This summer, Lindsey Hebert ’17, a biology major with a pre-vet concentration, spent two weeks in Thailand helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Hebert, a resident of Parker, Colo., was part of a small volunteer team that provided care at a dog shelter for one week and a second week working with rescued elephants at a sanctuary.

Boston-based Loop Abroad’s Veterinary Service program brings students to Thailand to volunteer alongside a staff veterinarian. The dog shelter, Animal Rescue Kingdom in Chiang Mai, is home to more than 100 dogs rescued after being abandoned, beaten or abused. While the dogs can be adopted, the shelter will care for any who are not for their whole lives.

While Hebert learned what it’s like to be a veterinarian, she also made a difference in the lives of these dogs. 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 surgeries, she was able to help support the health and well-being of these dogs.

"I learned how to suture, make surgical incisions, draw blood, and examine many animals, from dogs and buffaloes to horses and elephants."

At the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, Hebert worked with the animals and learned about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The park is home to more than 40 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging or forced breeding programs. Many were abused and suffer from chronic injuries.

Hebert was able to feed, bathe and care for the elephants, as well as learn about their diagnoses alongside an elephant veterinarian. The park is also home to more than 400 dogs and 100 cats, as well as rabbits and water buffalo, and is sustained in large part by the work of weekly volunteers like Hebert.