Heska, a leading provider of veterinary diagnostic and specialty products, today opened voting in the 2011 “Inspiration in Action” Contest, allowing animal lovers to support and honor veterinary medicine by voting for one of five projects. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000 and the second place winner will receive $5,000 to help bring their inspired ideas to life.
This year’s finalists include projects to pair strays in need of training with at-risk youth in rehabilitation programs; wildlife protection in Belize; training and scholarships for high school students pursuing careers in veterinary medicine; and programs to provide supplies and assistance to veterinarians in developing countries.
Check out this year’s finalists below, and then head over to www.heska.com/action and vote. Voting ends December 16th.
Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic
Belize, a country known for its biological diversity and environmental protection is in need of a facility to provide medical care for wildlife. Prize money from the Inspiration in Action contest would allow the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic to make a profound contribution by establishing a state-of-the-art medical facility that provides essential, and currently unavailable, services to many of Belize’s veterinarians. Learn more at www.wildlifebelize.com/belizewildlifeandreferralclinic.html.
Inspiring Future Leaders in Veterinary Science
Veterinarians at the Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic want to inspire and equip high school students. They have just opened a first-of-its-kind animal hospital on the campus of the Fayette County AgriScience Center which provides students the opportunity to observe and assist as veterinarians provide care for pets, horses and food animals. Prize money from the contest would be used to provide students with scholarships to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Serving as a prototype to be implemented in other communities, the success of this program should inspire other school districts around the nation to explore ways they can begin to utilize these ideas to grow the veterinary profession. Learn more at www.locusttracevet.com.
By matching the needs of colleagues practicing in places where there may be no equipment, minimal supplies and large health risks to the community with donations from those more fortunate, Project V.E.T.S. strives to support both people and animals in need. Among other things, they collect donated equipment, textbooks, software and supplies. These donations are distributed worldwide to veterinarians working with non-profit or non-governmental organizations dedicated to improving animal health and welfare. Prize money from the contest would be used to build awareness of their mission and needs for donations and volunteers. Learn more at www.projectvets.org.
Project S.T.R.A.Y. (Stray Training and Rehabilitation by Area Youths)
The Kearney Area Animal Shelter in Nebraska has collaborated with the local Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC). With funding from winning the contest, the project will assign YRTC students live-in dogs that need advanced obedience and behavior training. A sister facility would also be able to accept dogs to be trained as service dogs for disabled or impaired individuals. Students qualify by maintaining good behavior while in the facility and by completing a pet care technician degree. Rehabilitation for troubled youths, fewer returns on adopted dogs, increased capacity within the animal shelter, and positive outcomes for the community are just a few of the benefits. This model for partnership can be applied in many communities throughout the United States. Learn more at www.kearneyhumane.com.
Veterinarians without Borders/Veterinaires sans Frontieres (VWB/VSF)
By building healthy communities in some of the poorest developing countries, where people are struggling to recover from war and epidemic disease, the VWB/VSF program helps mitigate the conditions that lead to instability and that foster the spread of disease. In times of unstable climate, economy and politics, this creates a basis on which to build a more stable global community. Prize money from the contest would be used to support two ongoing projects in Laos and Uganda. Learn more at www.vwb-vsf.ca/english/index.shtml.