Victoria Medley goes to dogs; the city vaccinates more than 1,700 dogs
Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare (AAMW) began discussing a community-wide vaccination clinic for dogs weeks before the first event. We saw a real need in our community, given the parvovirus epidemic we were going through at the time. We did not know how such an event would be received. There were also a lot of other things to consider – funding, manpower, parking, traffic control, etc. It is not often that our department deals with an event of this magnitude.
Fortunately, we continued with our plans at AAMW, and the response from the community has been tremendous. This unique vaccination clinic has enabled more than 1,700 dogs to be vaccinated against canine diseases such as rabies, parvo and distemper. The first two events drew a total of 1,000 dogs and 716 dogs gathered in the parking lot at Dick Bivins Stadium for the final drive-through clinic in early September.
The success of these clinics is mainly due to the volunteers and businesses who generously donated their time, money and resources. It was a community effort and we could not have done it without their help, dedication and commitment.
The AAMW staff were reinforced at each event by dozens of volunteers from the local veterinary offices, West Texas A&M University, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, and AISD AmTech Career Academy. The Bissell Pet Foundation has donated more than 3,400 doses of the vaccine. In addition, Amarillo National Bank funded the syringes and rabies labels. Pets Supplies Plus provided water to dogs and their owners while they waited in their vehicles. Sonic Amarillo and Nothing Bundt Cakes donated coupons to thank the volunteers for their hard work.
While we weren’t sure how the community would react to our clinics, the outpouring of support and enthusiasm responded loudly. Our goal was to vaccinate as many dogs as possible, and it was inspiring to see the Amarillo community come together to help us provide this one-of-a-kind vaccination clinic. AAMW is extremely grateful for the help and commitment of everyone involved.
Victoria Medley is Director of Amarillo’s Animal Welfare and Management Department.