Saipan Cares for Animals welcomes back volunteer veterinarian Jennifer Johnson, who will be on Saipan until April 12 at SCA’s new clinic on Middle Road across Shell Expressway.
SCA also announced the relocation of its temporary clinic on Middle Road on their Facebook page on March 5 and since then has been serving the community with longer hours at a more central location.
Johnson is from Washington state and was a volunteer veterinarian for SCA back in October 2018 before Super Typhoon Yutu hit. She was supposed to make her way back here in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic was unable to get back until just last April 3, Friday.
Back in Washington, she is a part-owner of a small animal practice, where they get mostly dogs and cats, but get the occasional rabbit, gerbil, and hamster as well.
As for what she does in SCA, “I do whatever they need me to do that they need a doctor for. So mostly spays and neuters and talking to pet owners about health problems with their pets and bigger surgeries if the timing works out,” Johnson said in an interview at the new SCA clinic.
Johnson heard about SCA online about five years ago when she and SCA director Beth Pliscou started communicating. Johnson and Pliscou hope to have her visit on a regular or annual basis to assist and help out with surgeries and assist the community with their pets.
“I would like to make it as regular as I can. At some point, I want to not work at my day practice anymore and maybe just travel and do this kind of stuff—work in underserved areas.
I’d like to help Beth and Yumi get stuff set up here so that maybe they can be a little bit less dependent on traveling doctors—some diagnostic stuff, like we’ve already set up the microscope, which we’re learning how to use and other stuff so that they can have more diagnostic capabilities to help people with pets. That would be one of my goals for being here,” Johnson said.
As for the new clinic, Pliscou said, “It’s worked out really, really good. We’ve also been able to increase our hours dramatically. …We’re open from 9am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday, and emergencies on Sunday. That has made the flow so much better. [Pet owners] don’t have to wait so long and it’s comfortable as it’s not smelly and all that. So this has been a really nice work environment—we’re really enjoying it.”
Pliscou said many of those who have been going to the clinic “really like it too. The staff is very comfortable. It’s working well. I’m happy.”
As for the SCA As Gonno shelter, it will be closed down at the end of April and 40 dogs will be relocated to the Mayor’s Dog Shelter until the new SCA shelter in As Lito is built. “I eventually want the shelter and the clinic at the same place,” Pliscou said.
The dogs at the SCA As Gonno shelter still need families to either adopt or foster them. According to SCA’s Facebook post, “These dogs are all adoptable dogs and ready to find their forever homes. Please adopt or foster! You can also help by donating any amount to SCA’s PayPal: @saipancares670.”
Their contact information are (670) 285-5448, for the As Gonno Shelter, (670) 488-2751, for the Middle Road Clinic, (670)285-5448 for emergencies, and (670) 488-2751, to schedule an appointment.