KSU students help shelter animals
By Russ Edem 530News –
The Golden Belt Humane Society had some special guests on Jan. 27 to help with taking care of the shelter animals and getting them ready to find a new home.
The Kansas State University mobile surgery unit which is part of the Veterinarian School provided on-site spay/neuter procedures, rabies vaccines and medical care to enhance the health and adoptability of shelter animals.
“This is an amazing program,” Golden Belt Humane Society Director Heather Acheson said. “It provides our shelter animals with the loving care they need to help them find that loving home they deserve.”
According to KSU, the mobile surgical unit complements the college’s shelter medicine program, which is a service-learning course for fourth-year veterinary students to get hands-on experience under the supervision of a shelter medicine faculty member. Most shelter organizations in Kansas do not have a veterinarian on staff, nor do they have on-site surgical facilities.
“I have been working to get this program for a little over a year,” Acheson said. “It started when I stopped into the Salina Animal Shelter late summer 2015 for a simple look through. When I pulled into the parking lot, a surgery trailer was parked and people were coming in and out of it quite often carrying dogs and cats.”
After inquiring about what was going on, she learned about K-State’s program that offers free services performed by fourth-year veterinary students.
“It was at that point, I knew a strong partnership with the Salina Animal Shelter was forming and the start of a partnership with Dr. Brad Crauer, DVM, Assistant Clinical Professor of Shelter Medicine through the Kansas State University Veterinary Program,” Acheson said. “Over the course of several months, I kept in contact with Dr. Crauer and his assistant, Ron Orchard.”
Over the course of the year, Acheson visited with K-State officials several times and realized the mobile surgery unit would be beneficial at the Golden Belt Humane Society. With the approval of her board of directors, the unit made its first visit Jan. 27.
“Our day and was a very successful day to say the least,” she said.
“The crew was amazed and appreciative on how prepared we were,” Acheson said. “From preparations to the animals, labeling cages, surgery and rabies lists, runners to supply the trailer with animals, recovery volunteers, it was such a smooth operation from start to finish. Ron Orchard stated that for a first-time visit anywhere for this program, it was the most organized setup and the most helpful group they have ever worked with.”
Acheson has since secured a spot for K-State services every other week starting in March.
“Not only will this program benefit Golden Belt, but also Pawnee County Humane Society, with potentials of partnering with Pratt and Hays Humane Societies.”
According to the GBHS, 22 surgeries and 14 rabies vaccines were administered on Jan. 27, saving the shelter $1,170. Ten dogs were spayed or neutered and nine received rabies vaccines. There were eight cats that went through the same procedures. The Pawnee County Humane Society had three dogs spayed or neutered and vaccinated and one cat neutered, saving them between $300 and $400.