ESTEVAN — The Prairie Animal Health Centre (PAHC) is going to have activities for the public to enjoy during an open house on Sept. 27 at its facility on Breeze Street just west of the city limits.
Kristin Caldwell, who is a registered veterinary technologist and chief of veterinary operations with the PAHC, said the public can look forward to a petting zoo, pony rides, a bake sale and a barbecue. While the event is free to attend, the PAHC will be accepting donations through the barbecue, with proceeds going towards the family of Isaiah Evans, a Weyburn boy with a number of health issues who will never be able to walk.
"Isaiah Evans is the son of one of our techs in our Weyburn, and Isaiah is in need of a medical wheelchair van," said Caldwell.
A GoFundMe campaign, a trust fund and other fundraisers have been set up for Isaiah, and the initiatives have raised three quarters of the $100,000 goal.
"As part of our team and our Prairie Animal Health Centre family, we want to support Isaiah and his journey of getting a medical van, so we are giving funds to Isaiah Evans' journey," said Caldwell, who described Isaiah as a "very special little boy".
National Animal Health Week will be the week after the open house. The theme is It Takes a Team, and Caldwell believes fundraising for Isaiah reflects that theme.
There will be information at different stations on what people can do to take care of their pets. There will also be promotional materials on careers in veterinary medicine.
"We have a lot of high school students who might be considering a career as a vet tech or as a veterinarian. This is an excellent opportunity for them to come down and talk to us and ask questions if they haven't had the opportunity to in the past. They can do it at any point in the year, but open houses are a great opportunity to do this," said Caldwell.
Caldwell said the PAHC has had a lot of success with hosting open houses in the past, and the event is a great team exercise. They have a lot of fun as a team putting it on, and it's something different for the staff.
They also receive excellent feedback each year, especially from the kids who enjoy interacting with the animals.