Wyoming Animal Hospital Wins Celebration Cinema Award

michele_smith-aversaFor the past 50 years, the Wyoming Animal Hospital (WAH) has been caring for Wyoming’s animals with compassion, grace and skill, not asking for anything in return.


An employee of Celebration Cinema who also happens to be a loyal patron of WAH nominated them for the third annual Celebrated Cinema Award. When they made it to the top 15, they were excited. When they made it to the final 5, they went out and pounded the pavement. Visiting area businesses, reaching out to their clients and Facebook fans, WAH asked the community for its support. And the hard work paid off!

Celebration Cinema 2014 Award for outstanding community service is proudly displayed in the lobby.
Celebration Cinema 2014 Award for outstanding community service is proudly displayed in the lobby.


The certificate is displayed in their lobby.

“We define celebrated service as each time we hand a pet back to the owner that in return we receive a smile (and a tail wag or purr!).”

Wyoming Animal Hospital's passion for animals is more than puppy love!
Wyoming Animal Hospital’s passion for animals is more than puppy love!


Wyoming Animal Hospital cares for over 6,000 animals a year. Animals of all kinds – large and small from cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and more. One of their more unusual patients was a tiny garden snake. One evening, a homeless man in the area found a small garden snake that had a piece of masking tape stuck to its belly. He tried to pull it off but was afraid he would rip off its scales. Knowing the little snake would die with the tape on, he brought it to WAH. One of the doctors anesthetized the little snake and carefully removed the tape. He was then released into the “wild” (aka the front lawn). It is easy to see why they have so many steadfast followers.


The hospital is iffers three veterinarians: Dr. Brian Rushlow who’s been there since since 1993 and has a passion for orthopedics; Dr. Linda Coffman who has been with WAH for 27 years and specializes in internal medicine; and since 2010, Dr. Gay Gira, who focuses on small animals and ultra sounds. Dr. Gira was the first veterinarian to work at the Grand Rapid’s Animal Emergency Hospital back in 1980. Together the team offers a well-rounded variety of services to their pet patients.


During a visit to the clinic, as I sat in the lobby, a young woman carried in a small white dog that she had narrowly missed hitting with her car. She stopped, picked up the dog and brought it in to asked if they could check it for a microchip. Bethany Cartwright, administrative assistant, immediately jumped up from the front desk and retrieved the tools. Unfortunately, neither Cartwright or the tool detected a microchip.  “This is a good example of why people should get their animals chipped,” states Cartwright. She then showed the concerned woman some resources that she could contact next to help the dog.

Bethany checks lost pup for microchip.
Bethany checks lost pup for microchip.


This staff knows what it’s like to work for a living so they hold a special place in their heart for animals that are also employed. For example, they offer a discount to service dogs. They are also the “official veterinary clinic’ of the Wyoming Police Department and quite proud to care for the five hard-working dogs on the force.


Giving back to the community is important to the staff. In October 2013, WAH organized a fundraiser by holding the 1st annual 5K Marathon. The money they raised was donated to the Wyoming Police Department to be used toward the “dogs in blue.”  “We raised enough money for them to buy another dog. His name is Azar,” says Amanda Robards, administrative assistant. They will be hosting another 5K on October 4 of this year.


While the staff deals with animals day in and day out, every now and then they are reminded of the indomitable spirit of the four-legged population. One of their more memorable cases was a “min pin” (miniature pincher). He had been hit by a car and was found lying in the road. A couple brought him to the clinic and donated enough money for his initial care. The team immediately went to work, discovering the small dog had a shattered pelvis and broken hip bones. He astounded everyone the next day by walking up and down the halls of the clinic! No complaints, no whining. Just happy to be alive. Impressed by the dog’s spirit, one of the staff adopted him. Whenever he visits the clinic, he still races up and down the halls!

Resident kitty, Evelyn Salt, gets her nails trimmed by staffer Amanda.
Resident kitty, Evelyn Salt, gets her nails trimmed by staffer Amanda.


He isn’t the only one who became a member of the WAH family. Four felines reside at the clinic – Q, Money Penny, Evelyn Salt and Picaboo. They are all strays or animals in need and are lucky to have been found by such a caring team.

Sasha the Rottweiler gets blood drawn with care.
Sasha the Rottweiler gets blood drawn with care.


Serving the community, giving to the community. That is what WAH is all about. While the award is a huge honor that they appreciate, the happiness and appreciation of the community and their pets is still their top priority.  Now you’re invited to stop in and meet the staff!  Clients and non-clients alike are encouraged to stop by on Tuesday, June 24, for Petapalooza!


Owners, their dogs or their cats, are welcome to indulge on Tuesday June 24th from 4:30-6:30pm.  The four-legged friends can enjoy a ball pit with hidden treats, a photo booth, a cat toy making machine, and more. For the health of everyone, the staff requests that all pets be up-to-date on their shots.


While that’s going on,  the humans can take a hospital tour,  play a few games, eat hot dogs and sno-cones, and get in on raffle prizes. Not a bad way to spend time with pets, neighbors and your friendly area animal hospital staff!