June 2018 Spotlight Practice
Wendy Whitelaw, CCRP
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Twelve years ago, Dr. Ron Buffman, one of the two practice owners of Lloyd Animal Medical Center (LAMC) in Stoughton, Massachusetts, adopted a young husky named Leah who accidentally tumbled out a third story window, breaking her back. After multiple surgeries and physical rehabilitation, Leah was able to walk again. Dr. Buffman was so pleased with his own dog's recovery he decided to build a facility to help improve the quality of life for his patients after injury, surgery, or those with geriatric concerns.
Soon, an 800 square-foot addition specifically for animal rehabilitation was built onto LAMC's already existing 7,500 square-foot veterinary hospital. Topped with an airy cathedral ceiling, the new space houses an underwater treadmill, heated swimming pool, and a workout area for therapeutic exercises and various treatment modalities. Veterinary technician Wendy Whitelaw not only became the first CCRP of the team but also created an animated business name for this innovative flagship facility.
"Animotion stands for animals in motion," said Whitelaw. "We held a contest, and staff and clients were involved in choosing a name. I submitted the name Animotion and ultimately that is what was chosen."
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Whitelaw's first case was a six-month-old Bearded Collie named Myles who suffered from bilateral hip dysplasia. "He had FHO surgery performed on both hips at the same time," said Whitelaw. "Myles is now 11-years-old and still doing well."
After celebrating many years of success, yet another addition was constructed in May 2017 to accommodate Animotion's continued growth — this time in the form of a 2,000 square-foot uniquely designed state-of-the-art building connected to the original Animotion facility. The new structure features cork flooring throughout and individual treatment rooms. There is one for therapeutic exercise, another for massage, ROM, class IV laser, therapeutic ultrasound and acupuncture, plus an office with multiple computer stations, a fully-stocked herbal medicine pharmacy nook, and a surgical suite specifically equipped for regenerative medicine procedures. The practice also now has its own reception area with hardwood flooring, vaulted ceiling and a huge wall of welcoming windows.
Animotion's mission to improve the health, mobility and overall well-being of pets is carried out by the dedication and commitment of their rehabilitation team consisting of two veterinarians — Kimberly Dinan, CCRP, and Suzanne Sutton, CCRT — and two additional CCRPs — Wendy Whitelaw and Lyn Garson — all supported by an extraordinarily talented and experienced group of rehabilitation technicians and assistants that include: April Rivers, Christina Campbell, Rebecca Otis, Leah Carlson, Christopher Meech, and Sharon Crump. The team is proud of the incredible number of positive outcomes that have been achieved over the years from the treatment provided.
While the majority of cases typically involve canines, the team helps to rehabilitate felines and other species as well.
"My most unusual case was a two-year-old guinea pig named Oreo who had fallen, fractured her spine, and was unable to walk," recalls Whitelaw. "We began exercises that focused on strengthening her hind legs and she came weekly to swim in the pool. After several months she made a full recovery and was walking again."
The Animotion team is also pleased to work with a number of rescue groups, shelters and a wide range of non-profit institutions, providing them services at significant fee reductions.
The legacy of Dr. Buffman's husky dog Leah lives on through Animotion — keeping animals in motion to live happier healthier lives, and enhance our own in infinite ways.
Article written by Lyn T. Garson, CVT, CCRP
1995 Washington Street
Stoughton, MA 02072