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Sookie recovers at the WCVM. Photo by Jeanette Neufeld.

Our five favourite stories from 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, we’re remembering some of the great stories that came from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) this year.

These five stories showcase the strengths of our college: the amazing clinicians who save the lives of countless animals year round; the dedication of the students, faculty and volunteers who participate in the college’s service learning program; our incredible students and the college’s undergraduate research program; and the faculty who strive to make the WCVM a more inclusive place for everyone.

Sookie’s second chance

Sookie is a great Pyrenees that captured many hearts during her recovery from a partial amputation of her right front leg. One week before Christmas in 2016, Sookie went missing from her home near Shellbrook, Sask. The two-year-old dog had caught her leg in a snare trap near her family’s acreage and was trapped for nearly a week. She managed to free herself, and was brought into the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) on Dec. 26, 2016, where surgeons amputated part of her leg. Sookie spent many months recovering, and thanks to the dedication of her owners and the clinical team at the VMC, Sookie has learned to walk with the help of a prosthetic limb. 

Read her story. 

La Ronge veterinary clinic

The WCVM is dedicated to making a difference for animals and their owners in a community where the closest veterinarian is 250 kilometres away. Each year, a team of students, faculty and volunteers from the veterinary community travel to La Ronge, Sask., to conduct two remote clinics in the spring and fall. At the clinic held in May 2017, a record 186 animals came in for spay, neuter and wellness services. Check out this video by summer intern Kyrsten Stringer to learn more about what happens during one of these amazing clinics. 

Student stories

Jane Westendorf is one of six students featured this fall as part of our new “This is Veterinary School” video series. Westendorf’s video details her experiences as part of the WCVM’s summer student research program. It also talks about the wonderful mentorship that she received from her parents who are both veterinarians. Their examples led her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. 

Expanding Indigenous knowledge at the WCVM

The WCVM has made a commitment to engage in reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. At the college, part of this initiative has included incorporating Indigenous artwork throughout the building. In February 2017, artists Jasyn Lucas and Nicole Brightnose came to the WCVM from Thompson, Man., to create a colourful mural featuring animals that illustrate traditional sacred teachings.

Read more about the artwork and its meaning.

Good Samaritan Fund helps blue heeler heal

One small dog against 14 angry bulls doesn’t sound like good odds. But that didn’t stop Jango the blue heeler from jumping in to protect his owner Dwane McLaren, who found himself cornered while loading a semi-truck full of livestock. Jango suffered a broken jaw while helping McLaren get free. Unfortunately after receiving surgery to fix the break at the WCVM, Jango developed a lung infection. The college’s Good Samaritan Fund helped McLaren cover the full cost of his dog's extended hospital stay, and Jango is now healthy and back to work.

Read the full story.

These stories were some of the most popular on our social media pages this year, but they are only a few of the many stories we published in 2017. Visit wcvmtoday.com to read more stories and to stay up to date on college news, follow @WCVMToday on Facebook and Twitter. 

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