Chai is committed to preventing the overpopulation of dogs and cats
that results in so much suffering. To alter the puppies we rescued
from the north before placing them in their new homes, CHAI/Hakol
Chai invited early-age spay/neuter expert, U.S. veterinarian
Raphael Gilbert, DVM, to Israel.
A Life of Public Service
In addition to his veterinary degree,
Gilbert holds an M.S. from Cornell University in plant science,
genetics, pathology, and virology. An experienced practitioner of
veterinary medicine and surgery in U.S. veterinary hospitals, in his
private practice, and on behalf of nonprofit organizations around
the world, Dr. Gilbert is also strongly committed to public service.
In 2001, he spent five months volunteering
with animal protection organizations in Thailand, caring for captive and
injured wildlife, performing spaying and neutering of cats and dogs, and
providing veterinary care for more than 400 stray dogs being fostered by
one of the organizations. In 2002, Dr. Gilbert volunteered at the Alaska
Raptor Center, rescuing and treating injured bald eagles and other
birds. He later also volunteered to perform spaying and neutering for an
animal protection organization in the Galapagos.
For four years, while living in New York
City, Dr. Gilbert split his time between private practice and the mobile
veterinary clinic of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals (ASPCA), providing low cost and free spay/neuter and other
surgical services to the public and to animal shelters in and around New
York City. Now residing in Florida, Dr. Gilbert continues to divide his
time between his private veterinary practice and public service,
including working in Palm Beach County's mobile spay/neuter clinic.
This is Dr. Gilbert's third trip to
Israel. After High school, he spent a year with a program for youth,
living and working on Kibbutz Grofit in the Arava desert. While in
college, he spent another year in Israel through the Cornell Abroad
program, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Rehovot. For someone so
committed to public service and to Israel, when asked by CHAI/Hakol Chai
to lend a hand after the recent crisis, the decision was an easy one.
Early-age spay/neuter (at 6-8 weeks) is
crucial in preventing the birth of so many puppies and kittens for whom
there are no homes. CHAI was the first organization to promote this
practice in Israel. In 1998, CHAI Advisory
Board member Paula Kislak, DVM, made a presentation on the subject to
veterinarians in Israel and wrote an
for Israel's Journal of Veterinary Medicine. CHAI also provided a
copy of several early age surgery training videos on the subject to
Israel's Veterinary School, along with a request that the procedure be
Photos: Eli Atias
Yafit, our mobile clinic vet tech, comforts
a very young patient.