Kids get peek at work of veterinary clinic

Four-year-old Gabriel Khutorny of Lincolnshire carefully assisted as veterinarian Mitch Robbins stitched Spunky the Monkey back together on the operating table Sunday.

Fortunately, Spunky wasn't really in need of surgical reassembling. Instead, he and other stuffed animals were "operated" upon during an interactive open house hosted by Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove.

"It is our first tour. We decide to have it because we do such unusual things and high-tech things," said clinic director Evelyn Feekin. "We thought we would open it up and take the mystery away from specialty medicine that we do."

Along with stuffed animals undergoing surgery at the Repair-a-Bear Workshop, the open house featured other stations such as first-aid demonstrations and a spot where guests could examine radiographs to guess what animals had eaten to land themselves in the clinic.

The open house also included a pet adoption event, with dog and cat adoptions available from Young at Heart Pet Rescue, Midwest Dachshund Rescue, Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus, Spay and Stay, Heartland Animal Shelter, Save-A-Pet and the Buddy Foundation.

Veterinary Specialty kicked off their holiday pet food drive for Nina's Pet Food Pantry, hoping to exceed the 2,000 pounds in donations they received last year. The food pantry was founded by Young at Heart Pet Rescue and donates pet food and supplies to families in need at the Palatine Township and St. Francis De Sales food pantries.

  Volunteers Pat Kampmeier, left, and Cheryl Falk-Novak pet JoJo, an Old English bulldog, at Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus during the open house Sunday at Veterinary Specialty Clinic in Buffalo Grove. Gilbert R. Boucher II/
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