Ever dream of being far from your veterinary clinic, surrounded by pine bluffs and a mixed-grass prairie set on 2 million acres of ponderosa pine country when film star Kevin Costner rides up on horse?
Well, Costner probably won’t be there, but the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota is where the movie Dances with Wolves was filmed and where the Lakota Animal Care Project is inviting volunteers to participate in its visiting veterinarian and veterinary technician program. The Lakota Animal Care Project, a 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofit organization on the reservation, welcomes veterinary professionals to volunteer at least two or three days to help with the following:
> Perform spay-neuter surgeries during one of the project’s spay-neuter clinics, which take place throughout the year.
> Help train Lakota animal caregivers (tribal members who provide basic animal healthcare on the reservation through the Lakota Animal Care Project).
> Help with reservation animals’ medical needs, including wound care, porcupine quill removal, fractures and so on.
The spay-neuter clinics usually last three days. Volunteer veterinarians have access to state-of-the-art equipment including autoclave, anesthesia machines and monitors, surgery tables and lamps, and everything needed to perform spay-neuter surgeries, including all consumables. The Lakota Animal Care Project does ask visiting veterinarians--for their own comfort and familiarity--to bring their own dissolvable suture materials and preferred anesthesia if possible.
Visiting veterinarians provide for their own travel, food and lodging. There are two motels and restaurants on the reservation. The Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota is the home of the Oglala Lakota Sioux people.
For more information, contact Virginia Ravndal at email@example.com or by phone at (505) 252-6767, or Dr. Peggy Behrens at (605) 394-4873.