Veterinary program moves into new digs

By Cindy Yurth
Tséyi' Bureau

TSÉ BONITO, N.M., February 7, 2013

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A fter suffering for years in a condemned building with a leaky roof and a hydraulic horse lift that the staff had to jump up and down on to get it to work, the Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program has opened shop in swanky new digs, the former D&D Veterinary Clinic in Tsé Bonito.

"We've still got some things to work on and a lot of stuff left to move, but it's a big relief," said the program's manager, Glenda Davis.

The tribe paid $1.3 million for the complex of offices, barns and storage buildings (one of which it had to give to the tribal Rangers after their building was condemned), and then spent another $900,000 on renovation, including popping the top of the one-story clinic to make room for the Puppy Adoption Program, dorm rooms for interns and externs, a conference room, offices and storage.

"Look at this office," gushed Davis. "I'm not in a closet any more!"

The clinic has two exam rooms, a laboratory, cages for patients and puppies relinquished to the Navajo Nation Puppy Program, a laboratory, storage rooms and a quarantine area with a separate entrance for animals that may be suffering from a contagious disease.

There's even a full kitchen so interns or veterinarians who visit to help with spay-neuter clinics can cook a meal.

"The interns are a big part of our program," Davis said. "We need a place for them."

The spacious conference room has a Smart Board and can be used for such things as convening forces for a battle plan against Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which it recently was. Outside groups can rent it for meeting space, contributing some income to the program.

Most of the furniture was moved from the Navajo Department of Transportation when it moved into its new building just down the highway.

The barn - sided and roofed with the new roof salvaged from the program's old digs at the Navajo Nation Fairgrounds - has high-quality stalls for animals that have to be kept for treatment.

The large-animal surgery room (with a brand new hydraulic horse lift that has the staff overjoyed) doubles as an X-ray room because of its concrete walls.

And there's a large garage area for the Puppy Program's van as well as the new mobile spay-neuter van expected in February.

The program has been seeing patients in the new building since November, but it's a work in progress.

"It's not quite the way we want it yet, but it's a big improvement," Davis said. "We were more than ready to move."

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