Dr Rod Brooks was a veterinarian at Lort Smith in the 1980’s. It was his first job out of university and it was ‘all encompassing’.
Dealing with whatever cases came in, Dr Brooks recalls there would often be only one vet consulting and another in surgery each day.
“Working with senior veterinarian Dr Carrado Cimati was memorable. He was quite an amazing vet and mentor for young vets, and very much a character!” shares Dr Brooks.
Dr Brooks enjoyed the variety of cases he saw each shift, and being able to help disadvantaged people by charging less than private clinics.
The hardest component of his job, something that every vet would agree with, was having to euthanise animals. Back then it was a much larger number. Thankfully, times have changed – Lort Smith’s philosophy now is to never euthanise an animal that is capable of being rehomed.
“The most unusual animal I ever saw was a great big python, owned by an exotic dancer! He was my first snake and he was brought in because he wasn’t eating,” laughs Dr Brooks.
Dr Brooks believes the importance of the human-animal bond has grown stronger over time. “Where previously pets mostly lived outdoors, now they are very much an integral part of the family make-up,” he says.
“Lort Smith turning 85 years old and opening up a second site in Campbellfield demonstrates the need there is in the community for the services that the organisation offers, and the amazing things done over years.”
“People should support Lort Smith because it provides services that are subsidised for people who otherwise couldn’t receive treatment. It provides much better care for animals where people may not take them to the vet,” explains Dr Brooks.
Fun fact: Dr Rod’s mentor – Senior Veterinarian, Dr Cimati, originally from Italy, resided in the flat above Lort Smith’s original hospital (pictured) with his family. This building still exists today and is used by Lort Smith’s administrative staff.