While traveling through Latin America in 2007-2008, Eric Eisenman volunteered as a veterinary technician for multiple animal welfare organizations in Chile, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. During his travels, he recognized a major need for adequate veterinary care in many underprivileged communities and was frustrated by the lack of organization to provide these types of services. It was while he was in Granada, Nicaragua that he dreamed of organizing a group of veterinary professionals that would be able to provide quality and sustainable veterinary service in underserved communities.
During his first year of veterinary school at UC Davis, Eric realized that the school lacked an organization for students interested in international animal welfare work. With help from some of his fellow classmates, a student club, International Veterinary Outreach (IVO), was founded. IVO was able to launch their first trip to rural communities in northwestern Nicaragua in December 2011 with the help and support of Dr. Eric Davis (Founder of HSVMA-RAVS and RVETS). IVO soon gained its status as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization in the Spring of 2012.
Since its inception, IVO has continued to bring veterinary professionals to rural communities in northwestern Nicaragua twice a year to provide veterinary services and to collaborate with local veterinarians. These clinics also started to incorporate educational initiatives to promote public health and animal welfare issues. IVO has also expanded its efforts domestically and began to take on additional projects. Since 2012, IVO now provides veterinary services two to three times a year to the remote and underserved community of Covelo, California.