Crucial role

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We, the undersigned, are members of the veterinary professional community of Southampton Town. We are writing in regard to Town Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst’s drastic proposal to abolish the Southampton Animal Shelter’s licensed veterinary technician position.

As veterinarians, we recognize the essential role a veterinary technician fulfills in attending to the daily medical needs of the patients in our hospitals. In the shelter, where there is no veterinarian on staff, the role of the veterinary technician becomes even more crucial.

It’s difficult to comprehend how the daily medical requirements of the approximately 200 dogs and cats at the shelter can be met by a veterinary technician who would only be on site one day a week.

Aside from the health and welfare issues, the cost to the taxpayer of outsourcing these animals in need of medical care to local, private animal hospitals should be given serious evaluation. Currently, the majority of patients are kept at the shelter under the competent and compassionate care of Wendy Altieri, the shelter’s licensed veterinary technician, at a significantly reduced cost. As veterinarians, there is no one else at the shelter—licensed or otherwise—for whom we feel more trust and respect.

We strongly urge the Town Board to reconsider this hastily conceived and ill-advised plan and reinstitute Wendy Altieri’s position at the shelter.

DR. CLAUDE GROSJEANOlde Towne Animal HospitalSouthamptonThe letter was also signed by the following: Dr. Emi Berger and Dr. Dawn Stelling, Olde Towne Animal Hospital, Southampton; Dr. Teresa Meekins and Dr. Justin Molnar, Shinnecock Animal Hospital, Hampton Bays; Dr. Diane Bucalo, Westhampton Beach Animal Hospital; Dr. Jonathan Turetsky, The Veterinary Clinic of East Hampton; Dr. Richard Rothman and Dr. Gal Vatash, East End Emergency Clinic, Riverhead; and Dr. Barry Browning, Sag Harbor Veterinary Clinic, Sag Harbor—Ed.

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