This summer, SF student Trisha Seppey, 23, of Fort Lauderdale, spent two weeks in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling with the Boston-based Loop Abroad, Seppey was part of a small team that volunteered giving care at a dog shelter and then spent a week working with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary.
The Loop Abroad Veterinary Service program brings students to Thailand for two weeks to volunteer alongside a staff veterinarian. For one week, students volunteer at the Animal Rescue Kingdom dog shelter in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Loop Abroad has programs for students and young adults age 14 to 30, and offers financial aid and fundraising help to make their trips accessible to the greatest number of students.
“Loop Abroad was one of the most amazing and educational trips I have ever had the opportunity to attend. The people were great to be around and I learned so much,” Seppey said.
The animal shelter where Seppey volunteered is home to more than 100 dogs who have been rescued after being abandoned, beaten or abused. While the dogs can be adopted, many are not and the shelter becones a permanent home. By providing check-ups and cleanings, diagnosing and treating ear and eye problems, taking and testing blood, administering vaccines, cleaning and treating wounds, and helping with sterilization surgeries, the students were able to help support the health and well-being of these dogs.
The group also spent one week at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand to work hands-on with the animals and learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The Elephant Nature Park is home to about 40 elephants rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs. Many have been abused and suffer from chronic injuries. At the Elephant Nature Park, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Students were able to feed, bathe, and care for elephants, as well as learning about their diagnoses alongside an elephant vet. The Elephant Nature Park is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers like Seppey.
Photo courtesy of Loop Abroad.