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Project Samana
 
The Mission
Our mission is simple: Provide necessary surgical and medical services to the animals of Samana. Educate animal owners in the health, care and proper use of work horses and mules. Provide training to local veterinarians and students from Dominican schools in medical and surgical procedures. Expand our team of veterinary students from the U.S. to experience first hand the problems plaguing animals of third world countries. Project Samana looks to its’ future and to you. We are pleased with the progress that’s been made over the years, the horses are looking better now that they are receiving medical attention from Team Samana twice a year and follow-up care by local practitioners in between. And according to the mayor of Samana, who honored our team with a ceremony, commemorative plaque and dinner, the number of stray dogs and cats on the streets has been reduced drastically. Project Samana will continue as long as there is a need, which appears to be quite a while. We must see that additional mules and horses receive more care and address issues of relative size (the over loading of a heavy tourist on a small thin mule, or baskets overloaded with cargo for the animals to carry is still a common sight). As the tourist business grows so must the level of sophistication and care the animals receive. We will also continue to bring
newly graduated veterinarians and technicians to Samana, truly rounding out their education. The new vets and techs love the opportunity the program provides and take home with them lessons that will make them better practitioners forever. We thank those whose support we have received, the generous donors and the dedication the MVMA members, not to mention the many volunteers without whom none of this would be possible. We’re well on our way but we need your support. Join Team Samana, together we can continue to make a real, positive difference in the lives of the animals we all love. Please consider a contribution to this worthwhile project that helps animals and people in the Third World. Your donation can be earmarked for a special purpose (supporting a specific Dr. or student) Air miles would provide a ticket for someone who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Money for specific supplies (suture, antibiotics etc.) is always needed.
The Team
It began in 1993 as 3 members from the MVMA volunteering their time, knowledge and supplies to provide necessary medical services to the animals of Samana, has grown into a semi-annual expedition of vets, technicians, students, translators, some filmmakers and ancillary personnel. Over the life of the project, our teams have spayed more than 2000 dogs and cats and castrated several hundred stallions. We are educating the people of Samana on animal care, nutrition, basic first aid, and parasite control and tick infestation. Team Samana is working with an ecotourism group who, at our recommendation, has formed a cooperative to sponsor seminars and keep records of horses we determine are too sick or thin to work, and arrange for medical care. We’ve convinced several farmers to start a mule breeding program as mules are strong animals, resistant to disease, adapt well to the local climate and living conditions, and after they are gelded, seem very placid and work steadily for the rest of their lives. Others have seen the success of this program and it’s beginning to catch on. Team Samana has strengthened the human / animal bond in many ways and given the animals a healthier life. But the most important legacy of the program is the influence it has had on the over 100 vets, techs and students who have made the journey, gotten back to the basics, and brought altruism back into their daily lives.