Andersen vet cares for your pet

Andersen vet cares for your pet

by Airman 1st Class Alexa Henderson
36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The military working dog rests on the tile floor with his tongue lapping the air, trying to cool himself down in the Guam heat. In walks a woman in camouflage scrubs. She checks his vitals, looks in his ears, and feels around his belly while the dog is calmed by its handler.

The Andersen Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility is run by U.S. Army animal care specialists who are responsible for more than 2,000 animal patients, both cats and dogs, on a daily basis.

U.S. Army Capt. (Dr.) Annie Eure, Andersen AFB veterinary services branch chief, has an active patient record of 1,995 animals under her care in addition to taking care of 14 military working dogs, 16 U.S. Department of Agriculture dogs, and the animals that are quarantined as they arrive at Andersen. The team also provides care for the two unit animal mascots, Shakey the Pig at 36th Munitions Squadron and Molly the Dog at Task Force Talon, who live on base.

In addition, the team's mission is to maintain a trained and ready force and to support installation disease control and surveillance programs to limit community health threats. As part of their mission to control zoonotic diseases, they promote privately owned animal wellness through access to routine preventive medical care and basic minor sick call.

Eure is assisted by a three-person team consisting of an operations assistant, animal core technician and an animal care specialist.

The facility also supports the 736th Security Forces Squadron Commando Warrior Training Battalion MWD deployment training courses. Eure gives the K-9s a medical exam to ensure they are deployment ready, checking their vitals and overall health.

The facility team members pride themselves in maintaining the second largest MWD kennel in the entire Indo-Asia Pacific region, encompassing Japan, Guam, Hawaii and Alaska.

"It's mission essential for the military working dogs to come to the clinic and get checked out," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Golacinski, 736th SFS military working dog operations NCO in charge. "They do a really good job here at the clinic and Captain Eure is one of the best vets I have come across in my career."

The facility also offers quarantine care when Airmen and their families have a permanent change of station to Andersen. The Andersen quarantine center is an imperative part of a PCS to Guam. The center cycles 500-600 pets a year to ensure the animals are healthy and free of rabies or any other communicable diseases before being officially introduced to the island environment.

In addition to those duties, the clinic is open for pets to come in and get an exam, a check-up, dental cleaning, and required vaccinations.

Tech. Sgt. David Winkler, 644th Combat Communications Squadron radio frequencies transmissions NCO in charge, said that it was nice to have a trustworthy and convenient source on base where his family could take their dog to be seen before they had to outprocess.

While the clinic's mission encompasses many animal needs, it is not an emergency care facility. If something happens, the clinic recommends pet owners seek care off base care for pets at an emergency clinic.

For more information, contact the facility at 366-3205.

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