The long line of cars waiting for the first Stilwellness Free Pet Clinic to begin on Saturday was the first sign the event was a success. Volunteers gave 185 vaccines, 161 rabies shots and 59 half price licenses for the pets living in Stilwell City limits are the facts of how much of a success it was.
Dogs of all sizes on leashes were everywhere as people visited vendors and took care of vaccinations and rabies shots. One family brought cute mix puppies, from a momma dog dumped on them the day before she delivered, to receive vaccinations and rabies shots in hopes of finding them homes. Some did.
Briahna Johnson, 10, brought her new puppy Bayley, a “Jackschund” or Jack Russell and Dachshund mix.
“She’s super sweet, likes to sleep with me, kisses and cuddles, I love her,” said Johnson, who moved to Stilwell last year with mom, April Stone.
“Her new puppy needs vaccinations. It’s good for me with financial needs. It’s awesome for Stilwell, and generous and needed for them to offer this,” Stone said.
Mayor Jean Ann Wright called the turnout, “overwhelming.”
“I am so glad these volunteers partnered with us to bring this affordable opportunity for free pet vaccinations to the county, and the City Council decided to do half price licenses to assist our residents. I’m extremely pleased with the turnout,” said Wright.
Rock Smith was wrangling two English Bulldogs while wife, Janelle looked at Red Wagon Feed freebies.
“We brought them for shots and to get wormed. This is great on a Saturday for working people that don’t have time to take pets to the vet,” Smith said.
Janelle said, “it’s free. You get to try new products they have available.”
Red Wagon Feed Manager, Peggy Ales, was enjoying all the people visiting their table.
“It’s really good for the community to get out. This event brings awareness of taking care of animals and keeping them healthy. It’s a great way for us to give back to the community and come together with common interests,” said Ales.
Ales said it’s also a great opportunity to let people know what they offer.
“It’s a way to get our name out there and let people know what products we carry in the store. I’m excited to be included and it’s a great way to meet people in the community,” Ales said.
Another vendor was Jerry Bigfeather, Cherokee Nation Environmental Health Services.
“We’re one of the sponsors, and we’re for rabies prevention, to prevent the spread,” said Bigfeather.
Stilwell FFA students were worming dogs and cats.
“Shawn [Noel] asked if we'd volunteer. It’s good for the kids to do community service and showcase the skills they learned in class. They’re in charge of doing the deworming,” said Josh Gilstrap, FFA advisor and agricultural education instructor.
Kaylee Stewart, FFA Reporter, said her group is excited to help with the Stilwell City.
“FFA members are happy to represent our chapter and it’s really good to come out and support our community. It’s a big thing, living to serve is our motto, and that’s why we’re here,” said Stewart.
Rhonda Norris, a vet tech in Vinita, volunteers with PAAWS and the Oklahoma Humane Society.
“This helps communities have access to care regardless of financial situations. Today is going great, we’ve already done 100 in the first hour,” said Norris.
Muskogee Veterinarian, Tim Synar, now works part time and enjoys giving back by volunteering with the non-profit PAAWS.
“It’s good for the community, it helps a ton of people and public health, particularly to stop the spread of rabies,” Synar said.
He was helping Amanda Harrington with a carrier full of puppies.
“We’re getting shots for these strays. Someone dropped off the mama dog and the next day she had these puppies, five girls and one boy. They’re part coon dog,” said Harrington.
Shawn Noel, city code enforcement and animal control manager, was coordinator of Stilwellness.
“We’re hoping they’ll come back next year and hope the Cherokee Nation will continue to support us as well,” said Noel.
He also said the spay neuter clinic for next weekend has a long waiting list, so that is also a success.