Taylor Shaffer, a licensed veterinary technician at Chimacum Vet, uses the new digital X-ray equipment during a clinic at Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene. (Robert Heck)

Taylor Shaffer, a licensed veterinary technician at Chimacum Vet, uses the new digital X-ray equipment during a clinic at Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene. (Robert Heck)

Center Valley Animal Rescue shelter receives dental equipment donation

Quilcene organization one of two recipients nationwide

QUILCENE — Center Valley Animal Rescue is one of two organizations nationwide to receive donated equipment this year through the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry.

The nonprofit Quilcene shelter is a recipient along with one in California, said Sara Penhallegon, the founder and director of Center Valley Animal Rescue (CVAR).

Penhallegon said she applied for a grant two years ago and was chosen this year.

The dental equipment includes a digital X-ray, a machine CVAR has never had before, Penhallegon said.

“We have some old equipment that didn’t work well and was very sub-par,” she said. “We were doing some dentistry here, but major things we would have to send out.”

When veterinaries were able to perform dental procedures, they typically had to work one quadrant of an animal’s mouth at a time, Penhallegon said.

“The dentistry, even for rescues, can cost $1,000 or more, and that really eliminates a lot of them from being adopted out, because then the new owners have to have it done.”

Penhallegon said her goal is to provide necessary procedures to the rescue animals before they are adopted.

The equipment arrived Friday, and two veterinarians volunteered their time Saturday to run a seminar at CVAR.

David Leisten of iM3 set up the machines, and Daniel Strange of Dentalaire Products International took part in the clinic, Penhallegon said. The veterinarians included Barry L. Rathfon, a private practitioner, and Deborah Hodesson of BluePearl Pet Hospital in Tacoma.

Penhallegon said iM3 and Dentalaire were the companies that provided the equipment.

“Such as people, animals need dental care, too,” Penhallegon said. “Many of the animals we get in are needing major dental care. Many need extractions and have bad mouth infections. We have a handful of cats that are needing a few dental procedures a year.

“This will improve the care we can give to animals in our care and, in the future, we hope to provide dental care to other rescues and shelters, enabling all of us to help more animals and adopt animals out with healthy mouths.”

Penhallegon said Tuesday there had already been two major procedures completed at CVAR, one as part of a lab with a full extraction during Saturday’s clinic.

The Make Me Smile Foundation has partnered with Dentalaire to train people at various animal shelters throughout the country. This year, iM3 provided equipment at cost, according to a press release.

The training is designed to provide shelter veterinarians and technicians the ability to provide comprehensive oral health, assessment and treatment, the release said.

Penhallegon had two cats on a waiting list for a month or two as she waited for the equipment to be installed.

“Now we have a long list to get everyone in,” she said.

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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