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Joined: Oct 1999
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At Heska, we created the Inspiration in Action contest to encourage innovation and to impact the human experience through our bond with animals. Many have explored new ways to enrich this bond and advance veterinary medicine with fresh ideas.

The finalists have been selected, and now it's your turn to vote!

Please register and vote for the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic.

The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) presents an opportunity to make a profound contribution to wildlife conservation, animal welfare and public health for an entire developing country. Belize, a country known for its biological diversity and environmental protection, has no facility to provide medical care for wildlife. Gas anesthesia, x-ray and many diagnostic tools are not available for most of the country's veterinarians. Capacity building is one of the missing links for many of Belize's sectors. As in many countries, wildlife pets are very common. Due to lack of owner education, the health and welfare of these animals is often extremely limited. Belize cannot fully enforce wildlife guidelines and laws because it lacks facilities to receive confiscated wildlife and provide necessary medical care as well as assistance in wildlife rescue.The BWRC addresses these and other national development goals.

In addition to establishing a state-of-the-art medical facility for wildlife, the prize money from the Inspiration in Action contest would be leveraged to provide essential and currently unavailable services to many of Belize's veterinarians.

The following is a vision summary for the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic:

  • Equip a medical facility that has the mission and to build veterinary capacity for Belize.
  • Provide key equipment for rescuing and treating injured, diseased, orphaned or confiscated wildlife.
  • Provide equipment and supplies for basic diagnostics.
  • Provide veterinary training for students and professionals through currently established courses, internships and continuing education opportunities.
  • Develop capacity to increase de-worming in domestic animals nationwide.
  • Educate the public about wildlife, human wildlife conflict, conservation, and issues pertaining to zoonotic diseases.
  • Collect data on prevalence of endo- and ecto-parasitic and zoonotic diseases in domestic animals and wildlife.
  • Support continuous wildlife research.

Learn more about this important project at:

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Heska's Inspiration in Action contest goes to final stage of voting
Contest created to inspire innovation to improve veterinary care, animal health

Five finalists have been named for Heska Corp.'s 2012 Inspiration in Action contest.

Up for grabs is a $25,000 winning prize and a $5,000 second prize, the company reports.

According to Heska's Janet Kellog, the contest was created to honor and support inspiring ideas within veterinary medicine. In fact, the contest is open for voting until Dec. 18 at or The winner will be named in mid January at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando.

The five projects advancing to the finals include:

* A proposal to build a state-of-the-art medical facility for wildlife in Belize. According to the entry proposal, the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic would serve as a dedicated facility to provide medical care to a population of animals that are under served. "As in many countries, wildlife pets are very common. Due to lack of owner education, the health and welfare of these animals is often extremely limited," the proposal states.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the article...

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends

First of all a

It was amazing to bring the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) proposal - first ever for this long planned project - through prefinal into the final of the veterinary �Inspiration in Action" contest. We are happy to feel confirmed in that we have successfully identified a project of need, worthy of funding consideration.

But YOU have been truly amazing by making us be in the lead to win the majority of votes, so far! It is overwhelming and wonderfull to have the Belizean �outsider" project - in this US contest - LEAD, in front of 3 strong US-based competitors (and one international european, globally active veterinary organization, which I am even a member off since nearly 20 years ...)!!!. And these are all great projects we are competing with.

And that is only because of your, and your friends votes!!!
So far we must have received at least about 600 votes for BWRC, because a total of 2700 votes was counted in the first week, and we had the highest number of the 5 finalists (I do not know the total number or percentage of BWRC votes).
Quite frankly: You all ROCK to make that happen!

BUT, and there comes the �but"...: We need more help from you

There are 2 MORE WEEKS of voting, and the sponsor anticipates 20.000 VOTES in total, before the end of voting on december 16th!!!
So that means we need at least 5000, and depending on the distribution up to nearly 10.000 votes to win this for Belize.... gulp....
we can only do that with your help and the help of your friends!
Any of the other proyects just has to write a couple of local newspaper articles and they should easily be able to raise hundreds or thousands of votes from US citizens. We must contact our friends and family (and in my case many former students) in the US and convince them to convince others to vote for Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic.

I so wish and hope �we", hence YOU can tackle this challenge, to help us make a big difference for the animals, people and conservation in this tiny jem of a country, known as �mother nature's best kept secret"...

and I know I am NOT a marketing person and rallying votes is truly not in my nature, but may be YOU can help, and craft another convincing message to your family and friends?

And tell them to vote for the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (and find further info too) here

Thank you so much for your help and support.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic is in the lead for a $25,000 support award in this contest. Go here to place your vote and support this worthwhile cause.

"...The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) presents an opportunity to make a profound contribution to wildlife conservation, animal welfare and public health for an entire developing country. The project is driven by an international team committed to three goals: 1) advancing wildlife medicine; 2) advancing animal health and welfare; 3) and supporting veterinary professional development..."

CLICK HERE to vite!

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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"Inspiration in Action" for wildlife conservation - a personal account
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OMG Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic is in the final for the contest! I rub my eyes and can not believe it. �Inspiration in Action" is truly an awesome title for this and, believe it or not, the first grant proposal for a project that has been in my head for over 15 years. But how did I get there?

In brief and leaving out a few years and countries in between it started in 1994 when my dear friends from Profelis in Costa Rica opened my eyes to what would become the passion I would dedicate my career to: wildlife conservation and medicine, as well as rescue and rehabilitation.

I had decided to become a veterinarian out of a love for animals and the desire to work in and with nature with biology as second choice. After the first three years in vet school I felt discouraged about what I learned about the profession of a domestic veterinarian. While I loved dogs and cats, I more and more disliked the fact that we humans would breed animals to our liking of what we felt was �pretty" while the animals suffered with the �breed dispositions". Of course, �never argue �fashion"" but to me welfare was more important. I loved farm animals but I disliked the fact that their main purpose seemed to be to grow and produce as fast as possible, often under to me questionable conditions. I loved horses too and it was because of them that I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian at age 11; after I witnessed my first birth - who would not be inspired watching the first steps of a newborn foal? But at 22 I had come to realize that my motivation for becoming a veterinarian - the desire to heal and �help" animals and to work in and for nature - had been somewhat naive.

It seemed to me our daily veterinary life would all too often make us have to be psychologists and make economic choices to sacrifice animals or their welfare to human needs. I decided to take a break for a semester. At this point I have to thank a special person: my mother! Instead of possibly turning into a �jewelry selling beach traveler" (my back-up plan at the time) she convinced me to volunteer in a conservation project with wild cats in Costa Rica.

Little did we know that it would change my life, to meet two inspirational German biologists, founders and directors of Profelis. They had come to study wild cats, and discovered a clear need for a facility that would rescue confiscated animals for the government. They took on the challenge to try to provide a solution by receiving and when possible rehabilitating to release this endangered species. I saw their challenges: no money, several years of negotiations, cooperation issues, grant applications, bureaucracy and many adversities. And I witnessed their whole-hearted dedication: living in a humble little house and rebuild the center 3 times, even from total devastation through a hurricane, with their own hands and WITHOUT a salary, for as long as 7 years! That truly inspired me. It was them who pointed me to a contact in Guatemala, the veterinarian and director of ARCAS, a general wildlife rescue center. The most amazing 2 years of my life would follow, while travelling Costa Rica and Guatemala to work as a veterinary volunteer in wildlife conservation projects. ARCAS was truly inspiring in that for the first time I saw local people, not foreigners, and from poor backgrounds (so not philanthropists) work hard to save their natural heritage. I experienced the first baby season and I saw a wildlife rescue center overwhelmed with hundreds of animals coming from the pet trade in a period of 6 weeks.

I returned to vet school with new found goals and passions. I had learned about the need for professional veterinary assistance in wildlife conservation in the field. I had seen the hardship, mainly meaning little to no income, hard work and many set backs, but I had also been inspired by simple people, who had so much less than I was even born with, dedicate their lives towards animals and nature. And I felt that, coming from a rich �country of abundance", Germany, I wanted to dedicate my career to benefit development and nature conservation and take that challenge as well.

My childhood experiences in and the resulting love for Latin America, and having seen animals in the pet trade on the �other end" - after illegal smuggling to developed world, and usually point of no return - I wanted to apply my skills, where there truly still is a chance of returning an animal to its natural habitat. And, where we can still work towards preserving natural habitats, and ultimately a harmonious cohabitation of humans in nature. I know that is the naive part of me again, but I believe in the benefit of having positive dreams and goals.

Over the next 15 years the proposal suited for my desire to find a similar niche, where I could use my medical professions' training to apply it to heal and help animals and work to conserve nature and �give back", would be refined over and over. One day I would like to dedicate an entire book to the many inspiring people I met while volunteering and visiting projects in 7 countries and learning many lessons over many years. And I guess that could be a nice book because all so often we tend to think that the world is filled with BAD people and tend to not remember those great inspiring people.

Ending our �nomadic" years and visiting and settling in Belize was a like a revelation to the still hazy vision. And of course the beginning of another long process of learning, which is certainly continuing as we speak. After 8 years of living here, evaluating the situation, finding the gap and my niche, networking, consulting stakeholders, gathering (philosophical) support, and working with the government, I have finally given up on the idea that �someone" will come along and �absorb my idea" and write a large grant for me. With the idea to assist solving many of the countries wildlife problems in one go, for now and forever (meaning beyond my own involvement). I know that was setting my goals way too high, but I did that for years anyways. And I didn't even know how to begin. Here I just must thank my dear husband for supporting me throughout and pointing out �you are trying to jump from A to Z instead of going via BCDE...just do it yourself, and start it small." and I finally heard him too.

It was Spartacus the 600 g Howler monkey baby who �pushed me over the edge" to decide that even if it was small, the need for a medical facility for wildlife and some basic medical diagnostic and treatment tools was overwhelming. And that I would just start this clinic myself, without a million $ grant. It was Spartacus who inspired me, to activate this blog, apply for a minute loan and finally start looking for financial support for the wildlife rescue facility that I somehow started dreaming about in 1994. And just to make it clear: since then I have held numerous paid jobs simultaneously to support my �expensive hobby and passion" as a �professional volunteer" mostly without outside financial support or a salary.

And a few days after the decision to finally start seeking outside financial support for the work I am most passionate about, I accidentally saw this �Inspiration in Action" contest... which in addition to the opportunity to help wildlife, offered the opportunity to assist the countries veterinarians and fulfill my personal mandate in the veterinary association to assist the advancement of our profession. So I felt inspired and just started writing. And I got a lot of help in the writing. And now we are in the final and with YOUR HELP could win $25,000 to purchase medical and diagnostic equipment to serve an entire country.

Regardless of outcome, it is VERY inspiring to have our proposal selected over so many other great projects and it sure will give me more energy and desire to continue facing the challenges of trying to assist sustainable development and wildlife conservation as well as animal welfare. I will be EVER GRATEFULL for the amazing response from everybody out there!

We keep our fingers crossed that despite being an �outsider" and a small Caribbean country, with your help the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic will win the Heska Inspiration in Action contest! Voting continues until the 18th of December.

We need thousands of votes to compete with the other 4 excellent contestants. So I hope you can also help us by convincing as many of your US-friends and family to please vote for BWRC here:

Or directly on Facebook:

Many exciting new rescues have happened recently, including another baby howler monkey, an Osprey and the most amazing solitary eagle!

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
We won!!!!! We freaking won!!! This is beyond amazing. Thanks so much to everyone who voted. Oh my goodness, we won!!!

By 'we' I am using the royal 'we'...we as in in everyone working in conservation and wildlife rescue in Belize. This is historic.
Belize Wedding Photography

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Wildlife Conservation Organization wins award

A Belizean organization has received international recognition as well as twenty-five thousand U.S. dollars for its effort in wildlife conservation. Heska Corporation, a Switzerland based company which specializes in advanced veterinary diagnostic products, announced today that the Belize Wildlife & Referral Center (BWRC) received the most votes in its 2011 Inspiration in Action Contest. The BWRC is the only wildlife medical facility in Belize that provides critical services to rare and endangered species. According to the Heska release, the BWRC plans to use the prize money to expand its services throughout the country and deploy mobile medical equipment for use in the field. It also intends to provide an educational facility for veterinary professionals interested in learning about wildlife medicine, conflict resolution, and the importance of conservation. The second prize of five thousand U.S. dollars went to the Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. The winners will be honored at a reception on January sixteenth, 2012 during the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Channel 5

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Heska Corporation Awards $25,000 Grand Prize to Belize Wildlife & Referral Center

Fostering Wildlife Conservation, Animal Welfare and Public Health

LOVELAND, Colo., Dec. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Heska Corporation (NASDAQ: HSKA, "Heska" or the "Company"), announced today that based on total votes received, the Belize Wildlife & Referral Center (BWRC), has been awarded $25,000 as the grand prize winner in the 2011 Inspiration in Action contest.

The BWRC is the only wildlife medical facility providing critical services to many rare and endangered wildlife species.  In addition to providing medical services, the BWRC will use the prize money to expand its services to the country of Belize and deploy mobile medical equipment for use in the field.  The BWRC also plans to serve the community as an educational facility for veterinary professionals who desire to learn about wildlife medicine, wildlife conflict resolution, and the importance of wildlife conservation.  Learn more about this project at:

Heska also awarded a second place prize of $5,000 to an innovative veterinary clinic in Lexington, Kentucky.  The Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic, dedicated to inspiring and equipping high school students, have just opened this first-of-its-kind, full-service animal hospital right on the campus of the Fayette County School's Locust Trace AgriScience Center.  This state-of-the-art facility allows high school students to observe and assist as veterinarians provide care for pets, horses and food animals. Serving as a prototype to be implemented in other communities, this program encourages other school districts around the nation to explore ways they can begin to utilize these ideas to advance the veterinary profession.  Prize money from the Inspiration in Action contest will be used to provide outstanding students with scholarships to pursue the next step of their education and explore a career in veterinary medicine.  Learn more at:

Heska will honor this year's winners at a reception on January 16, 2012 during the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, FL. Learn more about this annual contest to support and inspire the field of veterinary medicine at

About Heska

Heska Corporation (NASDAQ: HSKA) sells advanced veterinary diagnostic and other specialty veterinary products.  Heska's state-of-the-art offerings to its customers include diagnostic instruments and supplies as well as single use, point-of-care tests, pharmaceuticals and vaccines.  The company's core focus is on the canine and feline markets where it strives to provide high value products and unparalleled customer support to veterinarians.  For further information on Heska and its products, visit the company's website at

SOURCE Heska Corporation

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Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand receives her award at the Heska Inspiration in Action Awards Ceremony. From left to right: , Heska president and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Michael McGinley, Belize Wildlife and Referral Center Founder Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian Dr. Jim Martin Second Place Winner, Dr. Robert Grieve, Chairman and CEO Heska Corporation

Belize Wins International Award to Help Save Wildlife

The nature and wildlife of Belize are some of the most treasured and loved resources for Belizeans and people from all over the world, who come to enjoy the natural beauty of the country. Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand, a veterinarian who specialises in wildlife medicine, has devoted her life to helping the wildlife of Belize. Up until now, Dr. Isabelle has been doing her best with limited equipment and facilities and has literally had to operate out of the back of a pickup truck.

Despite the challenges, Dr. Isabelle is known by everyone who works with her as a wonderful, cheerful and dedicated veterinarian, devoted to protecting the wildlife of Belize as well as to sharing her knowledge and skills for little or no recompense. Her ambitious goal is to establish a world class wildlife hospital in Belize to care for and treat the many animals that become sick, orphaned or injured, but which could be safely returned to the wild if they received the help they needed. So, when she entered a competition run by Heska, a USA based product and service provider to the veterinary profession, called 'Inspiration in Action' to try and win funding for equipment to assist her in achieving her goal, she never dreamed that she might just win - especially as she was up against over 300 other excellent entrants.

Dr. Isabelle is very busy with her work, teaching students and helping to save wildlife, so little did she know that an army of supporters were urging people to vote for her entry. People from all over Belize and abroad, who love our little country and wanted to help our wild animals, voted. As a result, on the 19th of December, when the winners were announced, Dr. Isabelle came out victorious, not just a victory for her, but a victory for the country of Belize, to be recognised for the vital conservation work done here and the importance of our ecosystem to the health of the planet.

This $25,000usd award will help to start equipping what will eventually become the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC). Not only will it provide veterinary services to the wildlife of Belize, supporting the work of the Belize Forest Department, wildlife conservation, rescue and rehabilitation groups across the country but the facilities will also be available to veterinary practices nationally, allowing them access to equipment that domestic animals, both pets and farm animals will benefit greatly from. This means that all animals in Belize will benefit, and as a result, so will people as healthier animals contribute to a healthier environment for everyone.

This week, on the 17th of January, Dr. Isabelle attended the Heska Award Ceremony in Florida, attracting international attention to this great step forward for Belize in terms of wildlife care and research.

Dr. Isabelle said, "The $25,000US prize money is not only a substantial amount of money for this project to receive, it is a resounding vote of confidence for the wildlife organisations and veterinarians of Belize. This prize money will enable us to begin operating a medical facility with key equipment for rescuing and treating injured, diseased, orphaned or confiscated wildlife. One of the objectives of the clinic is to provide vital assistance to the veterinary profession in Belize through medical services, education, research, and collaboration, plus veterinary training for students and professionals through continuing education and wildlife research opportunities."

The new BWRC is strongly supported by the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN), founded by Dr. Isabelle, which is a group of individuals and organisations dedicated to wildlife conservation and research in Belize. BWCN currently operates the Wildlife Emergency Response Team and will work closely with the Wildlife Clinic, providing support and assistance with human/wildlife conflict issues as well as their expertise to wildlife veterinarians and the Belize Forest Department.

If you would like to know more about the facilities that will be on offer, or would like to become a member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, please visit

If you are in possession of captive, orphaned or injured wildlife, please contact the Belize Forest Department on 822 1524.

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