Friday, December 15, 2017
Last Updated: Thursday, October 05, 2017
 

Belvoir Girl Scout’s project helps rehab canines


By Adrienne Anderson
Staff Writer

Seventeen-year-old Sarah Skelton, a high school senior and Juliette Girl Scout, wanted to help dogs who needed rehabilitation after surgery, so she built outdoor rehabilitation equipment for the Fort Belvoir Animal Veterinary Clinic. The equipment was shown off Friday, at the clinic.

“I’ve always been connected to animals and, for my bronze and silver award, which is the two projects below the Gold Award, I also worked with animals,” Sarah said.

The Gold Award is the Girl Scouts’ highest award. Less than 6 percent of Girl Scouts achieve the award, she said.

“I knew there was a need to come and help the service dogs with their rehabilitation. They are service dogs so they are out helping the country just like all of our Soldiers. So, it’s important to help them get back to their healthy selves,” she said.

The setup she created helps strengthen the dogs’ core and legs after surgery. The equipment includes stairs, canine cavaletti hurdles, wobble boards and skates.

“When Sarah came and approached us about the project, we were really excited,” Maj. James Coisman said. He helped show off how the dogs and staff would use the equipment to help with rehabilitation.

Coisman, clinical instructor and surgeon at the clinic, said he was happy to get Sarah’s help at the clinic. The clinic does orthopedic surgery, but didn’t have the equipment to help dogs with their rehabilitation afterward. However, with the help of Skelton, the equipment will jumpstart the clinic’s ability to do rehabilitation on post, instead of sending dogs elsewhere.

“I know the dogs will benefit greatly from it,” he said.

Sarah also said the project wouldn’t have been possible without the clinic staff and thanked them for their help.



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