Dates: July 15-26
Have you ever wanted to be a veterinary technician in training?? Well here is your chance! Work with the veterinarians and staff at the Animal House Veterinary Hospital as they poke, prod and help small and large animals in their daily routines. Become skilled at handling dogs, cats, horses and exotic animals. Learn the basic laboratory procedures performed in practice, how to draw blood on the different species! You will spend time working with a professional horse trainer on basic equine skills. Work side by side with a certified dog trainer who will give you insights to the canine psyche! Gain knowledge of the basics of record keeping, the principals of surgery, anesthesia, diagnostic protocols, and sterile procedure by assisting the veterinarians during their daily practice. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of knowledge you will be surrounded by in the positive atmosphere of this hospital during this module!
Dr. Dee Thornell
Known to her patients as ‘Dr. Dee’, she has called Alaska home since 1982. She earned her doctorate, cum laude, in 1981 from Michigan State University of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Dee is the owner of both Animal House Veterinary Hospital and Noah’s Ark. She treats every form of pet from small animals – to horses - to exotics; but has a special interest in Equine dentistry. Her first clinic was a mobile one, operating out of the back of a pick-up truck and doing business locally, as well as in Healy, Central, and Delta Junction. In 1996 she renovated and moved into her current location at 2702 Peger Road. The 11,000 square-foot facility now houses not only Animal House, but Noah’s Ark and Muttessori School for Dogs as well. Dr. Dee and her husband Ken, share their home with 3 cats, 3 dogs, 5 horses, and, a miniature donkey.
It was June 21, 1974 when Terry Wighs, an eager young man fresh from graduating from the University of California, Davis, with a B.S. degree in Animal Science arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska. Perhaps a spiritual haunting, a "calling", to the north country brought him to the "Land of the Midnight Sun". It was to be a summer job, to work for the Institute of Arctic Biology, at the Reindeer Research Station in Cantwell, Alaska. This adventure turned into a permanent position that lasted until the spring of 1978.
In May of 1978, interests in a new path brought him to a new opportunity to work as a herdsman, for the UAF Agricultural Experimental Station, Animal Science Department. Most of us old timers and children, now grown adults, remember these times when cattle grazed on the hillside, and where two cows actually had "windows" (rumen fistulas) on their sides. Many toured the swine barn filled with hogs being raised indoors, and enjoyed a moment with "Mark", the Hereford bull, and carefully named steers, being fed experimental rations in the cattle barn. Other pursuits, also took him to rural areas, artificial inseminating cattle and horses for "Wighs Bros. Artificial Insemination Service".
Aviation had always been a passion, and before long, Terry became an Instrument Rated Commercial Pilot. After daily chores were done at day's end , he could be seen heading for the airport to fly his Cessna 170B toward the Alaskan Range.
As years passed, he was blessed with three children who could be often seen playing in the yard at the farm, and walking about the gardens. His oldest daughter Sarah, still remains in Fairbanks, working as a dental hygenist.
Terry left the experimental farm in August 1989, after being accepted into Veterinary School at Kansas State University, and graduated four years later, with a DVM degree in 1993.
After working for a small animal clinic in Salina, Kansas for 18 years, and after all the children had finished school and left the "nest", the longing to return home to the Golden Heartland has brought him back where he now takes on a new chapter, working at the Animal House Veterinary Hospital, as an associate Veterinarian.