups worked together to set up a feline sterilization and vaccination clinic both at the SCPA’s facility, and at a field clinic set up at a remote part of the island. In addition to the medical care of the cats the group provided, they also assisted in educating cat owners about health care and welfare issues. Dr. Maza also gave lectures to the St. George’s University College of Veterinary Medicine, located on Grenada, to the animal welfare club on issues of feral cat management.
Mexico is another location that Dr. Maza and FARVets travels on Center sponsored trips to assist local animal welfare organizations. Coco’s Cat Rescue, led by Ms. Laura Raikes, invites the FARVets group every year to participate in wellness, vaccination and sterilization clinics in Playa del Carmen, where stray, abandoned and feral cat issues abound. Laura and Coco’s Cat Rescue look forward to the visit every year as they enjoy assisting teaching veterinary students in aspects of feline welfare and health. Ariel Kravitz, a previous veterinary student participant on a clinic trip abroad, comments on the benefits of the experience. “Working alongside local veterinarians in foreign countries was particularly vital to my education as it provided me with alternative perspectives on techniques and approaches to veterinary medicine,” Ariel says. “I was proud and humbled to be in the company of the veterinarians and animal care providers who remain devoted to providing quality care the patients entrusted to them. This was a pivotal experience in my veterinary education, one which I and other students would be fortunate to experience in the future.”
Also in Mexico, Tierra de Animales (Land of Animals) in the forests outside of Cancun is a sanctuary for neglected animals that has a dedicated indoor/outdoor facility for the housing of stray and abandoned cats. FARVets and Dr. Maza provide vaccines and medical care for cats in preparation and hope that they will be adopted to loving homes.
Dr. Maza is currently preparing to establish a new partnership with an animal welfare organization in Costa Rica to bring veterinary students and technicians for another wellness, education and sterilization clinic. As the reputation of this group grows, more animal welfare organizations in different countries seek to join forces to improve feline health and wellness internationally at the grassroots levels. With ongoing support from the Center and others, these missions hopefully can reach more and more cats.