Thanks to a recent donation, injured animals under the care of Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) won’t soon have to travel far for their diagnosis.
The animal rescue and rehabilitation organization in Merville recently received an x-ray machine, thanks to the Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay.
When MARS receives an injured animal in need of an X-ray, the animal is generally transported to a local vet within the Comox Valley or Campbell River.
“Having to transport it is very stressful on the animal,” explained Kiersten Shyian, assistant manager of wildlife rehabilitation for MARS.
Recently staff at the animal hospital originally offered the organization a processing machine. Shyian said they would take it with plans for future use.
Shortly afterward, Dr. Tom Van Dyck at the animal hospital offered the entire X-ray machine to MARS.
“It’s very exciting; it’s essentially (everything we need) except for the safety gear, which is lead gowns, gloves and things like that,” added Shyian, who, along with the manager of MARS, have experience operating X-ray machines.
Once it is set up, Van Dyck has offered to train staff on how to properly operate the machine.
Although the machine will not be operational for a few months, Shyian explained having X-ray capabilities on-site will make a huge difference for the animals and staff members.
“It will reduce our time significantly (with the injured animals) – it’s much better for our special patients, and it will allow our staff to have more time for the other patients as well.”
MARS is hoping to raise funds for an X-ray mechanic to set up the machine, along with money to purchase the safety equipment and a darkroom to process the film.
Donations to support the X-ray machine or to support MARS are being accepted via their website (marswildliferescue.com), by phone, mail or drop by the facility at 1331 Williams Beach Road.