Wellness Director Lindsay Rollend, DVM, Speaks Out on Expanding Services to Better Serve the Community
Article courtesy of Suncoast Pet
By Candance T. Botha
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What a difference a year makes!
Since Dr. Lindsay Rollend arrived in Bradenton to serve as the wellness director at the Humane Society of Manatee County Veterinary Clinic a little more than a year ago, she already has witnessed—and has been an important part of—a significant expansion of services that has enabled the veterinary clinic to better serve pet owners in Bradenton and surrounding communities.
When the veterinary clinic, located at 2415 14th Street West in Bradenton, first opened its new facility in September 2015, the focus primarily was on providing vaccinations and spay/neuter services.
Within the past year, however, the clinic has expanded to become a full-service veterinary clinic that provides high quality, low-to-moderate cost care, not only for spay/neuter services and vaccines, but also for wellness visits, treatment for sick and injured animals and an increasing number of surgical procedures.
Dr. Rollend is quick to explain that the low-to-moderate cost of care in no way compromises the quality of the services provided. She is, in fact, especially proud of the veterinary clinic’s consummate standards of care.
“We practice exceptional medicine here,” she says. “Just because we are low-to-moderate cost does not mean that our quality of care suffers. We have financial support in place through the Angel Fund at Humane Society of Manatee County, as well as funds from other benefactors, to help us offset the costs of the veterinary care we provide.”
Open to the public, the expansion of services at the veterinary clinic, in part, has been facilitated by the acquisition of a digital x-ray machine, coupled with the clinic staff’s ability to do full blood work on site.
“We are better positioned to diagnose a wide range of illnesses and injuries and also are focusing on performing more in-house surgeries,” Dr. Rollend says.
The ongoing expansion of services at the veterinary clinic also includes a newly introduced Walk-in Vaccine & Microchip Clinic that is held the second and fourth Saturday of every month, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary to take advantage of the convenience and affordability the Saturday clinics offer.
While Humane Society at Manatee County Veterinary Clinic always has offered heartworm testing and treatment, Dr. Rollend says that the recent transition to administering ProHeart 6, an injection that provides six months of heartworm disease prevention, has made significant strides in helping pet owners in the community.
“With ProHeart 6, owner compliance is easier; there is no need to remember—or purchase—monthly dosages,” Dr. Rollend comments. “Consequently, more pets are protected against a disease that can be exorbitantly expensive to treat.”
For Dr. Rollend, becoming the wellness director at Humane Society of Manatee County’s Veterinary Clinic has given her an opportunity to pursue what she is most passionate about: Education.
“Our job is to educate people about the health benefits of heartworm prevention, vaccinations and spaying and neutering their pets,” she says. “We cannot assume, for example, that everyone knows that heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. Instead we have to communicate directly with pet owners and provide signs, posters and other visual materials that help them make better decisions that promote the well-being of their pets.”
Dr. Rollend brings a wealth of experience in the veterinary field to her position as the veterinary clinic’s wellness director.
Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Rollend earned a bachelor of science degree from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in public health from University of Connecticut.
Although an animal lover from the time she was a young girl, Dr. Rollend did not consider a career in veterinary medicine until she was studying for her master’s degree, when she attended a conference lecture that addressed helping people by helping their animals. It was then she knew that she had found her calling.
The following year, she applied to veterinary school, earning her degree in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University.
With vast experience working at a variety of veterinary clinics through the years, Dr. Rollend most recently served as an associate veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital before being offered the position of wellness director at Humane Society of Manatee County Veterinary Clinic.
While the veterinary clinic’s ongoing expansion of services includes increased wellness visits, more surgeries and better diagnosis and treatment of sick and injured animals, Dr. Rollend says that the heart of the mission at Humane Society of Manatee County continues to be spaying and neutering dogs and cats to better control the pet population.
“There already are not enough homes for every cat, kitten, dog or puppy on the planet,” she says. “When we don’t manage the pet population by providing spay and neuter services, there is a snowball effect, and more dogs and cats become homeless, free roaming and flea ridden or they end up in shelters.
“With our focus on education and through our expansion of services, we are making a difference,” Dr. Rollend says. “We have incredible, caring people on our staff that love what they do and want to help people and their pets.
“This is a no-judgment zone; we are not here to judge you,” she continues. “We provide unparalleled care for all animals, no matter what their owners’ circumstances may be.”
“I truly feel that our entire organization—and everyone here at Humane Society of Manatee County—is helping people,” Dr. Rollend says. “And I cannot be me—or do what I do—without them.”