When people say “it takes a village,” they are saying that the power of many is greater than the power of one. Collectively, we can accomplish goals that are beyond our individual reach. Meeting the goal of eliminating rabies as a cause of animal and human suffering by 2030 will indeed take a village. But it also takes leadership. Drs. Tim Kraabel (’87 DVM) and Beth Fritzler (’91 DVM) and their medical staff at Lien Animal Clinic in West Seattle exemplify this leadership. Even though 90 percent of the human deaths from rabies occur in Africa and south Asia— halfway around the world from Seattle—the compassion of the clinic’s staff and clientele for both pets and people led them to act locally for change globally. Roughly 59,000 people die each year from rabies; about half are children. But with the knowledge that human rabies deaths can be eliminated through dog vaccinations, the Lien Animal Clinic donates a monetary portion of each rabies vaccination they give to dogs at their clinic to support village-wide dog vaccinations in Africa. Lien’s clients have also joined this effort with individual donations. Through their generous support, an additional 1,000 dogs will be vaccinated by March 2016. We are grateful for the leadership they have taken to help protect these pets and their families and for bringing us closer to our goal to end rabies worldwide.
Creighton Endowed Chair and
WSU Senior Director of Global Health