Veterinarian Dr Natalia Kozioł of Dębica, Poland aims to make the world a better place for animals so it’s no surprise she became a volunteer for Vets Beyond Borders.
Participating in Vets Beyond Borders’ VetMatch Sardinia program with LIDA was her first volunteer experience for VBB but probably not the last, she said. Having specialised in diseases of dogs and cats and currently undergoing specialisation in surgery, Dr Kozioł has a great passion for her work in emergency medicine and surgery of small animals and exotics.
“From an early age, I helped animals in need, so when I saw VBB’s appeal urgently needing an experienced veterinary surgeon to take part in the desexing of homeless animals in Sardinia, I decided without hesitation to help,” she said.
“For me, my profession is not only a job but also a great passion and mission. A huge over-population of dogs and cats is a global problem that results in hunger and suffering of abandoned, unwanted animals. That is why I eagerly support all initiatives aimed at reducing the homelessness of dogs and cats and I think that sterilisation and castration are the most humane way to achieve it.”
During the 10 days of volunteering at the LIDA Olbia shelter together with another vet surgeon Dr Sade Adeleye and vet nurse Lucy Taylor, the VBB team performed more than 120 operations with the highest standards of surgical cleanliness, anaesthesia, patient monitoring and all surgical procedures, Dr Kozioł explained.
“One of my warmest memories of the trip is a wonderful colony of cats living in harmony right next to the shelter. All neutered and sterilised, neat, healthy and friendly, looked after with care by the shelter staff,” she said. “Every morning, they greeted us with sincere joy and enthusiasm when we arrived at the infirmary. The whole group also accompanied us during lunch breaks demanding caresses, attention and delicacies.”
Dr Kozioł described volunteering with VBB as a “great professional challenge.”
“The team of doctors, nurses and shelter employees are great, highly qualified specialists with whom I could exchange experiences but also improve my workshop and learn a lot from them,” she said. “I am convinced that the friendships I have made there will be lasting and our professional cooperation will not end with this one project.”
Dr Kozioł said although the team spent most of the day performing surgeries in the operating room, it was also a time full of “funny stories, delicious Italian dinners, long conversations and considerations on veterinary medicine with hot aromatic coffee, sunsets on the seafront and walks around charming Italian towns.”
Dr Kozioł thanked VBB organisers for their commitment and professionalism in the entire recruitment process, handling all formalities related to travel, accommodation and smooth implementation of working in a shelter outpatient clinic.
“I strongly recommend volunteering for VBB. It is a great opportunity for professional development, meeting unique people and places but also, above all, a mission to help and change the world for the better,” she said.
Thank you Dr Kozioł for volunteering for Vets Beyond Borders and helping animals in need. We wish you all the best in your new surgical role in Sweden!