“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
This is a common saying among those who want to make the world a better place, for humans and animals alike. But in the case of Dr. Anna Katogiritis, these aren’t just nice words – she actually lives by them.

Anna Katogiritis and Jane Goodall

Day in and day out, Dr. Anna works tirelessly to improve the lives of animals everywhere. From cats and dogs to horses, macaques, and even chimpanzees, there is no creature too “wild” for Dr. Anna!

Her list of accomplishments is impressive. Originally from Greece, she holds a degree in molecular biology and graduated from the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, Dr. Anna provides services as a relief emergency veterinarian throughout the United States, covering vacations and maternity leaves. However, she also spends part of each year in Asia. Thailand, to be specific.

Why there?

It all comes down to her love for international wildlife conservation & rehabilitation. With passion, hard work, and a deep appreciation for ethics, Dr. Anna Katogiritis offers Vet Candy / Pet Candy a very special behind the scenes look into her life’s work assisting (and leading) organizations in the rehabilitation and medical care of wildlife and domestic animals.

So, without further ado…

Introducing the globetrotting vet making a difference, Dr. Anna Katogriitis!

Fulfilling a need for sanctuary and aid pro-bono work around the globe

Residents in the U.S. are extraordinarily lucky to have relatively easy access to veterinarian services, however the same cannot be said about all countries.

Many places in the world struggle with veterinary care.

With so many animals in need, it can be difficult for organizations to recruit, retain, and pay for veterinarians. Sadly, there is no shortage of vulnerable animal populations. For example, stray cats and dogs are often the first image to pop into a veterinarian’s head. But NGOs and sanctuaries that work with wildlife are also regularly in need of assistance, too.

Dr Anna Katogiritis teaching

One such organization is the Jane Goodall Institute.

In 2015, Dr. Anna traveled to the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. When asked what adventure most changed her life, Dr. Anna happily reflected on this experience.

“My first trip to Congo to work with the Jane Goodall Institute on chimpanzee conservation was lifechanging,” she says. “It allowed me to understand that we should not judge other cultures for the way they treat animals or the environment before we experience and understand the socioeconomic reasons. I learned the importance of always looking for the ‘other side’ of the story.”

From Asia to Africa, Dr. Anna has provided aid – at no cost.

Volunteering overseas as a veterinarian may be a unique career move, but for Dr. Anna, the intrinsic rewards have been immeasurable.

“Everyone should travel to another country, preferably a “developing” one, at least once in their lifetime,” she explains. “It will widen your horizons both literally and metaphorically.”

Create your own path and shape your own dream career

Getting up close and personal with wildlife might sound like a dream job, and for Dr. Anna, it certainly is.

She built a life that she loves. Now, she encourages others to do the same.

“People will often tell you that you cannot accomplish a dream or a goal based on their own insecurities, inabilities and assumptions. You have to learn how to block their negative voices and your own fears,” she says. “Feeding on what others tell you will often derail you from your path. You can do anything as long as you work hard and remain true to yourself.”

For Dr. Katogiritis, that means leading by example.

She is committed to helping vulnerable wildlife and works diligently to envision a world where animals are treated better on a global scale, and where the environment is not in crisis.

Dr. Anna’s final words of wisdom?

“We all have something to offer to make our world better. As cliché as that sounds, finding a purpose can fulfill us emotionally while helping those around us at the same time.”

Follow @DoctorAnnaK to stay up to date on her globetrotting adventures!

You can also listen to Living Well with Dr. Jessica Turner and her interview with Dr. Anna on Spotify or a podcast platform of your choice.

My Vet Candy
February 23, 2022