Four-legged famiy: Veterinary staff offers free care for one day

December, 2010 Posted in Community

By Mary Owen

Does Fido need to be vaccinated? Kitties need a check-up?

Often in tough economic times, our four-legged gamily members are the last to receive the health treatments they need, and Stayton Veterinary Hospital doctors want to give qualified furry creatures a helping paws-up.

A free one-day pet health clinic for pet owners with financial needs will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18 at the clinic, 1308 N. First Ave.

Owners must pre-register their pets to qualify and be chosen to receive necessary vaccinations, routine healthcare, dental procedures, and even surgery for their pets, as time allows.

“We anticipate an overwhelming response and not all applicants will be accepted,” said Jeff Brubaker, DVM, one of three veterinarians at the clinic. “Clients must pre-register and referrals are mandatory.”

“The free pet health clinic is a way for us as a business and as individuals at Stayton Veterinary Hospital to give back to the surrounding communities,” Brubaker said.

“The idea for a free clinic was first considered in the spring of 2010 as a response to the downturn of the economy and the resulting job losses,” he added.

Brubaker and his fellow vets, Michael Reynolds and Sarah Depenbrock, will treat pets on the day of the free clinic only.

“They will not be kept overnight,” Brubaker said.

Pet owners will qualify if they have filled out an application accompanied by a referral letter from a social worker, case worker or clergy member verifying their need, he said.

Registration forms may be picked up at Stayton Veterinary Hospital or downloaded from the website.  If requested, forms can be mailed.

“Pet selection will be based on owner qualification,” Brubaker said.

“The number of pets to be treated will depend on the types of procedures that will need to be performed. As this is our first year, we really have no idea how many applicants we may have.”

Brubaker said pets are an important part of society, offering their owners much joy.  The holiday season, he added, is an appropriate time to host the clinic.

“It’s a chance to bring something good to a person who may be down on their luck,” he said.

“I believe this event will strengthen our own sense of team as we work together toward a common goal. The pets will receive healthcare, which will ultimately improve their quality and length of life.”

Stayton Veterinary staff is willing and eager to participate in the event, Brubaker said.

“Each staff member volunteered to work without pay for the free pet health clinic and is committed to make it a valuable service to the community,” he added.

Joining Brubaker, Depenbrock and Reynolds are Rachael Schuld, Kristen Ward, Leesa Justice, Talena Smith, Denise Kruesi and Nancy Tolsma.

Animals must be registered by Dec. 14 to be considered for treatment. For information, call the clinic at 503-769-7387 or visit www.santiamvetmed.com.

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