Who are you and what makes you AMAZING?? This was my question for Mary. Bubble Boy Boutique's Evielynne has a great visit last week with Mary and walked away with a better understanding how important Timberlake Litter Control is to Spirit Lake, Idaho. They know their stuff but more so they care about the town and its pets...
I don't know really where to start, so I will just ramble a bit and you can hopefully pick through the chaff and find some wheat.....
Timberlake Litter Control opened in August 2012 largely because I identify myself as primarily a spay/neuter veterinarian (a legitimate specialty in our profession), and I had been laid off by the Spokane Humane Society and couldn't find a job anywhere in the area. I knew there was a need for high quality, low cost spay/neuter services that was just not being met. As we all are when we start a business I was a bit naïve and knowing what I know now, I likely would not have stayed in the area, but I do truly love my job (and that is really a good thing because I have not taken a salary since the day I opened my doors). The business was originally designed to be a high quality, high volume spay/neuter clinic and that is a concept that is very sought after by many large communities. So far, it has not worked in our area for several reasons. First of all, it's rather a new movement and many of the old timers in veterinary medicine just aren't educated on the principals involved and are sure that corners must be getting cut. I would assure you and anyone else that they aren't. All animals are closely monitored throughout their procedures and pain control is always given. Optional additional pain control can be purchased to take home. Pediatric patients are supported to prevent hypothermia as well as hypoglycemia. Because of my extra training and experience, I am fully capable of performing as many as 40 spay/neuter surgeries in a day...yes, BY MYSELF with just my one technician (and perhaps one volunteer in recovery on really big days like that). I have traveled to Ecuador twice, in 2012 and in 2014 with a group of veterinarians, technicians and volunteers and in those two years we spayed/neutered a total of 2500 animals (each trip was only 5 days; 1000 the first year and 1500 in 2014)...so I chuckle to myself a bit when big "spay days" are sponsored by area groups and it takes 3 veterinarians to do 40 or 50 procedures...truly good for them for doing the sponsoring because every bit helps, but I get a bit frustrated that I have not been able to work up to my potential.
Since my trip to Ecuador in 2014, I have been working with a group called Caribbean Spay/Neuter, and they recently asked me to travel to Suriname with another veterinarian and teach the local vets the technique for high volume spay/neuter to assist their cat overpopulation problem. The trip is planned for May 2015, but the costs are quite high for airfare from Spokane so although I'm extremely honored to have been asked, I'm not sure how to make it happen. It is quite hard to save any money when the clinic is on a shoestring from month to month as it is. I know it would be such a worthwhile trip!! I get so much out of each of these mission trips because the people are so very appreciative. I'd also like to do as many of these as I can while my body is still able...high volume spay/neuter takes a very high toll on the body. Hands, arms, necks, backs....not to mention hours of standing in one place are not for the faint of heart.
This is a probably 3rd career for me, and I have been practicing for 10 years. We also live just east of Spirit Lake, and my 87 year old father lives with us (my mother passed away 6 years ago). My husband is a retired Air Force helicopter pilot and works in a facet of the computer business which requires some traveling around the U.S. My 21 year old son also is still living at home. He graduated from Timberlake High School 3 years ago.
I have 6 dogs (mostly hunting dogs...upland game birds), and 4 cats, about 20 chickens and 14 guinea fowl..and oh yes, a horse (of course)...
Thank you again for taking the time to help promote our town and it's businesses.
Mary McKinney, DVM
Timberlake Litter Control