Belleville veterinarian takes in neighboring clients

David Brake was not studying for a life of helping household pets when he decided to shift his focus toward becoming a veterinarian. He also wasn’t planning to take on another vet’s practice a few weeks ago but ended up taking on additional clients from another practice located about 2 miles from his. He recently talked to business writer Will Buss about his evolving metro-east practice:

Q: Why did you end up taking on more clients from another practice?

A: “Dr. (Phil) McKinney (of Adair Gardens Pet Hospital in Belleville) and I have had a pretty good working relationship now for 10, 15 years. We use Hawthorne in Glen Carbon as our emergency practice quite a bit. So we have a good working relationship with them and obviously know Dr. McKinney pretty well. He purchased the practice from Dr. Martin in 2005 when Dr. Martin retired. We had a really good relationship and we ended up talking maybe a year ago. We both had these very similar practices of similar size and client makeup and both sort of approach our practices the same way. We talked about if it would make sense to merge our practices together.

“I have a bigger building than Adair, and theirs is pretty old. I have a newer building with more space, so we thought maybe we could somehow decrease the overhead and it could be a convenience for people since we are located close to each other. So we talked about how it would work, how would we do it? Is it 50-50? Is it 60-40? Then, Dr. McKinney developed some health issues and was unable to practice and run his place, so it sort of turned from a merge into a consolidation. We purchased their client list and data base and everything. So it’s our practice. Our practice hasn’t changed, we have just added on.”

Q: How many clients do you have now?

A: “If I remember correctly we have 1,200 to 1,500 active clients. It was one of the things that started as what we can do that would mutually benefit both parties? Then, because of some unforeseen circumstances, things sort of went in a different direction and had to move rather quickly. But it worked out really well. Dr. McKinney is taking care of himself and doing pretty well.”

Q: How has the transition gone?

A: “So far, except for a few minor hiccups in the transition of records and stuff like that, it has worked out really well.”

Q: How long have you owned the practice?

A: “I bought the practice from Dr. (Jim) Carey in 2000. He started it in ’67.”

Q: How long have you been a practicing veterinarian?

A: “Since ’95.”

Q: Are you from the metro-east area?

A: “From Granite City, originally.”

Q: What attracted you to this profession?

A: “It’s funny because I probably have the most unique story. Most kids who become vets say they have been around pets since they were little and had a dog in the family. That never occurred to me. Never once did it ever occur to me. I was actually in college, I went to (Washington University in St. Louis) as an undergrad and was a sophomore and happened to be having a conversation, a pretty interesting conversation, about really horrible summer jobs that we had had throughout high school, like working at a horseradish farm, working at a steel mill, stuff like that. And one of the girls I was talking to said she helped out at a vet clinic and cleaned up all of the bodily fluids and those things. That’s when a light bulb went off.

“It was funny; I didn’t think of it as a horrible job. I was a biology major, and I was one of those who were going to medical school but was the not-sure-what-I-wanted-to-do-type biology majors. So once I heard her say that, it was like it was there, but I never knew it, and that flipped a switch. And I went back to my dorm room, and back in the day that’s when we still had the Yellow Pages, that’s how long ago it was. You couldn’t look stuff up on the Internet. I looked for a veterinarian that was close to campus where I could either walk or ride a bike.”

Q: What did you find?

A: “I called one and said, ‘Look, I’m a sophomore at Wash U. and I’m interested in this. Could I just make an appointment with you?’ I didn’t know anything about it, what was required, I had no idea where you went to school, nothing at all. And that’s how it started. I met with him and he had a lot of good information about how the education works and all that stuff. I was able to go there during my free time a few hours a week to observe and see what it was like. Actually, that clinic is where I got my first job.”

Q: Which vet office was it?

A: “It was Big Bend Veterinary Clinic, just down the street from campus in Richmond Heights. I actually kept in touch with him all through school and got my first job there after I graduated. I went from there to here to buying the practice.”

Q: What do you enjoy about your vet practice?

A: “I would say there’s a couple things. As far as owning the practice, I like being my own boss. I think that’s something that really appealed to me early on, once I started. Although that comes with its own headaches, just like any business, but what I like about it from a practice point of view, even if I didn’t own the place, is that ability to solve problems for people. They come in with a problem and hopefully I can fix it and they leave happy.”

Q: Did you have a family pet when you were growing up?

A: “We had a tiny little chihuahua that was just this dog was never sick and lived to be 15 years old and never went to the vet. The dog was always there. By the time I went to college, my parents had gotten another dog and that was much more of a family pet at that point. But for whatever reason, becoming a vet was never on my radar screen at all.”

Q: Do you have any pets now?

A: “Yes. I have two dogs and here at the clinic we have two cats, that live here along with two snakes. So I embraced it wholeheartedly once I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

Gamble Breaux throws $20000 wedding for 2 household pets… however is …

By Monique Friedlander – : 09:42 EST, 5 Dec. 2015 | Up to date: 09:42 EST, 5 Dec. 2015 It’s stated in that love has no boundaries. #038; this was unquestionably true for The Real Housewives Of Melbourne’s Gamble Breaux, who hosted a lavish wedding for a cat #038; pooch on Sat..The charity event was held in support of Monika’s Doggie Rescue #038; is estimated to have value $20,000 to place on, still it seems it did not appeal to her fellow housewives to attend. You might now lick the bride! The Real Housewives Of Melbourne’s Gamble Breaux hosted a lavish wedding for a cat named Bentley, whose owner is Christa Billich (left), #038; a pooch named Charlie, whose owner is Amana Hart (right) The marriage ceremony happened at Sydney’s historic Cadman’s Cottage, while the festivities have been held close by at the beautiful Billich Gallery, an establishment owned by Gamble’s close acceptable mate, pal Christa Billich. Christa additionally played proud owner to the auspicious groom, a Pomeranian named Charlie, who attended the occasion in a customized made designer tuxedo. The blushing bride, a cat named Bentley, belonged to Gamble’s gal pal Amana Hart, who dressed her beloved kitty in a couture gown embellished with beads #038; rhinestones. 

Read moreGamble Breaux throws $20,000 wedding for two household pets yet is saddened after none of her RHOM co-stars show up

New Drug Drop-Off Boxes Installed at Santa Barbara County Sheriff Stations

Medications that are deposited in the kiosks should be kept in their original packaging if possible. Any loose pills or powders must be sealed within a plastic bag prior to being deposited in an Operation Medicine Cabinet kiosk.

Acceptable items for drug disposal bins are: over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, medication samples, medications for household pets, medicated lotions or ointments, liquid medication only if in leak-proof container.

Needles, hazardous waste and medical waste should not be placed in the boxes.

Inappropriate items can jeopardize sheriffs personnel and could affect the agencys ability to continue the program that allows community members to safely dispose of medication, said Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Sheriffs Department.

Experts say community kiosks for drug disposal are valuable ways to keep expired and unused medications from falling into the hands of teenagers and young adults.

Community cat colonies in Hot Springs Village

It’s not unusual to see a cat outdoors. Some of these cats have loving homes. Others are lost, abandoned or wild, feral cats. These nameless, homeless cats are called community cats.

Kiley, a black and white short-hair cat, was about nine months old when he was found and brought to the Hot Springs Village Animal Shelter. He was already neutered and had a collar, but no tag. Animal Control posted his picture on the Hot Springs Village Police Department Facebook page. But no one called, and no one came to the shelter to look for him. He obviously had a home at one time, so he is listed as a stray and waiting to be adopted.

It is possible Kiley is someone’s lost pet. But it is also possible he was abandoned. The myth is that a cat can be set free to live happily catching mice in the forest.

Nancy Jones, Hot Springs Village Animal Welfare League’s cat adoption coordinator, says, “Although cats chase and catch by instinct, they actually need to be taught how to kill and eat their prey.”

Most household pets like Kiley have never had to fend for themselves and are either partially or totally declawed. Unless a kind resident notices them and calls animal control, they will most likely become another animal’s prey. They won’t survive.

For Hot Springs Village residents, an alternative to abandoning a household pet that can no longer be cared for is to take them to the drop-off pen behind the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association (POA) Animal Shelter. It is simple, anonymous and humane. The pet will be examined, cared for, loved and hopefully adopted out to a loving person who needs a friend.

The other portion of our community cat population are feral cats. We don’t see them as often because they are fearful of humans. Jones says, “All cats are born feral. If they do not have human contact by the time they are 8 weeks old, they will remain feral or, at best, tame down to one person.”

Feral kittens can be saved and adopted if they are rescued soon enough. A Hot Springs Village resident called Animal Control to report a cat had deposited a kitten on his porch. When the Animal Control officer responded, he found the mother had kittens hidden under rocks around a pond in a small courtyard in the resident’s yard. AWL volunteers assisted in taking the pond apart to find all five kittens.

Although the mother was feral, she was brought in, examined, neutered, given all the proper shots and now lives in a barn in Sheridan, Ark. Since the kittens were not yet 8 weeks old, they were kept at the shelter for adoption.

Timmy and Tiago are the last two of the five kittens from that litter. These healthy gray and white tabbies are spirited, adorable, cuddly, and adoptable, thanks to the resident who reported seeing them.

The process of capturing, neutering and returning cats to a colony is called trap-neuter-return (TNR).

According to the Humane Society of the United States (, “TNR is a non-lethal strategy for reducing the number of community cats (feral and stray) and improving the quality of life for cats, wildlife, and people.”

Hot Springs Village has a large feral cat community. They live in colonies near whatever water and shelter they can find. They do not approach humans and multiply rapidly. Jones says, “A cat can begin reproducing at about 5 months of age, and have as many as three litters a year.” One feral cat can produce up to 15 kittens in a year. If they are not rescued, they will remain feral and begin reproducing more kittens. It’s possible. It happens all the time. TNR is a humane way to reduce the community cat population.

The Hot Springs Village Animal Shelter will return community cats who have been rescued using the TNR program to their home colonies to live out their lives if area residents will agree to feed them. At the present time, there are nine TNR community cat colonies of this kind in Hot Springs Village. Through the kindness and generosity of the neighboring residents, these unadoptable cats live out their lives in the only home they have ever known.

We can all do our best to control the number of community cats, but we can also consider adoption of those cats that are rescued and adoptable. Recent studies prove pet ownership improves health and lowers incidents of depression. A Hot Springs Village resident with multiple sclerosis expressed it this way, “When I am too tired to move at the end of the day, she hops on my lap and purrs. It’s a comfort to have another living thing in my world to care for, talk to and love. I can’t imagine how lonely I would be without her.”

Hot Springs Village residents who have lost a pet should contact POA Animal Control at 501-922-6547, then call the AWL at 501-915-9337 for additional help in locating the lost pet. To report a found pet or stray, call Animal Control at 501-922-6547.

AWL makes adopting a pet easy. They will counsel and guide you through the process, do their best to match you with the perfect pet, answer your questions and even check back to make sure everything is going well for you and the pet. To inquire about adopting a pet, call AWL at 501-915-9337 or email

So far in 2015, AWL has received 206 cats/kittens and 170 dogs/puppies as adoptable pets. As of the end of November, they have adopted out 175 cats/kittens and 123 dogs/puppies. In addition, AWL has transported three cats/kittens for adoption or to a sanctuary, and 35 dogs/puppies.

Visit the shelter and take a look at the adorable cats up for adoption. The shelter is located at 195 Cloaca Ln. From Ponce de Leon Road, turn on to Cloaca Lane. The animal shelter will be the first building on the left past the storage area.

For more information about AWL services, pet adoption, volunteering your time at the shelter or to donate funds, visit their website at, or attend the next AWL meeting at 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Coronado Community Center in Room 6.

Open your heart. Adopt a pet.

Fat pets slim down – Glasgow dog is biggest loser

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Ruby now is much lighter

Kayla and Ruby took part in the annual PDSA Pet Fit Club Champ 2015.

The vets charity finds the UKs fattest pets, puts them on a strict diet and makes them do lots of exercise.

The charity hopes the results will encourage other pet owners to feed their animals healthy foods in smaller portions.

Figures suggest millions of household pets are too fat, and an animals health is at risk if they are obese.

Overall the 15 finalists lost a total of 73kg – or 11st 7lb – thats about the same weight as Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor!

House lets EMTs help pets at scene

The bill would permit, but not obligate, an EMT to assist a dog or cat. The first responders initial priority would be to treat humans.

The bill requires EMTs and paramedics to have written protocols in hand from a veterinarian.

They would have to directly consult with a veterinarian before administering drugs, some of which affect animals differently than humans.

Mr. Ginter said he is unaware of anyone being penalized for rendering such assistance.

I have heard of those first responders who have gone ahead and treated the animals, because they just didnt want to see the animals die before being transported to a hospital, he said. I do know of others who have not treated animals, and it bothered them because they had the ability.

The bill would authorize EMTs to clear a dog or cats airway, apply oxygen, do mouth-to-snout or mouth-to-barrier ventilation, control bleeding, immobilize fractures, and bandage wounds.

Granting this authority in no way usurps my responsibility of allowing EMTs to practice veterinary medicine, Dr. Ryan Zimmerman, a Fremont veterinarian, told the Health and Aging Committee last spring on behalf of the Ohio Veterinarian Medical Association. He also volunteers as an emergency medical responder for the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department.

Most importantly, its in the best interests of the animal to receive critical care at the earliest possible moment, he said.

EMTs could also administer the anti-overdose drug naloxone hydrochloride, but only after consulting with a veterinarian. Lawmakers in recent months have worked to increase access to this drug for humans to combat a growing opiate addiction problem.

In the course of sniffing out drugs, its possible a canine officer can get a snoot-full of opioids and OD on the spot, Mr. Ginter said. [Naloxone] works not only on humans, but also on dogs.

Ms. Deisner said this bill is the first shes seen like it in the Midwest region she oversees. She noted that limiting the bills effects to dogs and cats still covers 95 percent of household pets.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.

Pippa is top cat thanks to diet success!

Each year, the PDSA recruits the UK’s fattest pets to undertake a six-month diet and exercise competition.

Supervised by the charity’s vets and nurses, Pet Fit Club helps them back into shape and creates awareness of the serious issue of pet obesity, which affects millions of household pets.

Pippa’s owner Audrey Brooks, from Bispham, said her pet’s weight crept up due to her cheeky habit of stealing her brother Oscar’s food after wolfing down her own.

She said she hadn’t realised the extent of the weight gain until a friend pointed it out.

‘Despicable Me’ Co-Creator to Shepherd Animated ‘Household Pets’

IM Global has come on board to handle sales for animated films from Marza, a subsidiary of SEGA, and Pigmental Studios, the company announced Monday.

The first two projects under the new deal are Household Pets, an original idea from Despicable Me co-creator Sergio Pablos, and Mean Margaret, an adaptation of the award-winning children’s book series from Mulan director Barry Cook.

Household Pets, from Marza, follows an imaginative boy and the monsters he battles under his bed. Pablos, of SPA Studios, and Marina Martins of Pigmental Studios are producing. Pre-production will take place between Spain, Pigmental’s studio in Washington, DC and in collaboration with Marza in Los Angeles.

Also Read: Minions Passes Toy Story 3 to Become No. 2 Animated Movie Ever

Mean Margaret is adapted from the books by Tor Seidler. It is being produced by Jay Ahn and Chuck Williams, managing the creative at Marza. Barry Cook directed the original development of the project with character designs by Carter Goodrich.

This Blow Against the Exotic Pet Trade in Arizona Is a Huge Win for Primates!

Great news, Green Monsters! In a significant blow against the exotic pet trade in Arizona, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission has just passed a regulation banning primates from being kept as pets, citing concerns over human health and safety. The rule comes into force on Saturday, December, 12th.

Danielle Benza, a primate keeper at the Phoenix Zoo, explained that primates are extremely difficult for private citizens to keep as pets because of their highly specialized care requirements. Theyre social, she said, which means you shouldnt just keep one. They need to be in a  group, they need to be with others of their kind and people typically cant do that. So they have behavioral and social issues that need to be addressed.

Common household pets like cats or dogs have been subjected to many centuries of selective breeding that has turned them into the docile family companions we know today. However, the same cannot be said of primates and other wild animals kept as pets, who have retained their wild instincts and natural fear of human beings. The unnatural, cramped conditions associated with living in a private home can often cause the animal to become frustrated and lash out at their guardians.

Animal advocacy group Born Free USA has documented over 2,000 cases of attacks, incidents, and escapes involving exotic pets in the last two decades. The organization has warned the public that the conditions in which privately-owned exotic animals are kept also raise serious animal welfare concerns. Most people cannot provide the special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that exotic animals require. Many animals who have become too difficult for their owners to care for, or who have outgrown their usefulness as pets or profit-makers, end up languishing in small pens in backyards, doomed to live in deplorable conditions, or are abandoned or killed. A very few lucky ones are placed in genuine sanctuaries to live out the rest their lives.

Additionally, exotic animals often carry diseases such as herpes B, salmonellosis, monkeypox and rabies, which can be fatal to human beings. In spite of this, there is unfortunately an exotic pet epidemic sweeping across the US Consider this, there are as many as 7,000 tigers being kept in American backyards … more than the worlds total remaining population of tigers in the wild!

Luckily, the tide is turning against the exotic animal trade, as public awareness of the plight of exotic animals in private homes continues to grow. Arizonas new ban on primates being kept as pets means that ten states will join twenty-six others that have enacted similar legislation. Lets hope that the momentum behind this decision will eventually spread to the rest of the country and ensure that no exotic animal will have to suffer the frustration and cruelty of being confined to a backyard again.

Image source: Eric Kilby