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2006-06-14 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets...

by Joanne Anderson

Patricia Cornwell with Okey and the Cornell staff. Patricia Cornwell with Okey and the Cornell staff. "You can measure the civility of a society by the way it treats its animal," states Patricia Cornwell, the award winning author of so many mystery and crime novels such as Body Farm and Trace. Her latest book At Risk is the current "NY Times" #1 best seller. Ms. Cornwell champions animals in need, and last week on her 50th birthday, Cornell University Hospital for Animals at the College of Veterinary Medicine dedicated The Patricia Cornwell Intensive Care unit for Companion Animal. On June 9th a name plaque was installed to honor her gift of $1 million. The popular writer wanted her donation to be spent in a way that would benefit the most animals, and Cornell did just that.

A descendant of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cornwell has embraced personal causes including victims' support, historical research and forensic studies, but her fondness for pets, particularly Bulldogs, prompted her commitment to Cornell. Her pledge came as gratitude for the excellent care her beloved English Bulldog Booboo received from veterinary internist Dr. Richard Goldstein and his staff. She returned later with Okey, a rescued Bulldog. The author brought Okey and his new owner to the Ithaca campus for the best in medical care. Okey was found with one eye blinded and almost totally deaf due to neglect, but his treatment at Cornell helped to improve his quality of life. To date 6 of the author's pets have been to Cornell.

Kay, Shepherd/Malinois Kay, Shepherd/Malinois When people ask her why go to trouble for just one dog, Cornwell responds, "I believe you look at the life in front of you and do what you can. That's what they do at Cornell." Thanks to her generous gift, a wireless server was installed that beams MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and x-rays throughout the Companion Animal Hospital. Every second counts when an animal is in crisis. This state of the art technology allows the veterinary team to view and share the images more quickly, which in turn speeds up diagnosis and treatment. The server was intended for the approximately 17,000 pets seen annually at the Companion Animal Hospital but the new system is enriching other departments, like the equine hospital, too.

Cornwell's concern for animals is global. Prior to the Cornell project, she strove to preserve endangered species. A laboratory in North Florida at White Oaks Conservation Center, one of the world's premiere wildlife breeding, research, and training facilities, is named in her honor. Established in 1982 as part of Gilman International, the 500 acres of White Oaks provides conservation techniques that ensure genetic diversity in 60 threatened species, including 2 close relatives of the giraffethe okapi and the bongo.

Noz, the Westie mix Noz, the Westie mix Patricia Cornwell really knows how to celebrate a landmark birthday. For years the author's suspenseful insight into the criminal mind has brought her millions of readers, international acclaim and fortune. Her recent generosity, in honor of her own dogs, will sharpen the medical insight of Cornell clinicians so they can touch the lives of the thousands of animals "in front of them", and so many more beyond.

An abandoned dog or cat now at Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon would love to be #1 in your book. "Kay" is a thin Shepherd/ Malinois mix in Cage 89. How such a sweet dog could remain unclaimed is a mystery to us. Adorable "Noz", a 2 year old Westie mix in Cage 15, has the resourcefulness of a true Terrier. He knows how to negotiate his way over a 6 foot fence, and will need someone who will keep a close eye on him. See more photos on the shelter's Petfinder site. Just type in the zip code11704.

Cats: Last week's "Smudge Siblings" in the Cat Colonyyoung, comical, loving, and bonded to each other.

Male Dogs: "Geezer"in Cage 43the happy Lab/ Rottie; a black Husky mix with a deep wound from an imbedded collar in Cage 35; a Jack Russell in the Puppy Room; a big Retriever mix in Cage 1found at Target.

Female Dogs: "Lady"last week's Shepherd/ Tervuren in Cage 95found at Target with her buddy the big guy above; "Maggie" in Cage 91-a working girl, the current goose patrol Lab mix at Town parks.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter for your pet: Island Rescue in Bay Shore.

Pets of the Week

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