RAVS team touches animals
by Tiffany Haynes-Reed
Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS) teams travelled to the CRST reservation Sunday, June 10. The crew of 47 consisted of HSVMA staff, veterinarians, student-veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and volunteers.
“We opened up to start taking names for surgeries at 7 a.m. and we had people here at 5:30 a.m.,” said Darci Adams, South Dakota State Director for the Humane Society of the United States.
The group performed 157 surgeries between the three communities of Dupree, White Horse, and Eagle Butte. 100 surgeries were performed in Eagle Butte alone. In Eagle Butte, on Friday, about 300 vaccinations and exams were conducted on area pets.
HSVMA-RAVS’s mission is to bring veterinary care to rural areas at no cost to the residents. Community members did not have to pay for the surgeries, exams, or vaccinations performed. The total estimated cost of the services provided for free totaled between $60,000 and $70,000.
CRST entities team up to provide amenities for the team. GFP, Housing Authority, and Environmental Health provide meals. The schools provide dormitories for team members to stay while serving the community. Indian Health Services provides oxygen and sharps containers for surgical use.
“This takes major cooperation between entities,” said Randolph Runs After, Tribal Sanitarian. “It’s a symbiotic thing. We start working together in March.”
HSVMA-RAVS provides $1.3 million dollars in free veterinary care to 8,000 animals annually. These services are provided free of charge to the clients and communities served.
This program offers valuable training to hundreds of future veterinary professionals. HSVMA-RAVS depends on the generosity of volunteers and donors. To find out more visit www.ruralvet.org