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Fargo-based 'World Vets' helping quake victims, livestock in Nepal

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - As medical teams reach out to the people of earthquake ravaged Nepal, Fargo-based "World Vets" is playing a huge role in getting family's livestock back on their feet.

And in many cases, that alone is life-giving for rural farm families in Nepal, where villages have been devastated.

The pictures are heart wrenching, yet amazing. Volunteer veterinarians with Fargo-based "World Vets" are in Nepal helping save what are family and part of rural live and survival in Nepal: Livestock.

Cathy King- World Vets Founder, Fargo: "The big thing about Nepal is that 80-percent live in rural areas and survive on subsistence farmers and so livestock are paramount for survival."

World Vets founder Cathy King says the irony of the quick response to Nepal: World Vets met to come up with a disaster plan in Nepal that an earthquake was predicted at some point in the coming years.

King: "And we had plans in place if an earthquake would happen, we would come."

Two vets came from New Zealand and Australia to help the people and their animals in Nepal.

King: "A lot of animals were killed. One day, they were at a brick factory where horses and donkeys are used to carry bircks, and a tower from the kiln fell and killed some and others were injured, so they helped them."

...And amazing stories of success.

King: "Two cows buried in the rubble between two buildings. One died and another survived, but had milk fever and would have died. Owners were there and carrying water, so we were able to save that cow."

And while so much focus is on the human tragedy and helping those injured, there is a quick realization that saving livestock translates into a family's economic recovery, as well.

King: "It makes a difference. Animals are sometimes overlooked, but they are important for the survival of the people there."

And it is clear from the pictures, the animals are like family. World Vets is simply helping a country, its people and livestock find a way back and recover.

World Vets has been around nine years, and is now in 41 countries around the world. 1,000 veterinarians volunteer with the Fargo organization.

You can click on this link for more on World Vets.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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