Visitors were streaming in all day last Friday to help Dr. Doug Magnowski celebrate 30 years as a veterinarian in Williams Lake.
People started dropping by the Animal Care Hospital of Williams Lake on Cattle Drive to say hello during the day.
Then at dinner time more than 100 friends, family, clients, colleagues and co-workers accepted the open invitation in the evening to attend a chicken and pork barbecue on the lawn beside the hospital.
Staff from his Animal Care Hospital of Quesnel were also there to wish him well.
Before the dinner Magnowski was presented with certificates of appreciation and recognition for exceptional veterinary care and devoted service from the City of Williams Lake, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Western Canadian Bovine Practitioners Association, and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.
Cards and presents were also received from his staff and colleagues and former university instructors.
One such present was a large chainsaw carving by Ken Sheen in the shape of a Canada goose named Honk.
Honk came into Magnowski’s care last December with a request from authorities to euthanize him because he is a wild goose that had been habituated to humans and could not be released back into the wild.
Magnowski explained that he couldn’t euthanize a perfectly healthy Canada goose so with permission from Fish and Wildlife, he kept the goose at the hospital until he could find a suitable, forever home for Honk.
He was happy to announce that evening that Honk can now be found living comfortably at the Vancouver Zoo.
“Just ask for Honk,” Magnowski said.
Later Magnowski told the Tribune that last year alone his staff treated 85 lost and injured animals that were in distress pro bono.
In the speech he gave to the gathering, Magnowski introduced his Williams Lake and Quesnel hospitals’ teams and said that he couldn’t provide the service he does alone.
In a town with a service region as large as Williams Lake and only two veterinary hospitals he said the job can be demanding requiring long hours away from home.
He now has a very international staff of veterinarians. Dr. Amy Jordan is originally from Ontario and was trained in Scotland. Dr. Bianca Scheidt is from Germany. Dr. Jenny Thompson is from California and grew up in Edgewood. Dr. Anne Meier, is his most recent veterinarian recruit who moved to Canada from France just two months ago. Another veterinarian, Anna Ree will be joining the team at the hospital in August.
The staffing teams at Quesnel and Williams Lake animal hospitals also includes receptionists and veterinary technicians.
For Magnowski’s full story look for a copy of the Tribune’s annual Casual Country edition coming out next week .