Sounds like a country western song, but that’s what all of us were greeted with at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center Sunday October 2nd. It was South Bend’s first Community Pet Day, put together by South Bend Animal Care and Control, CARE of South Bend and a host of other organizations. Veterinarians from Kryder Veterinary Clinic, Western Veterinary Clinic and our office, University Park Veterinary Hospital, along with several technicians, assistants and other wonderful volunteers all offered to give a few hours of our time to what seemed like a good cause. Little did we know.
We weren’t sure if there would be any serious interest in our offering discounted vaccines, microchipping, and spay/neuter certificates but we all felt like it was worth the effort. Let’s just say that two hours before the doors opened they were already itchin’ to get in. When the doors officially opened, there was a line two blocks long with two pound chihuahuas to 130 pound rotts. There were dogs and cats of every shape, size and color imaginable. The next four hours were a blur. It was obvious that every owner really cared about their pets and couldn’t wait to tell you great stories about their furry friend. It was a gathering of all creatures great and small with wonderful people too. Some of the rescue stories were right out of Walt Disney.
Even with all the commotion the dogs seemed to be having a grand time. Sure, there were a few nervous ones (can you blame ‘em?), but the needles scared far more peoples that pets. Owners beamed when there little one just stood “waggin’ the tail” while we poked em. (Especially the big burly guys who had “foo foo” dogs). I stopped at one point looking around the huge gym and marveled at how every person, from owners to volunteers, was smiling. Animals do that, I thought.
Pets and people are healthier and safer for all this hard work. A special thanks for those city council members who had the foresight to see what our community is about and voted to keep SBACC active so they can offer these types of programs. The SBACC staff is people-friendly as well as animal-friendly.It was truly a pleasure to work with so many people who have the common goal of animal welfare. This was a great day for South Bend and the community.