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Vet clinic lends hand to station pet owners

By Pfc. Mauro Sanchez | 10th Marine Regiment | April 21, 2006

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The station Provost Marshal’s Office animal services department and veterinary clinic here held a vaccination clinic here April 21.

Michelle Nixon, PMO animal services officer, and Army Capt. Renee Anderson, station and Yuma Proving Ground veterinarian, coordinated the event to give station personnel the opportunity to get their cats and dogs vaccinated and relieve some of the strain on the local veterinarians.

People get frustrated with the civilian clinics because sometimes they are booked a month in advance, said Anderson.

Ultimately, this clinic is just about the safety and well-being of the animals, she said.
It is imperative for pet owners to maintain their animals’ vaccination records with the necessary rabies, Parvo/Distemper and Feline VRCP shots, said Nixon. Owners need to understand that animals are a huge responsibility and these vaccinations are for the safety of the animal and the owner, she said.

The event also featured P. J. Summers, a representative from the Humane Society to provide dog licenses, and Sgt. Daryl Neal, station military police officer, to provide identification tags for pets that live on station.

“I’m here to educate the pet owners on the importance of licensing, vaccinating, spaying and neutering their animals,” said Summers.

It is state law and base regulation to have cats and dogs vaccinated and licensed, she said.
This event was about the animals and keeping them around for their owners, said Anderson.
Owners were able to vaccinate their pets for between $8 and $12 a shot. Dog licenses were sold for $12 for spayed or neutered dogs and $20 for unaltered animals.
Over the course of five hours, the clinic  saw 39 animals, gave 65 vaccinations, sold 20 dog licenses and handed out dozens of ID tags.

Anderson and Nixon agreed the day was successful.

“It was great,” said Krista Moberly, dog owner. “It takes forever to get an appointment off station and the service was fast, affordable and close-by, I love it.”

Anderson said a good way to keep pets safe and healthy is to purchase them from places with established reputations for selling healthy animals and to establish a good visitation relationship with a veterinarian. They may be booked far in advance, but pet emergencies can happen at anytime. There are only two clinics in town that conduct emergency services because there is such heavy demand for veterinarian services, she said.

Pets are a huge responsibility – they are living, breathing creatures that require an incredible amount of love, care and attention, said Anderson. Pet owners are completely responsible when it comes down to the health of an animal, and they need to stay informed on vaccination records because no one wants to loose a pet, she said.

Nixon said animal services and the veterinarian clinic are planning another vaccination event in June.

To set up an appointment, station personnel can call (928) 328-2064.

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