Kokomo native gains veterinary experience in Thailand

Submitted photorescue worker: Kokomo native Lindsey Fenton poses with an elephant at Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. Fenton, who is majoring in veterinary technology at Purdue University, spent two weeks this summer caring for rescued animals in Thailand.

Kokomo native Lindsey Fenton put her budding veterinary skills to use this summer helping rescued elephants, dogs and cats in Thailand.

Fenton, 22, and Rachelle Boneff, 20, of Fort Wayne, spent two weeks in Thailand this past summer with a College Veterinary Service trip through Loop Abroad, a Boston-based travel program for students who love animals. Fenton and Boneff are both studying veterinary technology at Purdue University.

They joined a small team of volunteers who provided care at Animal Rescue Kingdom dog shelter in Chiang Mai, Thailand, before spending a week working with rescued elephants at Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand.

While they learned what it’s like to be a veterinarian, students made a difference in the lives of the more than 100 abandoned or abused dogs at the shelter. By providing check-ups and cleanings, diagnosing and treating ear and eye problems, taking and testing blood, administering vaccines, cleaning and treating wounds and helping with sterilization, the students were able to help support the health and well-being of these dogs.

At the Elephant Nature Park, they interacted with more than 40 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs. Many of them have been abused and suffer from chronic injuries. Students were able to feed, bathe and care for elephants, as well as learning about their diagnoses alongside an elephant vet. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to more than 400 dogs and 100 cats, as well as rabbits and water buffalo, and is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers like Fenton and Boneff.

“This trip opened my eyes to the countless amount of incredible opportunities I have to look forward to in my future profession,” Fenton said, in a press release.

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