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Ellsworth VTF cares for MWDs, household pets

Dr. Erin Brown, Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, performs a checkup on Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy of Jim Foxworth, U.S. Army retiree, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015. The primary mission of the VTF is to provide care for 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, ensuring they are medically fit for duty - it also offers low-cost, high-quality veterinary care for household pets such as cats, dogs, birds and lizards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

Dr. Erin Brown, Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, performs a checkup on Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy of Jim Foxworth, U.S. Army retiree, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015. The primary mission of the VTF is to provide care for 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, ensuring they are medically fit for duty - it also offers low-cost, high-quality veterinary care for household pets such as cats, dogs, birds and lizards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

Dr. Erin Brown, Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, administers a vaccine to Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy of Jim Foxworth, U.S. Army retiree, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015. Any household pet of Department of Defense identification card holders, whether active duty servicemembers, National Guardsmen, Reservists or retirees, can be seen at the facility for preventive medical care, such as vaccines, annual checkups or sick call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

Dr. Erin Brown, Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, administers a vaccine to Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy of Jim Foxworth, U.S. Army retiree, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015. Any household pet of Department of Defense identification card holders, whether active duty servicemembers, National Guardsmen, Reservists or retirees, can be seen at the facility for preventive medical care, such as vaccines, annual checkups or sick call. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy, receives deworming medication at the Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015.  The facility primarily provides medical care to the 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, ensuring they are medically fit for duty and preparing them for deployments, while also seeing more than 100 patients a month for a variety of preventive care or sick-call services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

Max, a golden retriever-poodle puppy, receives deworming medication at the Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 6, 2015. The facility primarily provides medical care to the 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, ensuring they are medically fit for duty and preparing them for deployments, while also seeing more than 100 patients a month for a variety of preventive care or sick-call services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker/Released)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- From annual examinations and vaccines to first-aid training for military working dog handlers, the Army and civilian veterinarians at the Ellsworth Veterinary Treatment Facility are dedicated to providing medical care for the base's MWDs.

When the work schedule permits and their primary mission requirements have been met, the VTF staff also provides services for military families and retirees who have pets.

"We contribute to the security of the base by providing medical care to the 28th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, ensure they are medically fit for duty, address emerging medical issues and prepare them for deployments," said Army Capt. Clinton Wayland, Ellsworth VTF officer in charge. "We also want people to know we are here and available to provide low-cost, high-quality care to animals."

In addition to medically caring for the MWDs, the facility provides preventive medical care such as annual checkups, vaccinations and sick-call services for animals who have anything from an ear infection to a stomach ache.

Active duty servicemembers, National Guardsmen, reservists and retirees have access to the services the treatment facility provides their furry or scaly friends.

"We also provide busy servicemembers with an affordable, low cost, local option for medical care for their pets, contributing to the health of our base pet population, and easing the financial burdens of our [servicemembers]," Wayland said. "We are also fully equipped for in-house lab work and to perform X-ray services."

Located behind the Women, Infant and Children office, the facility is equipped to serve more than 100 patients a month, with appointment availability ranging from same-day to the following week.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the veterinary treatment facility, call (605) 385-1589 or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/28fssVET.