Pet Rehab Center Planned

$10 million facility would be among the first, largest in the U.S.

Posted: February 22, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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W. Jean Dodds, DVM, president of the private blood bank for pets Hemopet, is spearheading a drive for the nation’s first center focused on restoring health for dogs and other pets with special needs.

Dodds’ $10 million capital and endowment campaign is for a permanent two-acre short-term rehabilitation facility in Orange County, California.

If built, the center would feature a unique group of apartment-style units, with support rooms, outdoor exercise yards and playgrounds for 200 rescued greyhounds.

The Restore Health Center would provide short-term transitional and emergency care for dogs, cats and other pets, and it will offer a pick-up service by a pet ambulance. Care administered would include alternative therapies such as acupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic and herbal medicine. A veterinary nursing service will be available to make home visits to dogs and other pets that need ongoing care once they’ve returned home.

Community rooms would be used to educate veterinarians and the public about companion animal health, nutritional testing, vaccines, holistic care, first-aid and other pet-related issues. The center would also house a diagnostic and related clinical research laboratory.

“As a veterinarian with a deep love for the health and well-being of animals, especially pets, this facility will serve their needs as well as those of their caregivers,” Dodds said.

“Pets need a place to recover from physical injury and emotional stress as a result of being rescued, from disease and from medical procedures such as major surgery. Owners and caregivers need to be assured that their pets have a safe and caring facility during their recovery,” she said.

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