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Letters to the Editor

Say thanks to vet techs next week

When Fido happily wags his tail at the latest vet checkup, they’re the first to give a treat and a high-five. When he isn’t feeling well, they check his vitals and help the doctor find the right solution. Good or bad, in laughter or tears, they’re doing more than just their job – they really care.

We join Gov. J.B. Pritzker in officially honoring veterinary technicians during Vet Tech Week in Illinois, which is Oct. 13-19.

Our trade association represents technicians as the critical frontline staff at our animal hospitals and clinics. Vet Tech Week gives us an opportunity to better understand the selfless work of our frontline care providers in animal clinics and hospitals around Illinois, and the nation.

Charlotte Waack, who works in Payson near Quincy, got her original degree in music business, but went back to school and has spent nearly 30 years in veterinary medicine, helping pets live longer, more comfortable lives.

Steph Scarlata, like many techs, was drawn to animals in youth. Working at an emergency-care facility for dogs and cats in Buffalo Grove, she sees animals with serious trauma: broken legs, heart failure, rare blood disorders. It tests her abilities but always keeps the job interesting.

Laurie Lobdell and Denise Weber, working at two higher education institutions in Champaign, both wanted to be veterinarians, but wouldn’t trade their experiences as veterinary technicians. They urge greater understanding of the training and expertise techs provide their patients. “We always feel as though we have made a difference,” Lobdell says.

They do make a difference, in many ways we never see. For everything you do for Fido and every other beloved animal, we salute you on Vet Tech Week in Illinois.

Note to readers: Deborah Lakamp, CAE, is executive director of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.

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