The partnership is still in the initial stage – with some challenges because of the pandemic – but it already is a reason to celebrate. “It is an orderly and deep work with the Animal Kingdom. I am infinitely grateful,” emphasizes Lenilce Resende Gomide, vice-president of the Francis of Assisi Park.

The managers believe that José Trigueirinho Netto (1931-2018) must be very happy with the materialization of his aspiration concerning the Park, located in Lavras, the south of Minas Gerais. Affiliated with the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FFHI), it provides shelter for 360 dogs from the streets, the result of abandonment and human neglect.

Parceria Parque Francisco de Assis e Unilavras - UFLA

In his meetings with the managers, Trigueirinho commented on the importance of bringing practice closer to academic knowledge, considering that the city hosts two important university centers with Veterinary Medicine courses.

And the universe conspired in favor of it. In 2019, professionals from the referenced courses of the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) and Unilavras, came to the Park to propose an alliance, uniting university theory with practice.

UNILAVRAS PARTNERSHIP – Clinical services at the Clinics Complex of the Institution

Through the partnership begun in the second semester of 2019, the Veterinary Clinics Complex of Unilavras has already attended to some one hundred animals, which are transported from the Park to the clinic by one of its staff. The services are done by college students under the guidance and supervision of the professor responsible for the course subject. Some students identify with the work done by the Park and go on to collaborate as volunteers.

This is what we are told by the manager of the Veterinary Clinics Complex and professor of various Course subjects, Prof. Dr. Fernando Yoiti Kitamura Kawamoto, who gives details about the partnership: “We offer the clinical care, surgical procedures and complementary examinations for the patients that need them, during the practical classes in different courses. This involves a series of teachers, staff and students from various backgrounds.”

“It is a way of combining teaching, research and augmentation, where the principal objective is to offer the best care for the animals,” concludes the professor.

Parceria Parque Francisco de Assis e Unilavras - UFLA

UFLA PARTNERSHIP – Research projects, augmentation and residency in Veterinary Medicine

The partnership with the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), also begun in 2019, is focused on research projects and augmentation, which involves masters and graduate students, and also for the clinical part, involving residents in Veterinary Medicine. The research and interventions are done at the Park, which has a well-structured clinic.

“One of the projects in progress is the assessment of diseases in the animals of the Park to understand the condition of their health and how to contribute to their improvement. The diseases studied are known as zoonoses, which includes leptospirosis, brucellosis and leishmaniasis, and some other tick-borne diseases,” explains the Deputy Dean of Research, Profa. Dr. Elaine Maria Seles Dorneles.

Regarding the performance of the residents in Veterinary Medicine, the professor explains that after the diseases are identified, the professionals assist in the treatment of the animals residing at the Park, and she cites as an example, the hemogram (blood count) done on all resident dogs.

Other professors of both institutions also are developing projects at the Park.