Donna Eliason was the manager of the Dog Training facility at Willow Creek Pet Center for 30 years. A retirement reception was held in her honor to recognize her hard work and dedication to Willow Creek.
When Dr Rick Campbell opened his first veterinary practice in 1983, he discovered that behavioral problems were far more deadly to dogs than medical problems. He found that the primary reason that dogs are surrendered and euthanized is lack of training, resulting in behavioral issues.
At that time, Dr Campbell partnered with dog trainer, MaryAnn Nortmann and Donna Eliason who was also a horse trainer. The three had a desire to help people with their dogs. They turned the barn out back of the facility into a dog training facility. Love, passion, hard work and determination to make the difference in the lives of as many problem dogs as possible inspired the primary mission of Willow Creek Pet Center’s dog training program. The goal was to give every owner the dog they have always wanted…one that is well behaved, well socialized and under control.
Donna has been instrumental in helping thousands of Utah dog owners train their dogs for competitions or just to be the good basic family pet. Donna has been in competitions for many years competing with Dobermans and Border Collies in obedience and agility. She has placed several dogs in the Top 20 in the nation.
We will certainly miss Donna and wish her well.
Willow Creek Pet Center’s Donation to the Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) “Paws on the Trolley” Gala helps in the training, screening and continued support of therapy animals helping others. The Mission of the ITA is enhancing quality of life through the human-animal bond.
ITA recruits, screens, trains and tests volunteers and their pets . Once registered and insured, the pets visit hospitals, nursing homes, special education and residential treatment facilities, schools, libraries, psychiatric facilities, prisons and detention centers. Some of the larger facilities include Primary Children’s Hospital, Shriner’s Hospital for children, the Utah State Prison and the Huntsman Cancer Hospital to just name a few.
It has been proven that the presence of an animal in a therapeutic setting motivates speech, movement and exercise as well as reinforces learning, stimulates the senses and facilitates counseling. Physiological and emotional benefits include lowered blood pressure and respiratory rates, decreased loneliness, comfort, feelings of trust, safety and self-esteem. An animal can be a source of unconditional acceptance and love. Pet-facilitated therapy is very effective with patients who often won’t interact well with people or respond to people.
With the help of donations, these services are free and make a huge difference in the lives of many.
We love our dogs and cats and they are usually happy to see us which is little wonder why many of us will spend whatever it takes to get them the best medical care possible.
Dalia Cole has a 13-year-old German Shepherd, Milo, who has a rare form of dysplasia that caused Milo’s hind legs to stop working. She started buying pet insurance for Milo when he was a healthy pup, but 2 years ago the dysplasia happened. Since then, Milo has had two ACL surgeries that has amounted to about $6000 and her insurance has covered a good part of that.
According to Dr. Rick Campbell “Pets are becoming an integral part of our entire life and bring so much companionship to everyone. When we first started in 1983, we had one pain medication you could use on dogs. Now we have all kinds of ways to address pain. We can diagnose so much better because we have things like digital X-rays. We use MRI. We have extensive blood testing in the clinic. So we can get answers in a heartbeat.”
Last year, Americans spent $15.4 billion on veterinary care, according to the American Pet Product Association. That’s nearly twice the $7.9 billion the country spent 13 years ago when Milo was a pup. Pets are now getting the MRI’s and ultrasounds, chemotherapy and increasingly difficult procedures that in turn push vet bills higher.
There are over a dozen pet insurers in the business now. The 3 biggest are Trupanion, Healthy Paws and Nationwide.
When comparing a 2 year old mixed breed dog and cat in the Salt Lake zip code:
At $612 a year plus a $200 deductible, Trupanion was most expensive. Healthy Paws was the least expensive at $339 a year with a $250 deductible. Premiums for cats averaged from 30-44% less.
Compared to costs without insurance, the American Pet Product Association found dog owners last year spent $551 in surgical visits and cat owners spent $398. Adding in the deductibles, the costs are cheaper than pet insurance.
According to Tobie Stanger, a senior editor with Consumer Reports, “it’s going to cost far less to insure a puppy or kitty than waiting until the pet is 5 or over. Breed is also a factor. Certain breeds are prone to certain illnesses and issues. Another factor is location. If Veterinary expenses are high in your area, that will impact the premium. We don’t recommend you get it if you want to cover routine physicals, that is better covered out of pocket.”
Dr. Campbell says where pet insurance really shines is during canine catastrophes-your dog or cat swallows a strange object, gets hit by a car or needs a tumor removed. These could amount to an expensive vet bill. According to Dr. Campbell “ Pretty much catastrophic events is what pet insurance is intended to cover. You’ve got no worries, it’s handled”.
Dalia Cole says without pet insurance, Milo wouldn’t be around to play. Cole says “At this point, as long as he’s happy and he’s showing excitement and eating and playing. It would be hard for me to let him go.”
With insurance you pay the vet bill and then your policy reimburses you-usually 80-90% of the procedures cost. Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. Mixed breeds are often cheaper to insure since purebreds are more likely to inherit hereditary conditions.
The best way to avoid costly medical bills is to take your pet in for regular checkups.
Willow Creek Pet Center’s Donation to the Sisters at the Carmelite Monastery during their Annual Carmelite Fair helps to cover expenses in running the Monastery in Holladay. The fair is the biggest fundraiser for the Nuns annually and includes a 5K run/walk, entertainment, food and live and silent auctions.
The Carmelite Nuns are a cloistered order of religious whose lives are dedicated to prayer for others, especially those in Utah. The ﬁrst monastery was founded in 1562 in Avila, Spain. The monasteries of nuns spread to France, then to Belgium and ﬁnally to America in Maryland in 1790.
The Sisters also spend their time baking and distributing the alter breads to the Diocese of Salt Lake City and to a few Churches in neighboring states besides producing the Carmelite Doll and prepare for their annual fair every year.
Willow Creek Pet Center’s Donation to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) event helps with the fundraising efforts to find better treatment options and ultimately, find a cure for the 4 million kids and adults living with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
Research is ongoing and more information is provided at
Willow Creek Pet Center is happy to join in for another summer round of “Yappy Hour.” Bring yourself and your pooch to the park for a fun evening after a long day at the office. Admission is FREE! There off-leash areas for your dogs to play and live music,
Rescue Rovers will be on site with adorable and adoptable dogs! Spread the word and come on down to the event in search of your new best friend!
Salt Lake County Animal Services will also be on site providing immunizations for your pet as well! Bring your dogs in and get them up to date on their vaccines.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site.
Please also join us for more Yappy Hours this summer
Thursday July 14th, Pioneer Park, 6-9pm
Tuesday August 16th, Liberty Park, 6-9pm
Wednesday Sept 7th, Pioneer Park, 5-8pm