Help Ross Students Take Their Pets Home

RUSVM (Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine) transitions approximately 120-150 students every 4 months from didactic learning on the beautiful island of St. Kitts to clinical learning (mostly) stateside. This coming August, approximately 140 students will be making their way into the final year of their DVM program. 

COVID-19 has completely changed the landscape of how countries and flights between these countries are handled. Unfortunately this has left a handful of students (roughly 30-40) students with animals that do not qualify for in-cabin flights with any of the airlines traveling between these two countries. Additionally, pet cargo with these same airlines has been suspended indefinitely. This has left these students in a panic, for lack of better terms, to get their pets back to the USA with them. Many attempts have been made to set up charter flights but several roadblocks have been approached: 
     1. Someone must sign as the responsible party for the flight should any unforeseen circumstance occur. A single student is simply unable to take on this burden and the university is unwilling to assist in this step. 
     2. The cost for each individual to travel is north of 4,000$USD. This budget would significantly cut into the costs associated with relocating back to the USA, finding housing in the new clinical area, paying deposit and rent for this housing. 
     3. Significant stress being added to each individual concerned with housing during an already stressful final semester on island where our first live animal surgeries are taking place. 

How can you help:
     1. We would be very interested in speaking to someone who may be able to assist with access to a charter and/or may know a way that we could get our pets off island. I can personally be reached at my personal email: sleitch86
     2. As we expect the cost of this to be quite large for the students affected, any assistance you may have to help relieve that increased financial burden that the students may receive, it would be greatly appreciated. 
     3. Share!!! If you don't know someone, maybe someone in your network may be the person to help us get the answers/traction we need.

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Shelby Leitch
Longwood, FL

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