With one day of surgery under their belts, the Georgian Triangle Humane Society staff, board members and volunteers celebrated with donors to mark the grand opening of the on-site animal hospital.
The hospital was accredited on Wednesday, April 24, and without wasting time veterinarian and the GTHS director of medicine Anick Amaro with veterinary technician Emily Weaver performed ten spay/neuter surgeries on Thursday, April 25. They finished their marathon day with a toast and official ribbon cutting for the hospital.
Sonya Reichel, executive director of the GTHS, called the hospital opening a milestone and dream come true for the shelter.
Amaro graduated from veterinary school in Dublin, Ireland and has been practising for two years. She said shelter medicine was a long-term career goal for her and she’s excited to jump into it earlier than she expected.
“I find it’s way more fulfilling than private practice,” said Amaro, whose surgeries for the day included seven puppies and three kittens. “The number one reason a pet is put down is because it doesn’t have a home … we’re helping get those animals a home.”
Amaro moved to the area from Mississauga in April, and has been working with the shelter since then to bring the newly renovated hospital space up to standard for accreditation. The space includes an exam room, a pharmacy, an x-ray room, a treatment room and an operating room.
Amaro said it’s “pretty rare” for an animal shelter to have a fully-equipped and accredited animal hospital.
“It’s unique where we can not only spay/neuter but we can provide any medical care needed,” said Amaro.
The GTHS has worked with local veterinarians until now and will continue to work with them going forward for things like dental surgery or some surgeries Amaro isn’t able to perform yet.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Amaro, adding she was proud to accomplish so many surgeries on her and Weaver’s first day with accreditation. “I’m feeling pretty confident after today.”
Weaver has 14 years of experience as a veterinary technician in private practice and emergency surgery. She has full-time work at the shelter’s animal hospital and Amaro’s job is part-time.
The GTHS animal hospital was built thanks to donations from the community and from PetSmart Charities.
The animal hospital will be used to treat GTHS animals and community (feral) cats. The GTHS takes in about 1,300 cats and dogs every year and helps to trap, neuter, and return 200 feral cats each year.
According to Reichel, the GTHS, through their veterinarian partners, has fixed more than 10,000 animals. She said having the hospital will allow the shelter to increase the care of its animals and, hopefully, reduce the amount of time an animal stays at the shelter before finding a home.
The seven puppies fixed in surgery on Thursday were rescued from Northern Canada and brought to the GTHS to find homes. They are now up for adoption. For more information, visit the gths.ca website.