For the volunteers at the 15th Skippy Dietz Memorial Rabies Vaccination Clinic, it was a bittersweet day on Saturday when they held the event in memory of Sandi Dietz, the founder of the event. The event was held at the Lake Harmony Ambulance building.
Dietz had put all her energy into the event for 14 years. She passed away Nov. 2, 2008 and the event was not held last year, but this year Gene Getz, volunteer and board member of Lake Harmony Ambulance, put the event back together with the help of several volunteers.
Getz realizes that when Dietz held the rabies clinic, more than 600 animals were vaccinated. Saturday's total was about 160 dogs and cats, but Getz said that sometimes when there is a break in attendance when holding an event due to lost momentum.
Dr. Cheryl Lagana was upbeat as she vaccinated the animals.
"When it was busier, the time went faster," she noted.
The vaccination given was good for one year. For the vaccine to remain effective for the animals, the vaccination must be repeated again next.
While Sandi Dietz's presense was sorely missed by the crew, the atmosphere inside the ambulance building was upbeat and hopeful that they can continue the event next year and see attendance grow.
Dietz had been bitten by a dog at one of the clinics, which had only fueled her desire to hold clinics. At that time, there was no proof the dog was vaccinated and Dietz had undergone the series of vaccinations to prevent rabies in humans.
Getz said "We did this one for her."