Official inauguration of the new medical center of the refuge | Local News

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WEATHERFORD — A crowd of two-legged and four-legged varieties gathered Friday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the new Rees-Jones Medical and Surgical Center.

The ceremony, which included a ribbon cutting by the Weatherford and East Parker County Chambers of Commerce, marked the culmination of years of donations and partnerships between the community, the Weatherford Parker County Animal Center and Weatherford College. .

“We’re really proud of this facility and what we’re also really proud of is the partnership between us and Weatherford College because that’s what makes it so unique,” said the Director of Municipal/Community Services. Dustin Deel, a reference. to the college’s new veterinary technician program. “It’s booming now. Students arrive and earn a new associate’s degree program while working on our animals.

“They help both the animals and our staff. We’re raising the bar for animal care and being watched nationally – from little old Weatherford, Texas.

WC’s Veterinary Technology program began in 2020, gaining accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, led by Program Director Dr. Kathryn Garofalo. The city celebrated the first-ever promotion last month.

“We dreamed of having a true veterinary technology program that could allow graduating students to become certified veterinary technicians,” Garofalo said. “The biggest challenge was allowing for the hands-on experience dictated by the AVMA. We really had no way of doing that. We could give them all the course material in the world, but that’s just not the way to go. same as working with live animals.

The process of building a new medical and surgical center by the city actually began in 2014, with a Giving Second Chances fundraising campaign launched in 2016 to fund the project.

The new center, with an area of ​​3,300 square feet, offers two surgery rooms with a capacity of four surgical tables; a medical preparation area; expanded animal holding areas with separate rooms for cats and dogs; a radiology area; laundry rooms; a pharmacy; and office and storage space.

Weatherford College provided x-ray equipment, a dental and cleaning station, and an ultrasound.

“Our students train on these machines, but it also allows staff to immediately treat these animals,” Garofalo said. “It’s a win-win.”

Those gathered on Friday, along with shelter staff and volunteers trotting adoptable dogs, were given a tour of the new facility after a ribbon cutting.

Along each wall is a black-and-white photograph of former shelter dogs who have moved into new homes, including Norman, a shelter favorite and ambassador who was adopted by its Kennel Tech Nate Golden, in April.

“I call it the ‘So Good Peanut Butter Taste Collection’ and you’ll see why,” Deel said.

The city manager also paid tribute to some of those who helped with the trip, including Drew Springer and the Roger Williams family.

Deel also announced Dr. Stacy McLeod, DVM, as the facility’s first full-time veterinarian. McLeod has worked in the animal field for nearly 20 years, most recently as head of the small animal clinic at North Texas Animal Hospital in Weatherford.

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