The dog smelled bad. and was really skinny. So when Pueblo of Laguna Animal Control Officer James Creager found him tied to the bumper of his official vehicle outside the Pueblo's August Animal Care Clinic, NAHS Head Veterinarian Dr. Tolani Francisco took charge. Noting immediately that the pup was exhausted and hungry, she brought him into the clinic where she checked him out, fed him, and gave him a place to rest. She also introduced the little guy to her dad, Eldon Francisco, and the two quickly became buddies. It wasn’t too long before Mr. Francisco, who has retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that has slowly taken his vision from him, asked Dr. Tolani if she could get the little stray healthy and train him so he could be his guide dog. Named Augustine, or Augie for short, this growing boy now has a family and an important job to do as Mr. Francisco’s right hand man.
Since November 2015, NAHS, the Pueblo of Laguna, and the AVMA have spay/neutered and provided quality veterinary care to nearly 700 cats and dogs at community clinics. Due to challenging economic conditions and the rural location of the Pueblo, many of these animals had never seen a veterinarian before. Collaborating with Pueblo of Laguna Animal Control Officers Duane Jose and James Creager, NAHS’ Dr. Tolani Francisco leads the team of top notch AVMA veterinarians including Dr. Kendall Houlihan, Dr. Nellie Goetz, Dr. Christa Lloyd, Dr. Scott Noe, and Dr. Carla Sands along with skilled veterinary technicians like Rachael Richardson, Laura Sparks, and Tommy Archuleta and other amazing volunteers like Curtis and Shirley Francisco and Jason Schlie in four-day veterinary clinics that serve community members and their pets at the Pueblo. Through this collaborative program, we support the Pueblo of Laguna’s goal of improving community health and safety by providing quality veterinary care on a regular basis to their community.
Special thanks to the Pueblo of Laguna tribal leadership and Department of Public Safety Director Jesse Orozco and Police Chief Harold Medina and AVMA Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer, Dr. Gail Golab!