Jennifer Malone: Vet goes the extra mile to provide creature comforts
NEW HAMPTON — Jennifer Malone of New Hampton, an associate veterinarian at the Northern Lakes Veterinary Hospital in Ashland, loves helping animals and has made it her life’s work.
She holds a particular interest in helping old animals that are too sick to be helped by traditional medicine and needles, as their internal organs sometimes can’t take medicinal injections.
Her answer: Bigger needles. She has become expert in animal acupuncture, which allows older animals to live longer, happier lives.
“We had to do something differently. We had animals with sore backs and bone injuries, but their bodies couldn’t take it anymore, so we were putting a lot of old dogs to sleep unnecessarily,” she said.
Her volunteer work is an exciting part of her work. Each of the past three summers, for five days, she has worked as a field veterinarian for the Rural Area Vet Services, a program through the Humane Society of the United States that provides no cost spays, neuters, and veterinary care to the Native American reservations throughout the Midwest.
It can be a grueling five days of work helping animals on reservations, she said, with few human creature comforts, as she and 29 other veterinarians, 10 of whom are student veterinarians, travel in a truck to help dogs, cats, and other animals that otherwise might not survive.
“These people have dogs and cats and other animals that are ailing,” she said. “They want to take care of them but they don’t have a way to do it, or the money to help them. So we do our best.”
Malone has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of New Hampshire and a doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College.
The biggest problem facing the state, she says, is helping young people stay in school and helping them find options for college.
“Our biggest challenge is keeping young people focused and interested in education while providing viable financial options to continue their education after high school, all while giving them worthwhile alternatives to experimentation with alcohol and drugs,” she said.
Her favorite place in New Hampshire is “the top of any mountain, especially Mount Major and Mount Eisenhower.”