Health care for wild and orphaned gorillas is an expensive endeavor, requiring a steady stream of veterinary supplies and equipment throughout the year. Thanks to generous donations from organizations such as Project V.E.T.S, the Gorilla Doctors are able to treat ill or injured gorillas in the field quickly and effectively.

Established in 2009 by veterinarian Candy (Sayles) Brad, Project V.E.T.S is currently helping to support 55 animal related nonprofits in 34 different countries – from an SPCA in the Fiji islands to the Tsunami Animal People Alliance in Sri Lanka and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance in Africa. 

Helping to improve the health and welfare of animals around the world, Project V.E.T.S collects veterinary equipment, technology, and supplies (V.E.T.S) from hospitals, colleges, zoological societies, and medical equipment manufacturers to distribute to veterinarians working in nonprofit or NGO’s devoted to animal health.

Founder Dr. Candy Brad practiced traditional and alternative small animal medicine for 25 years, co-owning Alpine Hospital for Animals in Boulder, CO before retiring and redirecting her efforts to helping wildlife veterinarians working around the globe.  

“In October of 2008 my husband and I, along with four friends, were privileged to travel to Uganda and Rwanda. It was there that we saw mountain gorillas for the first time” says Dr. Brad. “It was an unforgettable experience to look into the eyes of these magnificent beings!”

While in Rwanda, Dr. Brad also visited the Gorilla Doctors regional headquarters in Musanze and met with former Regional Veterinary Manager Dr. Lucy Spelman. “We were amazed by the work being done, especially when we realized that veterinary supplies and equipment were so hard to come by.”  

A few months later, Dr. Brad founded Project V.E.T.S. and Gorilla Doctors became one of their first recipient groups. “We are proud to be able to help support the veterinarians and staff in their efforts to save the mountain gorillas and the other indigenous species in central Africa.”

Over the past five years, Project V.E.T.S. has received an enormous amount of equipment, from blood chemistry analyzers, centrifuges, computers, surgical instruments, medications, and microscopes. Several times a year, Project V.E.T.S. sends a shipment of supplies and equipment to the Gorilla Doctors headquarters in Rwanda. 

“Veterinary equipment and supplies are difficult to come by in Eastern Africa” says Regional Veterinary Manager Dr. Dawn Zimmerman. “Almost all of our supplies are imported, which adds to an already high cost of treatment due to the gorillas’ size and our specialty needs for the field. Project V.E.T.S truly cares about donating quality equipment that fits our exact needs, sometimes searching extensively for exactly what we need. In this respect, they help us build capacity in the region as such equipment would otherwise not be available.” 

With generous, ongoing donations from organizations like Project V.E.T.S, we are able to provide quality health care for the eastern gorilla subspecies. From our team to yours, thank you Project V.E.T.S!

To read more about Project V.E.T.S, click the link below to visit their website: