Meet the local nonprofit promoting the power of human-animal relationships, caring for the pets of the homeless, educating a new generation of rural vets and responding to natural disaster.
Who Are They?
The G.A.A.P. is a veterinary nonprofit made up of local vets, vet-nurses and development professionals, united in their passion to help vulnerable people and animals enjoy lives in harmony. They offer subsidised veterinary care, workshops on responsible pet ownership and emergency veterinary relief during natural disaster throughout Chile.
Why is their work so important?
Many pet-owners live in remote regions of Chile, without access to preventative and emergency veterinary care for their animals.
Animals are often invaluable companions for vulnerable people, yet providing veterinary care is often beyond their budget.
The responsibilities of pet ownership, as well as the safe handling of animals is poorly understood in rural Chile.
(The GAAP, Anecdotal)
What do they do?
The GAAP works to promote the bond between animals and people, providing subsidised veterinary care, educating youth about pet ownership and building local capacity amongst rural 'para-vets'. In doing so, they seek to foster the invaluable support that animals and people can provide each other, building a stronger and happier community that values animal welfare, conservation and sustainability.
Homeless People's Pets
In partnership with another local nonprofit supporting Valdivia's homeless, The GAAP offer free preventative healthcare for pets of local people living on the street. One night each week, The GAAP team visit local homeless people to provide free animal check-ups, administer vaccinations and offer pet food. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, homeless people generally don't have the financial capacity to provide care for their pets. By offering free assistance to these pets, the GAAP not only aim to care for local animals, but also protect what is often the only stable relationship their vulnerable owners have.
In addition to their ongoing work in Valdivia, The GAAP respond to natural disasters and veterinary emergencies throughout Chile. In January 2017, the worst wildfires in the countries history destroyed over 500,000 hectares of land, injuring thousands of animals. The GAAP responded to some of the worst affected areas, setting up a rural triage centre offering free emergency care and transport for injured horses. Despite many locals losing their homes possessions in the blaze, they were incredibly thankful that their pets were being cared for by expert hands, free of charge.
What does the team think?
"It is great to know that my baby can stay in the nursery whilst I learn"
The GAAP Vet
"Disaster relief work is tough, but I love it - It feels like I'm making a real difference"
The GAAP Co-Director
"We partner with multiple stakeholders in the community to ensure our projects succeed"
The GAAP Co-Director
"We integrate vet care with community development programs. They are inter-related."
If you have a story you'd like to share about a local community development organisation like The GAAP, we'd love to hear from you.