After more than three years of having no constant veterinarian presence in Nome, a retired vet from Delaware has decided to come here on a regular basis to serve the dogs, cats and a few horses of Nome and the region.
The veterinarian is Gil Van Sciver and he most recently has treated pet patients in early to mid May. He plans to visit Nome on a monthly basis.
“I came here with the Iditarod,” Van Sciver told The Nome Nugget. “I retired from practice in Delaware and wanted to see Alaska.” Speaking with Iditarod head veterinarian Stu Nelson, Van Sciver became aware of the lack of a veterinarian in Nome. Sandra Rowe, owner of the Nome Animal House, a boarding, grooming and pet supply store, has long advocated for an itinerant veterinarian and took steps to prepare a room at her business to function as an examination and surgical space. Rowe applied for and received a small business grant from NSEDC to purchase equipment necessary for surgeries and anesthesia. She offered to host a veterinarian and assist. The Nome animal welfare group PAWS organized a few spay and neuter clinics with Alaska Rural Veterinarian Outreach.
Earlier this year, Dr. Denali Lovely of North Pole came to hold a clinic at the Animal House.
But what was missing was a constant vet presence that now seems to be in reach.
Van Sciver said he was encouraged that the nucleus of a vet practice exists already at the Animal House. After the Iditarod he stayed in Nome to volunteer for the Nome Kennel Club’s Nome-Council 200 sled dog race and once the event was over, he saw Nome animal patients that were on a long waiting list. Initially, Sandra Rowe was…
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