"People frequently walk 20-30 miles with their sick animals so that we can provide the necessary veterinary treatments and educate the owners with proper animal care techniques. If the American Fondouk did not exist we estimate that 7,000 animals would die within the first three months, followed by the families whose lives depend on them."
- Dr. Denys Frappier of the American Fondouk
In September 2010, the MSPCA-Angell announced the retirement of Dr. Denys Frappier after 16 years of service in Africa for the non-profit's American Fondouk hospital. Dr. Frappier was formerly the veterinarian for the Canadian Olympic Equestrian Team prior to providing free medical service to the animals of Morocco. Dr. Frappier's retirement will take effect at the end of 2010. A search for a new veterinarian to take over the reins at the American Fondouk continues after being launched earlier this summer.
The American Fondouk is a charitable hospital in Fez, Morocco, that has been providing free veterinary care to the working animals of the North African country since 1927. ("Fondouk" is the Arabic word for "shelter.") The American Fondouk is part of the MSPCA-Angell's international family of organizations and is funded by direct donations to the Moroccan hospital.
The American Fondouk's modest staff of 10 treats over 80 animals a day, more than 22,000 annually, all free-of-charge. Many of these patients are working animals - donkeys, mules and horses - and are a poor family's only hope of retrieving water, harvesting crops or transportation. (In addition to the working animals, nearly one quarter of the American Fondouk's annual patients is domesticated pets, including 3,300 dogs.)
Unfortunately, due to the economic climate and a public that is uneducated about proper animal care and nutrition, these silent "hoofed employees" are often inflicted with pressure sores, hernias, tumors, malnutrition and other maladies - often fatal if left untreated.
Nearly 100,000 of Morocco's poorest population depend on the free veterinary care of the American Fondouk to survive. On any given day, dozens of people line up each morning at the gates of the hospital, often in 110 degree heat when the doors open.
The American Fondouk does not receive government funding, instead relying solely on the support of individual donors from both the U.S. and abroad. A donation of just $21 covers the cost of materials for a hernia surgery on a horse, while $6 covers the cost of materials for a spay/neuter procedure for a dog ($3 for a cat). To make a donation towards the American Fondouk and to view photos and a video, please visit www.americanfondouk.org. You can also view a video of the day-to-day workings of the hospital on YouTube by searching "The American Fondouk."