Ivana Cerni is an unapologetic animal advocate.

Born in Pakrac, Croatia and grew up in Canada she always had a sense of duty to those who did not have a voice. Growing up she was constantly surrounded by animals, volunteering at animal shelters, fostering, training, rehabilitating and adopting out rescue dogs. Being fortunate to learn English at a young age, she decided to take Business in College. Once graduated she started her own Corporation as a consultant for Engineering Firms working in the Oil & Gas Industry. She loved her job and the fact that she thrived in a male dominated industry.

But Ivana wanted more.

So she backpacked parts of Central America and fell in love with a fishing village on the pacific Coast of Nicaragua called Playa Gigante. She purchased property and built a self-sustainable home. It quickly became clear that the impoverished country was in great need of animal education & outreach.

Singlehandedly, she has helped thousands of individuals and their animals. Starting slowly with no veterinary experience she would vaccinate local domestic animals & whilst learning Spanish started to educate locals on animal care. She swiftly became the go to person to bring domestic and exotic animals to. The locals knew she would find a way to help. The biggest change happened one tragic evening, her beloved dog was poisoned, the dogs heart stopped twice and it took her a year to recover. During this horrific feat Ivana was determined to learn everything about how to keep her best friend alive turning her home into a clinic. She educated herself on all diseases that were prevalent in the area. She began reading vet text books, research papers on tick borne disease and trail and errors. She contacted vets around the world for advice and was fortunate to have many visit the local community and pass on much needed wisdom. She then turned her love and passion into philanthropy. Ivana raised thousands of dollars and used much of her own to head sterilization clinics, vaccination programs as well as educate local veterinarians and people.

Her unique story and the incredible change she’s helped to facilitate in her community was still not enough for her.

Ivana is magnetic, fun loving, hilarious – and has an enormous heart and with that a thirst to excel.

11 years later she teamed up with Michael Waters who serendipitously had the same dream of building and opening an Animal Hospital in the area. She is now the Executive Directer of “Artemisa Hospital Animal” where herself and staff is determined to provide the best animal care to underserved animals.

 “You don’t have to be an expert to change the world”