Jessica Honeywell ’08 Wins MVTA Grant to Treat Small Animals in Dominican Republic
By Daniel Magazu

September 3, 2013 - Jessica Honeywell ’08 recently spent an eye-
opening week in theJessica Honeywell '08 Dominican Republic, where she was part of a
team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians, known as Project Samana, who travel twice yearly to the impoverished country to treat local pets and animals.

“Project Samana is something I’ve wanted to get involved with for a
while, but it relies completely on volunteers, so funding was always
an issue,” says Honeywell, who is a certified veterinary technician at
Zoo New England. “In 2011, I received my certification and was able
to apply for a grant through the Mass Vet Tech Association.”

The grant funded Honeywell’s travel to Samana, Dominican Republic, where she helped set up an animal clinic in a vacant storefront. Her team then went to work, performing 35 to 40 surgeries per day and treating animals with antibiotics, dewormer, and a rabies vaccine. Honeywell was part of the small animal group, treating primarily dogs and cats brought by local residents. Another group of vets assisted larger animals, such as horses, donkeys, and mules.

“It was an amazing experience,” she says. “Over four days, we completed 144 surgeries. I was really honored to be a part of the team.”

While Honeywell worked the small animal team in the Dominican, she is no stranger to working with large, wild animals back home. Zoo New England operates Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham.

“It’s really a dream job,” says Honeywell. “It varies a lot from day to day. One day we may be treating something as small as a chinchilla and the next day something as large as a tiger.”

Her responsibilities include caring for inpatients, administering medications, making sure all treatments are completed, and assisting during surgeries and other procedures. Honeywell majored in biology at Framingham State and says she still maintains close contact with her professors, including Dr. Margaret Carroll.

“I had a great experience at Framingham State,” she says. “I definitely feel like I got a strong education.”

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