Residents seek animal health care out of town

A fire on May 28 damaged and has temporarily closed the Tucumcari Animal Hospital, forcing residents to travel out of town for their animals care.

QCS PHOTO: Thomas Garcia

Styx has a cone placed around his neck to prevent him from biting at the stitches on his stomach.

Two days after the fire Tami Simpson's dog, Styx, was attacked by a German Shepherd and his abdomen was punctured by the Shepherd's bite.

"I was frantic; I had called to locate a vet who would come out that night and had no luck," Simpson said.

Simpson said this would have never been a problem in the past, as doctor Corey would have met her that night at the clinic. She said eventually one veterinarian returned her call and could see Styx in the morning at Clovis.

"It wasn't just having to travel the distance, it was being so far apart from Styx as he recovered," Simpson said.

Simpson said there was an obvious price difference for the care of Styx and an added cost for the transportation. She said she had to take the dog twice to Clovis, and noted that gas prices are also a factor.

"I still have another trip to dread," Simpson said. "That trip will be so the stitches can be removed."

Sherry Bruhn said the drive to Clovis to treat her dog was a hardship on its own. Bruhn's dog Dudley was hit by a car on May 29 and had to be taken to Clovis for treatment.

Bruhn said because of her work schedule she had to stay here while her husband Johnny took Dudley to Clovis. She said Dudley had surgery and had a metal pin placed in to his leg.

"When something like this happens you truly appreciate Dr. Corey," Bruhn said.

Bruhn said Corey has done everything for Dudley over 15 years. She said two years ago Corey removed a tumor on Dudley's leg and put a cast on it. Just last year, she said, Dudley was hit by a car and Corey kept him overnight.

"Without Dr. Corey, we all are going to have to be extra careful," Bruhn said.

Bruhn said their Dudley may have four legs, though he is very much her child.

"I hope they catch and prosecute whomever is responsible for killing the animals and damaging the hospital to the fullest extent," Simpson said. "There is no way to replace the lives that were lost or fix the lives which were affected by this tragedy."

Simpson said the full effect of the fire at Tucumcari Animal Hospital has yet to be seen by this community.

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