Working with Veterinarians

While working in Portland Oregon, we discovered the difficulty that our local veterinarians had with animal disposal. We decided to assist them with their need, in exchange for them helping us. We agreed to dispose of their dead animals, if we could bring injured animals in for treatment. The arrangement worked well, in that a veterinary hospital was always in the vicinity when animal control officers picked up injured animals. With only one exception, the program worked very well.

Animal control officers would report back to me that one veterinarian was never available to assist with injured animals. The solution was quite simple, I sent a letter advising the veterinarian that we were discontinuing pickup services at his clinic. Upon receipt of the letter, the veterinarian asked to meet.

In our meeting, he asked how he could make things right. He blamed his staff for rejecting the animals. It just happened that a couple of my officers were investigating an animal cruelty incident and I suggested that he go onsite with the officers to provide field examinations in preparation for court. His assistance would “buy” his way back into the program.

There are many ways that animal control can work together with their local veterinarians; you just need to attend their local meetings to talk things out. In many communities, veterinarians assist their community by having rabies clinics and selling pet licenses. It is surprising what you can do together.