Pissing Up a Rope

I know I am writing to a crowd of people who want to hear that we have saved this dog or that cat and this do or that cat is flying to a country where they will not be considered a meal. I know that this is my audience and I know that what I write will disappoint you. I know when I write the phrase “veterinary clinic” I lose 98% of my audience, while that tiny 2% are busy and stressed out vets, nodding their heads in agreement but who are generally drinking their trauma away while reading this somewhere in the world where they can’t help us.


We can help none of these animals in our own neighborhood or anywhere in the country with the state of veterinary medicine in Vietnam. Without readers having the experience I have had in my own clinic and with the hundreds of cases we have seen here, my time in the vet university, the referrals from across the country, you won’t ever know what I mean. It will never be within your frame of reference and there is no photo I can post or story I can write to make you understand. I certainly have done my best and the information has yet to have an impact on our bottom line.

Most of you have never met me and never seen my eyes glaze over when I talk about that time I watched a Cesarean on a dog without anesthesia. None of you have seen me drive out to the rice paddies to scream and hyperventilate in “private” because I just got my 7th message of the day from someone telling me the absolute torture they saw in a “vet clinic” where an animal somewhere in the country has suffered and died for no damn reason. The days I drink enough coffee to kill a buffalo in order to get out of bed and keep dealing with blatant medical negligence all around us and lack of scientific understanding I learned in middle school, none of you get to see that or feel the wrath of a woman like me really fucking dead set on opening an international clinic so we can finally SAVE animals rather than watch them suffer slowly. You don’t know what I have been through in this work here and what I have to face every day to just keep our animals fed and healthy and you generally don’t have to give a shit. I envy your ignorance.


But I need you all now to just trust me that this clinic we have to open is the only way we can do our work. I am asking you to help us actually save lives again, prevent lives being born into a world that does not care for them, to help those suffering to alleviate their pain. I tried for years to do this with local vets. I tried again and again and gave them the benefit of the doubt far more times that was rational. I saw endless preventable suffering and death and after we got our own clinic staffed with international vets, I finally got to see trauma we could actually solve. I got to see healing rather than harm. I got to see true diagnoses rather than shots in the dark. I saw lives saved.


And in the absence of that clinic, all I see is pain and suffering again everywhere I look. I see easily fixable cases that a vet with Western-standard training could fix in a 20 minute consult and trip to the pharmacy or a surgery and few days stay in a clean, comfortable, stress-free recovery environment with caring, experienced, and competent hands to help.


We can change this. We need our clinic. We need to hire international vets and vet nurses and we need to heal animals and save lives because currently, this simple process is impossible.


We got only one-third of the donations necessary to get the clinic building we wanted. That’s about 2% of what we need to really get this clinic running as well, building aside. Social media will never be the answer to saving lives . We do not have the reach and we do not have the interest from the audience of animal rescues.


We need investors to jump in and to what no $10 donation can. The non-profit business model in the medical and veterinary field is totally insufficient to address the capital investment required to open a full service facility and hire experienced clinicians. I am more than happy to be proven wrong on that, but so far, this is what I see from running a small organization that does not have millions in the bank. If you or anyone you know can help us find the investors we need, please contact us. I am screaming underwater at this point, I feel, begging strangers to consider


Endless preventable suffering and death in front of your face daily does break you. It’s gotten pretty close for me recently. It has before, and I suspect I will snap again soon if we do not get that lease signed and get a vet to help the long list of cases we already need to fix . We need YOUR help. Please help us find someone to step and build the vital veterinary infrastructure necessary to truly end animal suffering in Vietnam.