New Clinic for Animal Care
When Animal Care Sanctuary (ACS) in East Smithfield opened its first clinic in March 2011, no one there had any idea how the community would react to this new offering. They had one veterinarian on duty and were opened two days per week. It was just a start.
“We had such an overwhelming response from the community,” said Rachel Higham, ACS community liaison. “We were booked two months in advance.”
By April 2012, they had a second veterinarian and had extended their hours. They knew a larger facility was required. There was a mobile home on the property but it needed renovations to turn it into a clinic.
On Friday, June 8, the ribbon was cut to celebrate the grand opening of their new clinic.
“Two weeks ago, this was just a thought,” said Joan Smith-Reese, director of ACS. “We were winding down from the Mutt Strut.” Smith-Reese praised Jesse Newell, ACS maintenance coordinator for his hard work and dedication getting the building ready
so quickly. In the two weeks before the ribbon cutting, he built a wall to divide the kitchen from the reception area, totally removed the island and the sink, installed a new sink in the bathroom, and built an exam table, along with all the regular touch ups and finishing jobs.
“Every time I work, I always think it’s going to help the animals a lot,” said Newell. “The animals are number one.”
“I’m really excited to have it opened five days per week because I think we can get more done,” said Jill Elston, licensed veterinarian technician. According to Newton, a former ACS resident, Elston does a wonderful job cutting a dog’s nails.
Several guests from the Greater Valley community, along with Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania director of the Humane Society of the United States, were invited for the ribbon cutting.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful community outreach project,” said Speed. She is a firm believer in animal welfare and care for all animals in Pennsylvania. Speed primarily works on animal legislation in Harrisburg, working with shelters state wide to help with whatever they need to gather support.
“Since the 1970’s the rate of dogs in the United States being euthanized has dropped over 70 percent,” said Speed, who is an advocate for spaying and neutering. “This expanded clinic is the answer for our spaying/neutering programs.”
The ribbon cutting was an awareness for first time visitor Dave Rosenbloom, president of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m overwhelmed because I’ve never been here before,” said Rosenbloom. “I can’t believe how big they are; how clean and how they are accomplishing the mission of saving the animals.”
“People do know you’re here and do partake of your services,” said State Representative Tina Pickett. “We’re excited about what you’re doing and we wish you success.”
Animal Care Sanctuary is a facility that has taken in and cared for all animals in need, relying on volunteers, fundraising, donations, gifts and the heart of those who care as they do.
“This is a fantastic facility; very much needed in this area,” said Eleanor Hill, executive director of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The people here need to be commended. They are wonderful!”
It takes courage and heart to fulfill the obligation we have as humans to help all creatures who live on this planet.