HARRISON – On Nov. 4, the Clare County Animal Shelter once again opened its doors on a Saturday for the annual One Stop Shop rabies and licensing clinic. This year’s 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. clinic also included free parvovirus and distemper vaccinations – particularly important after the 2022 rash of parvo infections/deaths due to a slump in vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. With those free vaccines available, it was no wonder that owners and their dogs were already lined up onsite when staff arrived at 8:30 a.m.
Clare County Treasurer Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger was issuing dog licenses in the front office, while in another room the dogs arrived for their necessary shots. She emphasized how the free vaccinations made this year’s event a real bargain.
“And just $10 for the rabies,” Beemer-Fritzinger said. “And no service fee to go with it to the vet – that’s huge.”
Beemer-Fritzinger also noted there had been a lot of license renewals, and that 90 minutes into the event 40 had been processed.
Processing the intake paperwork and ensuring proper shots were administered were Animal Control Officers Bob Dodson and Tara Westphal.
Rudi Hicks, Animal Control director, ushered that paperwork and participants forward, and also assisted by comforting and constraining dogs while the injections were administered by Gail Wolfe, DVM.
The accompanying photos show some of the variety seen that day, in both stress response and personality. In all, it was a highly successful clinic.
Hicks reported 107 dog licenses were sold, and that 147 distemper vaccines (free) and 125 rabies vaccines were administered over the course of those four hours. Dodson said most owners opted for their dogs to receive all the available shots, which he attributed to the availability of the free vaccines.
Those many dogs ranged from the tiniest Chihuahua puppy to the largest Great Dane, and all received consoling, compassionate handling by shelter staff. Dogs’ personalities were as varied as their sizes that day, with some being timid to anxious, peppy to curious, and some took their cues from owners and companion pups. It also was a bit stressful, and one poor fellow even appeared to faint for a moment, sliding stretched out on the floor.
But those personality traits and stress responses were nothing new to the shelter staff and veterinarian, professionals who handle stressed animals every day and see to their immediate and long-term welfare. And by day’s end, a whole bunch of the county’s dogs had been registered with the county and protected from devastating diseases. © Clare County Cleaver
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