International Cat Care offers vets (qualified at least 3 years) and nurses or technicians (qualified in their home country) the chance to experience what we believe to be the best equipped stray animal population management training programme in the world.
We offer placements of 10 days (including travelling) as teachers at our training centre in Portugal; how we use your skills depends on your experience of charity work, public speaking, street animals, teaching and travel.On all projects accommodation and at least 75% of flights are covered; we may support the costs of some meals.
Our training centre has autoclaves, gaseous anaesthesia as back-up, and comprehensive trapping and handling equipment, because we feel that your valuable time and your safety, should be not compromised by not having the equipment you need to do the job properly and without injury. Every kit is autoclaved or heat sterilised between every animal. A staff member travels on every project to ensure your welfare.
If you are new to volunteering, we would recommend working at our centre in NW portugal as a good introduction in a safe environment on a project that is managed and run by experienced vets and nurses. We often hear from nurses and vets who have had a bad experience on charity work - excessive numbers of cats, poor equipment leading to being bitten, lack of sterility, doubts about whether the project makes an impact, or lack of clinical oversight. If you've been put off by other projects, please give us a try - we're very different.
Please note - this is a teaching programme, so as an instructor you need to be surgically competent from the off. If you have not been in surgical practice in the 6 months prior to the course, we would suggest that you take an opportunity to get some practical time at home before you leave. You will be supervising less experienced colleagues from the moment you arrive, and there will be no time to get "warmed up". We cannot emphasise strongly enough how essential this is.
Finally - this is an animal welfare programme aimed at supporting those from countries where animal welfare is developing. Some of these countries have zero feline content on their veterinary degree; maybe only one animal organisation, and huge socio-economic problems. It's a challenging environment and group of people to work with at times but we think that this is far more rewarding than the "flying vets" model of visiting vets. What's more, because we only train delehgates who have a proven commitment to welfare work, the time you put in will support the development of effective programmes, rather than simply the training of private clinicians or fee-paying UK or North American vet students. We hope this last aspect swings it for you!