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Veterinarians Head to Alaska to Provide Aid to Dogs

Drs. Page Wages (Oberlin) and Elisa Sumakeris (Grace Park) are headed to Hooper’s Bay Alaska  with Christian Veterinary Mission for 1 week in October, with 3 veterinary students (Spencer Ellis, Jesi Leonard, and Morgan Rodwell) and 1 technician (Christena Tozel from Oberlin).  The group will providing much needed veterinary services to a rural area that doesn’t currently have veterinary care. Dr Wages Dr Sumakeris and Christena travel to provide aid to dogs in Alaska

Hooper Bay is a small city with a population of  1,144 (as of 2012).  Of that number, 95% are Native Americans and 41% of this population are living in poverty, and about 50% are less than the age of 18.  Our task for this first time trip will be working in the schools to educate the younger generations on animal health.  In an area once reliant on sled dogs for survival and travel, snowmobiles and other forms of machinery have taken the role the dogs once played.  Unfortunately, without a job to do, most of the dogs become stray and continue to breed.  The local authorities have to terminate the stray dogs they can find every year to reduce the population and prevent the spread of rabies.  Our hope is to provide education on the importance of spaying and neutering pets as well as vaccinations, including the rabies vaccine, and provide the services needed.

Dr. Wages has recently returned from a Christian Veterinary Mission trip out to the Navajo Nation, where she and Drs. Mark Alley and Sam Galphin led a team of veterinary students to help care for sheep, goats, cattle, dogs, cats, and horses.  The team serves areas where there is no veterinary care, training the Navajo to care for their own animals and providing basic care, such as routine vaccinations, deworming, and spay/neuter.

We at Care First Animal Hospital are happy to be a part of these amazing outreaches!!  If you would like to help support this team get the supplies they need for the Alaskan trip, donations can be made at Care First Animal Hospital or online at, just select North Carolina State from the pull down menu.

Drs. Wages and Sumakeris look forward to sharing their adventures with you when they return!  The current trip dates are Oct 18th-27th.

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