Burbank Community Makes Animal Shelter X-ray Machine a Reality

By On March 2, 2012

Jeannette Dease, RVT with Fluffy; Harriet Howe, DVM; Leah Greer, DVM with Punch; Rosie LoBruto Donor Brenda Castaneda, Shelter Superintendent and Denise Fleck, President of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter with X-ray Machine.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The staff and volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter were delighted to unveil their first-ever X-ray machine at the facility this week. According to VBAS President Denise Fleck, “It took a year’s effort of fundraising, inspections, revamps to the Shelter including plumbing for the processor and electrical hook-up for the actual unit, lead aprons, radiation badges and all the necessary tools as well as establishing a fund for on-going expenses, but we are thrilled to have the equipment in place improving the quality of care we are able to give our dogs, cats and rabbits.”

Efforts kicked off in early 2011 with a Grant given by VCA Charities for the cause. Media attention brought other donors including former Burbank Animal Shelter Kennel Attendant Rosie LoBruto and her husband Ed Tucker. “Having an x-ray machine at the Shelter was always my dream,” shared LoBruto. “I always felt bad for animals that had come into the shelter injured to then have to be transported to another facility for an x-ray.”

Harriet Howe, DVM; Leah Greer, DVM with Punch; with new X-ray Machine. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank residents Bob and Janice Casazza Piatak contributed in memory of a Norwegian Elkhound named Max they had long-before adopted from the Shelter. “We know what a difference [the X-ray machine] can make to the health of the injured animals that are brought to the Shelter. We are familiar with the great service Dr. Small started with the Veterinary [program] on site that continues today,” Janice explained.

Others who deserve ‘four paws up’ for their contributors include long-time supporter and co-host of the Burbank Channel’s “Adopt a Pet” Show Janice Lowers; Joe Maynard and The Feline Conservation Center, Alicia Garcia and Victor Medical; Warner Bros. Studio Facilities as well as the countless individuals who transported items, lent a helping hand or contributed the dollars that made it possible to help the animals.

In the short time the machine has been in place…

• Amelia, a young black & tortoise-shell feline in the VBAS’ kitten foster program was x-rayed every few hours to see if an obstruction was moving along. Through use of this

The processor for the new x-ray machine had to be placed nearby where there was running water. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

imaging, RVT Jeannette Dease and the Shelter Veterinarians (Drs. Greer & Howe) wereable to view the progress of the object and avoid unnecessary invasive surgery.

• A one-year-old Lab/Sharpei arrived unable to bear weight on her rear leg. If this was a dislocation, doctors had only a short window in which to re-set the joint and probably not within the time frame of sending her elsewhere for imaging. Thanks to the on-site machine, the dog was x-rayed at the Shelter and immediately placed on pain medications.No surgery was needed and she has since been adopted!

• The extent of injury showed the need to amputate a Jack Russell/Chihuahua’s leg.  Unlike us humans, dogs don’t carry the baggage of being different with three legs, andPunch is now a healthy boy full of life anxiously waiting to be adopted.

• A Labrador Retriever was diagnosed with bladder stones while a nine-years-young cat was found not to have suspected abdominal masses after imaging. Both were immediately place on special diets and avoided invasive treatment because the Burbank Animal Shelter’s Medical Team could take “a look inside” via x-rays!

The Burbank Community working together to help the animals…It is a PAWSively wonderful thing!

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