South Florida veterinarian helps animals in Costa Rica

Ian Kupkee raises funds for Costa Rica Project

MIAMI – A South Florida veterinarian donates his time to spay and neuter dogs and cats in Costa Rica.

For 15 years, Dr. Ian Kupkee has cared for pets in South Florida, but his passion for animals extends beyond the area. He was stunned by what he saw during a trip to Costa Rica in 2006.

"You see dogs running around, terrible conditions, many inbred and many near starvation," said Kupkee.

The animal overpopulation problem in the county is threatening both the native wildlife and the people's health.

"Parasites, roundworm are contagious to people and because none of the dogs are on heartworm preventative, they transmit parasites to people," said Kupkee.

Kupkee works with a retired zoologist who runs Gloria's Jungle Animal Rescue to spay and neuter stray dogs and cats in the region.

"One of the first things that struck me was that all these pets were going home after surgery without pain control," said Kupkee.

Kupkee was able to get local pharmaceutical companies to donate pain medication and has raised money through fundraisers to buy supplies for the Costa Rica Project.

"Thankfully, that's led to a lot of money coming in to buy suture, scalpels, pain control, antibiotics, dewormer, basically all the supplies," said Kupkee.

Click here to learn how you can help.