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One student, two grads to spend 15 days providing free medical attention to animals

One student and two graduates from the Colorado Mountain College Veterinary Technology program at the Spring Valley Campus near Glenwood Springs (teaching farm pictured here) are going to volunteer their services in Nicaragua with World Vets.

By Kevin Keller, Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — One current student and two recent graduates of Colorado Mountain College have gone to Nicaragua to help spay and neuter animals as well as spread awareness about animal health on a 15-day trip in the Central American country.

McClure Jackson-Cathcart, Lindsay Peaze and Karin Spars partnered with World Vets, an organization that provides free medical attention to animals in Third World countries. The group is traveling along with vets and other volunteers from World Vets to work in Nicaragua.

Jackson-Cathcart said that many people in Third World countries don’t understand that the health of their animals directly relates to the health of the themselves.

“Nicaragua is a very poor country,” she said, “and they need help. It’s one of World Vets’ main countries that they work in.”

The threesome funded the trip on their own. The total cost turned out to be about $2,500 each, Jackson-Cathcart said. She said they tried to do some fundraising but it didn’t work out too well.

“I pretty much have depleted my savings account,” she said.

However, they did receive a donation of supplies from the Glenwood Springs Vet Clinic.

Despite the cost of the trip, she said this is one of the threesome’s last opportunities to go somewhere together before everyone goes off into their professional lives.

“It’s a working vacation,” Jackson-Cathcart said. “We wanted to do a trip together before we moved on, and Nicaragua just worked out.”

She also said the trio can make a huge difference, but that’s not necessary for the trip to be a success.

“For me, just impacting one person’s life is enough,” Jackson-Cathcart said. “If I can impact one family, and help them understand that keeping their pet healthy will keep them healthy, that’s good enough for me.”

The trio will also get some valuable veterinary experience in a situation that Colorado Mountain College can’t provide.

“School is a controlled environment.” Jackson-Cathcart said. “We could be working in the streets. We won’t necessarily have the equipment we might need, and we’ll have to wing it.”

Jackson-Cathcart said the equipment won’t be the only challenge. The language barrier also presents a challenge to the group when they have to give advice.

The group has set up a blog about the trip and its challenges at http://ayudadepatas.blogspot.com. Jackson-Cathcart said she is going to try and blog from Nicaragua, as well as post pictures.

They have also set up a PayPal account on the blog for anyone who wants to donate to the trip, and they also will accept donations of vet supplies that are expired but have been expired for less than a year.