Calling Sgt. Doolittle… Vet clinic serves bases’ furry friends

  • Published
  • By Dave Kellogg
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
When Soldiers and Airmen get the call to be deployed or transferred to another base, they must ensure that their pets are ready to go.

The McChord Veterinary Treatment Facility makes sure taking care of pets isn't overlooked, said Dr. Brian Neir, a veterinarian at the facility. Approving about 800 pets for world travel sums up what the veterinary treatment facility accomplishes on a grand scale.

Even though the clinic doesn't hospitalize animals overnight or conduct surgeries because Dr. Neir is the only full-time veterinarian at the facility, the veterinary clinic, which serves both Fort Lewis and McChord, is always busy, said Dr. Neir. For this reason, he said people should stop by to schedule appointments because the office phone sometimes forwards callers straight to voicemail.

"It's not always that way, but right now we're very short-staffed," he said.

There are also Army veterinarians who work at the clinic as well, but they only work part time and are often occupied approving the quality of food served and sold on McChord and Fort Lewis, said Army Capt. Scott Goldman, a veterinary Army corps officer.

Generally, the veterinary clinic sees between 45 and 60 pets a day, Dr. Neir said. Most of the visits are for basic health check-ups and for prescriptions. Some of the tests the clinic offers include blood work and X-rays, feline leukemia test, feline immunodeficiency virus test, canine heartworm test and microchip insertion.

The veterinary clinic also offers health certificates for people who are traveling with their pets.

The wife of a deployed military member planned to travel with her cat, Soxy, to her home in Ohio, but the status of the trip seemed uncertain because the member was afraid her cat had intestinal worms. However, after a visit to the veterinary clinic, everything was fine, she said.

"I think [the clinic] is great, I'm glad [the clinic] is here," she said.

People can find out more information about the services the veterinary clinic provides or make an appointment by calling 982-3951 or stopping by Bldg. 768.