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Meet Wyalusing's "Doctor Doolittle"


By Kelly Cole

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. ~ Immanuel Kant

Some may already know who Dr. Lori Smith is at the Wyalusing Pet Clinic, she is the person you entrust to take care of your precious pet. For those who are not familiar, Smith has worked at the Wyalusing Pet Clinic since 2003. In January, she took over the reins from Dr. Joan Hudyncia and became owner of both the Wyalusing Pet and Towanda Creek clinics. Smith inherited a great set of clinics and is happy to still have Dr. Hudyncia on board to practice at both clinics.

Smith is from Southern California and after graduating high school she went on to study veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University. After graduating in 2000, she worked with a clinic in Poquoson, VA. This happens to be a small town on Virginia’s Peninsula and is quite comparable to Wyalusing.

Some may wonder how Smith would have ended up here to work at our clinic. Her husband, Chris, had lived here during his early childhood and there had been an opening at the clinic. They decided to move to the area and currently reside in Wyalusing with their two young children.

Smith has known since the age of 12 that taking care of animals is what her future would hold. She had made up her mind that year that she was ready to take care of a pet and not just any pet, but a duck. She was quite serious about this venture and took the time to research with a veterinarian what taking care of a duck entailed. She received a surprise when the vet took the time to send her a letter and shared his knowledge on what it would take to raise a duck and keep it happy and healthy. It left quite an impression on the young Smith and was the pivotal moment that made her want to grow up to be a vet. She would make it a point to take care of her patients and give them the time needed, much like the vet had taken with her about raising ducks.

Currently, the full-service clinic is open Monday through Thursday. Smith hopes to extend clinic hours in the future with the increase of clientele. The staff is able to provide wellness checkups, dentistry needs, lab work, general surgery, behavioral care and cremation services for your dog or cat and in some cases pocket pets (gerbils, hamsters, etc.). They also have an emergency system in place for those times when your pooch may have gotten a little too friendly with a porcupine or possibly ingested a diaper and you weren’t sure what to do. Dial the clinic number 570-746-6076 where you will be prompted on how to reach the on-call vet.

Smith would like to point out for those who own dogs that there has been a recent rise in the number of dogs who have been exposed to Lyme disease in Bradford County. Telling symptoms are fever and joint aches and can begin to show anywhere from 48 hours to weeks after a tick has been discovered. It is also good to remember that all ticks can carry Lyme disease and it is not just deer ticks. Also, ticks can be found year round here and do not hibernate or lay dormant as many may think. The Wyalusing Vet Clinic has K-9 Advantix, Frontline and Preventick collars you can purchase to help keep ticks at bay.

Smith has been busy working with the community and reducing the feral cat breeding as well as setting up clinics like the rabies one they held recently. She will continue to work on future community projects relating to veterinary care. Smith and the clinic staff will be participating in the Bradford County Humane Society's, Picnic with your Pooch, on Saturday, September 24 at the Grovedale Winery from noon to 4 p.m. They will be holding a microchip clinic and discussing preventative and wellness care for your animal. All proceeds they raise will go to the Humane Society. This is a great time to stop by their booth and meet the staff as well as come away with important information for the health of your pet. You can also call the Wyalusing Pet Clinic that is located just south of Wyalusing on Route 6 and schedule an appointment with one of the doctors. Besides Smith, you can meet with Joan Hudyncia, DVM, Michelle Kaleta, VMD and their newest member Jan Bartels, DVM. All will be able to provide your pet with caring service and answer your questions.

Dr. Smith is putting her patient, Fische, an English Mastiff, at ease during a checkup. Photo by Kely ColeDr. Smith is putting her patient, Fische, an English Mastiff, at ease during a checkup. Photo by Kely Cole

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