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November 2, 2010

Dr. Satish Raghorte Awarded HSI Internship

Humane Society International/India

  • Dr. Raghorte at WHS. HSI

  • Making a new friend. HSI

  • Dr. Raghorte is working to help street dogs in Bhutan. Kathy Milani/HSI

HSI implements hands-on spay/neuter projects around the world. As a part of this initiative, we use a technique known as CNVR (capture, neuter, vaccinate and release), by which veterinarians carry out high volumes of sterilization surgeries in a short period of time. All this practice has led to highly proficient vets.

We are currently running one such project in Bhutan. In September 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and HSI formed a unique partnership. With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, the two entities embarked on a first-of-its kind, nationwide spay/neuter/vaccination program throughout the country of Bhutan, targeting more than 50,000 dogs over three to five years.

As a bonus for the hard-working veterinarians on staff in Bhutan, HSI decided to award a two-week internship in the United States to star performers from the teams. Dr. Satish Raghorte was chosen for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of interning with our partner organization, Washington Humane Society (WHS) in Washington, DC.

Pursuing a calling

Dr. Raghorte always knew he wanted to be a veterinarian. Coming from a lower middle class family of farmers with a background in agriculture and farming, choosing animal welfare as a career was a big decision for him. “My father was extremely proud that I had become a veterinarian and was now given the opportunity to go to another country,” Raghorte told HSI proudly. He is the first person ever from his village to become a veterinarian and to get a visa to travel abroad.

Learning from colleagues

During his two weeks with Washington Humane Society, Dr. Raghorte interacted with American veterinarians and other experts in his field. Apart from observing spay and neuter surgeries performed at the facility, he also had a chance to learn about daily care for animals, shelter management, behavior training and euthanasia. Regarding the differences he observed between India and the USA, he said was humbled by the general caring attitude of the everyday person towards animals in the U.S., and that while that comparing the two nations at this point would be unfair, he wished people in India were as concerned about homeless cats and dogs and other animals too.

Dr. Raghorte also attended the 2010 Walk for Animals in Washington D.C during his stay. He said he had enjoyed the experience thoroughly because he met experts on animal welfare there and that interacting with them had increased his understanding of the path he chose for his own career. He mentioned that his favorite part of his internship was the day he learned about behavioral assessment for animals. He had heard about the concept, but to witness the process first hand was incredibly interesting.

His overall experience in the United States was a memorable one and he hopes to have the chance to return in the future. “The people are really friendly and help you if you need anything. That made my stay here more comfortable. I was nervous when I first came here, but after meeting Priscilla, my host here, and the staff of WHS, I would love to come back again,” he said at the conclusion of his trip.

Taking knowledge back

Returning to Bhutan, Dr. Raghorte, a leader of one of the three mobile teams working there said, “Bhutan is a dream project for any veterinarian. We realize that we are not only reducing the dog population of the country, but also vaccinating the animals against rabies, thereby helping improve the health and lives of not only the dogs, but also the people in the communities around them. And when we see the healthy animals we have vaccinated on the streets, it makes all our hard work feel worthwhile.”