Nathan Gozdor, 20, of Canton spent two weeks this summer in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Gozdor is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in zoology.
Traveling with study-abroad organization Loop Abroad, Gozdor was selected as part of a small team that volunteered giving care at a dog shelter and spent a week working directly with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary. The veterinary service program brings students to Thailand for two weeks to volunteer alongside veterinarians from the U.S. and Thailand.
“The best gift of all is the gift of giving,” Gozdor said. “Being able to provide medical attention to cats, dogs and elephants has been the most rewarding experience I have ever partaken in. Helping others, especially animals who can’t help themselves, is a great passion of mine.”
For one week, Gozdor and his team volunteered at an elephant sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, to work with the giant animals and learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale.
The elephants at the sanctuary have been rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs. Many of them had been abused and suffer from chronic injuries or blindness. At the elephant sanctuary, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Gozdor helped to feed and care for elephants, as well as learn about their diagnoses alongside an elephant vet. The sanctuary is also home to more than 1,000 animals, including cats, dogs, water buffalo, horses and cows and is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers like Gozdor.
For the other week, Gozdor volunteered at a dog rescue clinic in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The shelter is home to dogs who have been rescued after being abandoned, beaten or abused.
While he studied under the veterinarians leading his group, Gozdor and his team made a difference in the lives of these dogs. By providing checkups 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.
“Our students are some of the most amazing people I have ever met,” said Jane Stine, the program’s managing director. “They are kind, compassionate, dedicated, hard-working individuals who have big goals and want to make a big impact. It’s amazing to see how eager they are to learn and challenge themselves. Over the last nine years, we’ve seen them go on to do some wonderful things.”
Loop Abroad has animal science, marine biology, and veterinary programs for students and young adults ages 14-30 and offers financial aid and fundraising help. Programs range from two weeks in summer to a full semester abroad and college credit is available. Interested participants can inquire or apply at www.LoopAbroad.com.
Admission to veterinary programs is selective and Gozdor was selected based on his transcript, admissions essay and professional references.
Source : Hometownlife