Every dog and cat that comes through our shelter doors are touched by our Vet Techs. They process each animal into our system, trim nails, microchip, heartworm test, provide flea and heartworm preventative and more. Our Vet Techs are responsible for scheduling our spay/neuter surgeries, preparing the surgery paperwork, and releasing our dogs and cats for adoption. Managing all of the surgeries is no easy task considering over 90% of our animals come into the shelter unaltered. The responsibility of our animal’s health is the primary responsibility of the Vet Tech room.
Our Vet Tech’s weigh each animal and plan out a diet for them, if necessary. Some dogs and cats are overweight and need a special diet, and some are underweight and require supplemental feedings. Some of our animals have allergies and require hypo-allergenic diets. Some of our cats with urinary tract issues require special food too. It is the Vet Tech that outlines special diets for our shelter animals and orders our prescription foods.
The Vet Tech’s are also responsible for administering the daily medication for our animals. On any given day, several of our shelter animals are prescribed medications. We have a diabetic cat that requires insulin, dogs on heartworm treatment that require daily meds, and a variety of other medical issues that we treat each day in our shelter animals. Think about how hard it is to administer meds to your own dog or cat, and imagine trying to administer meds to multiple sick and scared shelter animals.
The upside of their job is that they help move most animals that we see one step closer to adoption through their work. On the downside, they are also the staff to handle our animals that are too sick to respond to treatment. Kittens and puppies far too young to be taken away from their moms that we receive too late and too weak. Our parvo puppies that they treat every hour and watch them struggle and fade and have to accept that there isn’t anything more we can humanly do to save them. They are the final loving hands on those animals that reach us too late to respond to treatment. They are the staff that send an animal to the vet with hope that it can be saved, only to receive the phone call from the vet that there isn’t anything more they can do…and in turn, have to be the bearer of the news to the staff. It is a job of gratitude and heartbreak each and every day.
Our Vet Tech’s jobs are never done. Kim receives messages and calls at all hours of the day and night. She responds in the evening if an animal returns from the vet run with a concerning spay/neuter incision. She responds to our fosters at all hours with their medical concerns. She and her team work well beyond their shelter hours to address the questions and concerns of our staff and volunteers.
If you have adopted an animal from TAPS, they have been handled by our Vet Techs on their way to be released for adoption. Again, this is another shelter job that is 365 days a year, 7 days a week that need staffed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and snow days too. They respond to our animals and their medical needs with love and care, and for that I give thanks.