200+ patients a day
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200+ patients a day

For 13 years he’s been caring for the most vulnerable animals in our region, and even on the hardest days, he leads through. Meet Matt Truesdale, HSLM’s lead Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).

With an average of 230-250 animals in the care of HSLM each day, the role of an RVT at HSLM is most certainly a busy one! Matt credits his fellow RVTs, along with volunteers and HSLM Animal Care Attendants (ACAs) who work hands-on with the pets everyday and develop such close relationships with them. Without the entire team, ensuring the health and wellness of so many would simply not be possible. 

A typical day in the life of lead RVT usually consists of immediately walking through the shelter to check on each of the animals. From there, administering medications, including antibiotics or insulin to pets who need it is done. Individual attention to injured and/or ill pets, attending meetings and connecting with various veterinarians to schedule appointments are the main focus of the rest of the day. At 1:00 pm the shelter opens to the public, so Matt or another HSLM RVT must also make themselves available to have discussions with potential adopters who are interested in pets who have medical conditions. This is very important as we want to be transparent in sharing this information and properly educate adopters about the care which these pets will require.

According to Matt, the greatest limitation of the current shelter is not having a veterinary clinic on-site. Having to take shelter pets to various veterinary clinics in the area for their exams, vaccinations and surgeries is incredibly time-consuming. This limitation is especially stressful for the Animal Health Team when there is an emergency situation with a shelter pet, as they must call around and find a vet who can fit them in right away. 

Other limitations include lack of space within the building and the current air-exchange system which is outdated and does not meet industry standards. Good air exchange systems provide a healthier environment for pets by helping to prevent airborne illnesses from spreading. 

The Companion Animal Hospital within Old Oak Animal Campus is what Matt is most looking forward to with the new facility, which will be located at 1414 Dundas St. Shelter pets will be able to receive all veterinary care right on-site rather than having to be transported back and forth. This will result in shelter pets receiving medical care in a more timely manner, ultimately allowing them to be available for adoption sooner. 

To make a donation to help Old Oak Animal Campus become a reality and in turn help so many shelter and community pets, click here.

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