Veterinarians Without Borders injects $3 million into Northern Animal Health

A pilot program to improve immunization rates and improve access to medications, spaying and sterilization services has received a $3 million injection to continue its work.

Courtesy of philanthropists Kim and Stu Lang through the Angel Gabriel Foundation, the Northern Health Initiative grant will establish a scholarship program to help young people pursue a degree in veterinary science and/or in animal care.

“It is so important for us to be part of the launch of the expansion of such a special project, the Northern Animal Health Initiative,” said Kim Lang. “Our gift is a sincere expression of our lifelong love for animals and our hope that this program will make a positive difference in the world. I hope this will have lasting benefits for northern animals and the people who love them, dramatically improving access to life-saving veterinary care for the animals that mean so much to their families and communities.

Since 2019, the initiative has assisted in the administration of over 630 vaccines and neutered and neutered nearly 200 animals.

Pets in northern Canada tend to live shorter lives, usually dying of preventable or treatable diseases. A 2017 study found that 54 remote communities of 100 or more people had little or no access to veterinary services, prompting the program.

Veterinarians without Borders (VWB) is an integral part of the program and brings temporary veterinary clinics to underserved communities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The non-profit organization works with communities to build local capacity in animal care when asked to do so.

At the heart of VWB’s methods is the One Health approach, which recognizes that animal health is interconnected with the environment in which they live. This interdisciplinary approach is recognized by veterinarians as one of the most effective methods for improving the health of people and animals.

“Lang’s support will enable VWB and our northern community partners to build a sustainable framework that will create the conditions for sustainable, community-driven animal health,” said VWB Chief Executive Charmaine Brett. “VWB places great importance on building partnerships with local communities.

“Kim’s vision for creating positive change, and her passion for the One Health approach, will enable us to help more animals in need, and it will raise the voices and impact of our northern community partners. Kim and Stu Lang’s gift is transformational in its scope, and it’s a very personal reflection of their deep love for animals and their desire to do great good in the world. This is philanthropic leadership at its finest.

Boyd S. Abbott