Community Outreach


An Abandoned Injured Pup Gets A Second Chance To Live

When Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association took steps in early 2008 to create Massachusetts Medical Association Charities, Inc., it forged into new territory in conjunction with Massachusetts veterinarians and animal control departments throughout the state. The new 501 (c)3 organization serves as an extension of the MVMA’s commitment to volunteerism and working towards a common good in our communities.  Wignall Animal Hospital (Dracut, MA) recently had just that kind of opportunity when its staff collaborated with Lowell Animal Control Officer, Bill Potter, to provide extensive surgical and medical services to a severely injured stray dog.  The strong relationship between Lowell Animal Control and Wignall is evidenced on a daily basis: the hospital houses over 400 stray, lost and abandoned dogs and cats each year as part of its dedication to animal control programs in Lowell, Dracut and Tewksbury, Massachusetts.  Although it is not unusual for hospital staff and animal control officers to handle injured or sick stray pets and wildlife, the case of “Scooter” tugged at the heartstrings of Officer Potter and he wanted to help.

For this special patient, this was truly a second chance to live. Officer Potter had registered the Lowell Animal Control Department with MVMA Charities earlier in 2011 and knew Lowell Animal Control could tap into the MVMA organization’s generous allocation to the city’s animal control department.  Although the MVMA Charities program only reimburses veterinarians for 80% of their fees, Wignall Animal Hospital eagerly accepted the opportunity to treat its new patient with the understanding that the remaining 20% of its fees would be considered the hospital’s donation to the patient’s care.

“Scooter”, a 4 year old, apricot colored, intact male Cockapoo was found and transported by a Good Samaritan mid-July 2011 to Wignall Animal Hospital.  He was diagnosed during an emergency after hours examination by Wignall DVM, Alison Detelich, and found to have a comminuted fracture of the left femur. The hope was that it could be repaired to save the leg and avoid an amputation.  Radiography to solidify the diagnosis and pre-surgical blood work to confirm the patient was a good surgical candidate were administered.  Orthopedic surgeon, David Abdinoor, DVM and Dr. Detelich performed  the surgical repair including stabilizing with cerclage wires, retrograded pins and a Kirschner-Ehmer apparatus to complete the procedure.  At the same time, they also completed a canine castration.  Post-surgical radiography 2 weeks later confirmed all internal devices were stable and “Scooter” was recovering well,  therefore he was transported to the MSPCA for adoption to a new family.  A great outcome for all concerned.

Annual Blessing of the Animals, Dracut, MA 2011


St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), a man of great faith, spent his life traveling throughout Europe, preaching to the lost, the last and the least likely; he was known to speak and sing to animals of all shapes and sizes. Because of his love for all that God creates, it has become a tradition to conduct yearly services for the Blessing of the Animals, in honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. On Sunday, October 2, 2011, Christ Church United (10 Arlington Street, Dracut) will hold its annual free non-denominational Blessing of the Animals Service at 12:00 Noon.

The church will accept clean, gently used blankets and towels, as well as dog and cat food which will be donated to the Lowell Humane Society.  Anyone from an animal adoption agency is welcome to bring animals that need a home and to give a brief talk about the work of their agency.  Call Rev. Sylvia Robinson at 978-459-2022 to be included in the program.

Adults and children alike are welcome to bring their pets –fluffy, scaly, winged, or hairy-to be blessed. For more information about the Blessing of the Animals visit the links below and view video from services in other parts of the United States.


First Presbyterian Church, Eau Claire, WI. National Shrine of St Franciscis of Assisi San Francisco, CA Interfaith Blessing of the Animals Long Beach, CA
Sacred Heart Catholic Church Tampa, FL St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Benicia, CA Blessing of Animals
Church Christ United Blessing of the Animals



Residents “In the Dog House” at Dracut Old Home Day


Great weather welcomed the 2011 Dracut Old Home Day, Saturday, September 10th, at the Dracut High School campus, Lakeview Avenue, Dracut.  The annual outdoor, rain-or-shine community event hosts everything from the Dracut Fire Department to local politicians to local crafts people and businesses. Featuring hot dogs, burgers, lemonade, kettle corn and fried dough, the event draws thousands of locals looking for a fun,  family event where kids are king! The Wignall Animal Hospital booth was no exception!  The hospital staff were there in full Wignall attire providing free face painting and balloon animals to kids of all ages; creating  unique personalized magnets with  photos taken in the “Wignall Dog House” photo booth; and distributing free bags of dog treats to dog owners.  Always willing to answer challenging pet questions or give guidance on the latest flea or tick infestation, the staff met hundreds of children and adults at Dracut Old Home Day for the last of the summertime fun.

Other highlights of this year’s booth were two border collies belonging to dog trainer, Dave Cameron, of Cameron Canine Consulting (Dracut, MA) who were living, breathing examples of the best in well behaved dogs.   The dogs, Fenris and Shaw, later entertained and wowed spectators with an agility course demonstration.   Truly talented trainer (Dave) and dogs!  Also in the booth for ooo’s and ahhh’s was Herman, the skink (lizard), who impressed hundreds of visitors with his calm demeanor, likability and willingness to be pet.  HUNDREDS of times!

We are already planning our booth for Dracut Old Home Day 2012, where there will be new surprises! Mark your calendar for next September and be sure to come see us.

Pelham Girl Scout Blankets Pet Patients with Love

Dracut MA. June 29, 2011

If you ever meet Katherine Ferullo, a 10 year old Pelham Junior Girl Scout in Pelham Troop #10886, you will discover a young lady who embodies the Girl Scout Bronze Award she recently received. This is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can achieve; awards for older Girl Scout age groups are the Silver Award and Gold Award, which parallel the Eagle Scout Award for Boy Scouts.  The Bronze Award requires the scout to take on a community project, an adventure, which will change or enhance her community.  The project requires a great deal of planning, approval by an adult advisor, attention to all of the project details from start to finish and a great deal of independent execution.

Katherine chose Wignall Animal Hospital patients as her target community group.  What inspired the 10 year old to plan and create blankets for our hospital patients?  She and her family have adopted several pets from local shelters and rescues.  Katherine noted that the rescued pets did not have the luxury of nice bedding and she decided that she wanted to make life a little better for pets staying in the hospital.  Perhaps it was the hope that, should her pets need hospitalization at Wignall someday, they might be afforded some extra special hospital bedding to comfort them and lift their spirits.  With donated fabric, she planned out her blankets to be different sizes, colors and textures. Some have bright stripes; some are cozy soft.  She cut and machine sewed them all-20 total-and presented them to Wignall Animal Hospital today. 

We are thrilled to accept such a kind, thoughtful and wonderful gift to our patients.  Katherine will have a special place in our hearts for her kindness.  She is pictured to the right with some of the Wignall Medical Staff: Veterinary Technicians Bonnie, Anne-Marie, Holly, Sarah; Veterinary Technician Supervisor, Bonnie and veterinarian, Dr. Tamara Pikulik.



Wignall Heroines and Angels Strike Again…

Dracut, MA. Saturday, June 18, 2011

What could have been a regular old day at Wignall Animal Hospital– and at any wedding scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2011– turned out to be nothing but that !  A Camp Wignall boarder, Guinness,  a 2 year old Old English Bulldog, was sad to miss his dad’s wedding that day, but Guinness had no idea what was in store for him other than being a little home sick.  Thanks to quick action by Wignall Staff, Guiness’s life was saved Saturday!  When Wignall Animal Hospital Brusher-Bather, Holly, took Guinness from his camp kennel run to be groomed Saturday, she attentively noticed that he didn’t seem well and  immediately brought him to be evaluated by our  Senior Veterinary Technician, Erin. Assisted by Veterinary Technicians, Sarah and Michelle, they immediately went into action under the supervision of Dr. Pikulik, with emergency first aid.  Dr. Pikulik examined him and saw signs of severe respiratory distress.  Guinness’s breed is prone to respiratory issues and initial assessment was that the stress of being away from home may have triggered Guinness’s respiratory episode.  After administering oxygen, intravenous fluids and medication– and a lot of TLC– it was decided that Guinness needed 24 hour emergency care and was referred to a 24 hour emergency hospital. His dad was contacted-with only 2 hours and counting until  his “I do’s”-and  he agreed for Guinness to go to the 24 hour facility. Receptionist, Ann, used the phone to its maximum potential, persevering to get a referral completed for Guinness, making multiple phone calls and persisting until she was able to arrange the emergency referral.  While Guinness’s dad was at the alter, Michelle and Sarah transported Guinness to the 24 hour hospital, calming him, driving carefully-but expeditiously-and safely delivered him there. We hear from Guinness’s dad that he is doing just fine (dad AND patient!) , is home–and, yes, his dad DID get married as planned!  Very nice work all and special Kudos to Ann, Erin, Dr. Pikulik and Holly; and Extra Special Kudos to Michelle and Sarah for providing emergency transport-all are Guinness’s Wignall Angels.

It feels like a Zoo around here

Dracut, MA. May 24, 2011

Wignall Animal Hospital has been the “host” of many different species lately including an unusual type of boa constrictor, a lizard, some baby geese and baby raccoons. The mature snake and lizard, both of which are illegal in Massachusetts, were secured by the Department of Fish and Game; however the raccoon and goose babies still need the T.L.C. only a mom can provide.

The geese were found by a good Samaritan as they were parading along a street in Dracut.  Once the babies were delivered to Wignall Animal Hospital, it was realized by Candas Kane, Wignall Animal Hospital Patient Coordinator, that the goslings might belong to a mother goose in her neighborhood. The goslings were safely returned to their mom today!

The baby raccoons were discovered in a college fraternity house in Waltham, MA by a local pest control company.  Caught in have-a-heart traps, the babies became separated from their mom and were brought to Wignall Animal Hospital.  Upon evaluation at the hospital, they were found to be in good health and have been taken into the care of a wildlife rehabilitation group, Rascals Rescue. The babies are pictured below with Nancy, of Rascals Rescue, who took them today to begin their transition back to the wild.



Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic Part of Dracut After School Program

March 24, 2011

Brookside Elementary School, Dracut, MA.


Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic recently participated in “The Animal Club” in Dracut.  Dr. Nancy Kopec and Veterinary Technician, Bonnie Merrill, were featured speakers at the animal-lovers after school program. The Animal Club provides an educational outlet for children at the Brookside Elementary School in Dracut, one afternoon each week. As the program name indicates, the club was developed for children with a strong interest in animals, animal care and perhaps even some aspiring future veterinarians!  The program leaders, parents Joanne Kelley and Erin Mosher, reached out to animal care professionals in Dracut and Wignall responded by providing 2 of the 4 speakers for the program.

Dr. Kopec is the full time veterinary at the Wignall satellite clinic, Lowell Veterinary Clinic.  She spoke to the club members about basic pet health and provided them with some fun, educational hands-on activities to help them learn about the differences between species.  She also taught them some key facts about different animal systems, such as the eye, heart and ear.  Sending each child home with a “teaching stethoscope” in their Wignall Goody Bags was a big hit with all participants.

Veterinary Technician, Bonnie Merrill, was the other featured speaker at The Animal Club. As a Veterinary Technician, also referred to as a Veterinary Nurse, Bonnie is one of the senior staff at Wignall Animal Hospital.  Her presentation to the club members focused on emergencies, basic pet first aid and information about all kinds of pets, from snakes to rabbits.  She was flooded with a stream of questions and enthusiasm!  Wignall provided each child and his/her parent with a basic Pet First Aid Kit to keep handy at home or in the family car for travel with pets. The Animal Club members are now well on their way to become animal information resources for their families!


Wignall Animal Hospital Donates Oxygen Masks For Rescued Pets

Wignall Animal Hospital proudly donated 8 animal oxygen masks to the Dracut Fire Department recently. The masks received local press approximately 2 years ago when Main Street Animal Hospital, Salem, New Hampshire, donated masks to the Salem Fire Department as their Santa Sunday project that year. At the time, the masks were not highly used locally, however Wignall Animal Hospital Practice Manager, Patricia Mancini, recently learned from Deputy Chief Mike Ralls, (also a Wignall client and seen at the hospital for fire inspections and hospital staff emergency training), that Dracut Fire Department was a regular user of the masks. When hospital owner, David McGrath, DVM, learned that Dracut’s fire fighters would welcome more masks, the hospital jumped in and offered to purchase more for the department. The hospital donated 2 large dog masks, 2 medium dog masks, 2 large cat masks (also useable for small dogs) and 2 medium cat masks. The hope was that pets rescued from fires in the Wignall Community would never go without this valuable fire rescue aid.



Thanks to quick action by two Wignall Animal Hospital staff, Amy and Christine, a frightened, trapped squirrel was rescued today and appeared to be unharmed by the ordeal.  An employee from Tom’s Garage (next door to the hospital), came to Wignall for help when he discovered a squirrel trapped in a gutter on the garage roof. He was also concerned because the squirrel’s paw was caught in the gutter downspout and the squirrel was chewing on the paw in an obvious effort to free him/herself.  Amy quickly called Dracut Animal Control, but Animal Control Officer, Virginia Courtenay, was quite a distance away, across town on the other side of Dracut. Amy and Christine headed to Tom’s, found there was no ladder available, Officer Courtenay arrived and called the Dracut Fire Department for help. Using a rabies pole, a firefighter climbed up to the roof to wrangle the squirrel, while Amy and Christine waited on the ground-a 5 foot mesh rescue net outstretched to catch the critter in case he/she fell/leapt off the roof in their direction. The firefighter pried the gutter/paw loose; the squirrel went flying off the roof and into the nearby woods, leaving Amy and Christine squirrel-less below.  Although the squirrel did express any formal gratitude for freedom, we believe that the leap off the roof certainly expressed appreciation to the rescuers!

2010 Santa Sunday Recipient

After many delays due to our stormy winter in early 2011, Broken Tail Rescue and Wignall Animal Hospital were finally able to meet for the official presentation2010 Santa Sunday of the Santa Sunday 2010 Award to Broken Tail Rescue. Three months ago, in December 2010, the Wignall Animal Hospital annual Santa Sunday event championed the rescue as the 2010 Santa Sunday Recipient. Each year, the Wignall Staff choose the recipient of the 3 month long fundraising effort. The staff considers the pet rescue contributions of local charitable organizations serving the stray, unwanted pets in the greater Dracut-Lowell community.   Patricia Mancini, Practice Manager at Wignall Animal Hospital, presented the $4,677.00 check to Joy Chambers, Executive Director of Broken Tail Rescue, Inc.  The 2010 award was the largest in the history of the annual charity event held at the hospital, thanks to the generosity of Wignall and Lowell Veterinary Clinic staff, clients, local merchants and local residents who supported the event. The rescue also received a commemorative plaque acknowledging the honor.

Santa Sunday 2010 – Thank You!

Together we raised $4,677.00 for Broken Tail Rescue.  Thank you for your generosity!!!

The Staff at Wignall Animal Hospital would like to thank the following people, companies and non-profit organizations for helping to make our Santa Sunday successful:

Alesia TheriaultAndrea Harding Bull-E GearAnton’s CleanersBarbara CuevroBertucci’sButler Animal Health SupplyCameron ConsultingSue BurgessCedardale Health and Fitness

Charles Riverboat Company

Checkered Flag Indoor Carting

Cassista Chiropractic

Dawn Houle

Davis Mega Maze

Decordova Museum

Dick’s Beantown Comedy Vault

Dracut House of Pizza

Edaville Railroad

Envy Hair Salon

Erin Shaughnessy

Essex River Cruises and Charter

G+G Quick Bite

Gravity Fitness

Gooddales Bike Shop

Hannaford Dracut

Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

Historic New England

House of Seven Gables

Improv Asylum

Institute of Contemporary Art

Isabella Stew Museum

JFK Library/Museum

Jenn Jean

Jillian’s Boston

Kim Malinosky

Lazer CrazeLo Kai RestaurantMama’s RestaurantMark Feigenbaum/Winchester FinancialMargarita’s RestaurantMedieval ManorMelissa DowMerialMerrimack Repertory Theatre

Mill City Tanning

NorthEast Pet Supply

Nashoba Valley Ski Area

New England Aquarium

Novartis Animal Health US, Inc.

Owen and Ollie’s

Old Sturbridge Village

Peabody Essex Museum

Pfizer Animal Health



Romano’s Pizza

Royal Hair Design

Sailing Excursions

Sallie Rood

Seacoast Science Center

Sign Effects

Lori Silver/Lia Sophia

Six Flags

Steamship Authority

Sugar Coated Bakery

Tailored Cakes and Desserts

TD Bank

The Top Half

Tim Brooks – Brooks Delivery

Village Inn

Zoo New England


Get into the Christmas Spirit by visiting the Methuen Festival of Trees, located at Valley Office Park, 13 Branch Street, Methuen, MA. The festival opens on November 20th and features a dramatic display of over 200 fully decorated Christmas Trees and wreaths.  On display-and available for bidding in the 2010 Festival of Trees Auction-is a Wignall Animal Hospital / Main Street Animal Hospital / Have A Heart Animal Hospital Christmas Tree.  Expertly adorned with hand painted paw print ornaments, hand made edible dog bone ornaments and gift certificates to the three hospitals, the winner of this beautiful and bountiful tree will be delighted!  Special thanks to Laurie Lacharite, Have A Heart Animal Hospital Office Manager, and Donna Pirolli, Main Street Animal Hospital Practice Manager, and their staff for the planning and decorating of this stunning specimen of the season.  For more information about the 2010 Methuen Festival of Trees, including the festival hours and the online auction, visit

Project Helping Hands

Once again, Wignall Animal Hospital is a food drive drop off location for the 17th Annual Dracut House of Pizza Project Helping Hands Thanksgiving Food Drive for needy local families. Wignall Animal Hospital invites employees, clients and Dracut/Lowell residents to contribute non-perishable food items which will enable hundreds of local families to enjoy good, healthy meals.  In 2009, the food drive fed 1,230 families for the Thanksgiving holiday. The goal this year is to feed 1,500 families!  Food donations may be dropped off inside the hospital during normal business hours: M/W/F 8am-8pm; T/Th: 7am-6pm; Sat. 8am-4pm and Sun. 9am-3pm.

Please lend your helping hands to make this holiday season joyous for us all.


DRACUT, MA  9/2/10

Seven infant kittens, 3 males and 4 females, some striped, some fluffy grey and some black, were found at an abandoned home in Lowell, MA on Thursday, September 2nd.  When the home was under a bank-ordered clean out Thursday, the Lowell Animal Control Department was contacted to rescue the seven kittens.  Approximately 2-3 weeks old, the tiny kittens clung to dear life as Lowell Animal Control Officer, Rob Picard, rescued them and carefully transported them to Wignall Animal Hospital.  Dr. Kate Thomas examined and evaluated each kitten, assessing medical condition and any necessary medical treatment. While in overall good physical condition, all the kittens had fleas, appeared to have intestinal parasites and slight upper respiratory infections, all of which are easily treatable.  Thanks to Pets In Need Rescue, Dracut and Wignall Animal Hospital, who will provide medical care to the kittens, they will be nursed back to health and then placed into new “forever homes”.


DRACUT, MA 9/2/10

Five juvenile squirrels found in Lowell, MA Thursday, September 2nd, were curiously entangled with each other at the tails and covered with tree sap which adhered them to each other in an unusual pile.  They appeared to have struggled vehemently to get free of each other, because their tails were knotted together in actual knots and the tails were further attached to each other by the sticky glue of tree sap that must have been in their nest.  Their age is estimated at approximately two months, an age at which they would still be living in their “home” nest, however no adult squirrels were found at the rescue location when Lowell Animal Control Officer, Rob Picard, rescued them today.

Unable to untangle the squirrels at the scene, Officer Picard transported them to Wignall Animal Hospital for evaluation.  Veterinary Technician Supervisor, Bonnie  Begin, who has a special interest in wildlife, immediately jumped into action to free the squirrels.  Officer Picard, Ms. Begin and other veterinary staff-with over 30 years of experience between them– had never seen this happen to squirrels before.  Barely identifiable as individual animals, the squirrel tails were literally knotted and tied to each other like ropes and covered with the sap which cemented the tail hair and underlying tissue together.  The squirrels seemed to be exhausted by their apparent ordeal and allowed the Wignall Team to work on them without any resistance. The knots were so tightly wound that Ms. Begin and other veterinary team members had to work diligently for over 30 minutes to ease the tails free with some gentle shaving, massage, soap, water and alcohol to break the sticky seal of the tree sap.

Once freed, the squirrels were placed in warm clean bedding to begin recuperating and remained  huddled together for the next few hours.  Amidst all the detanglement activity, Wignall Patient Coordinator, Candas Kane, quickly began making phone calls to local wildlife rehabilitators to find a more suitable environment for the squirrels to be rehabilitated from their injuries.  Although minor injuries,  a wildlife sanctuary environment would be best to enable the young squirrels to make the proper developmental transition into adult life.  The squirrels safely left Wignall today en route to their new temporary rehab. home until they can be released into the wild.

Animal Hospitals Collectively Add Their Voice to Speak Out Against Bullying.

What do you get when you cross a rescue bull terrier with an apparel company and an animal hospital?  You get a partnership that wants to take a bite out of the bullying epidemic.   Several animal hospitals owned by veterinarian David J. McGrath are now selling shirts designed by anti bull-e gear, an apparel line that designs casual clothes — like tee shirts, sweatpants and hoodies — to give children a voice to speak out against bullying.  The company’s logo is an 80-pound Bull Terrier named Homer who is a patient of one of Dr. McGrath’s hospitals outside of Boston.

Homer, the Bull Terrier, is a rescued dog.  He is owned by one of Dr. McGrath’s Practice Managers who along with her sister created anti bull-e gear clothing line to provide a venue to children to express their feelings about bullying. Homer’s likeness is a perfect face for the clothing line’s logo because his breed is fondly and commonly referred to as “bullies.”  Yet, the breed is known for its loyalty and friendly disposition.  Dr. McGrath who owns Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut, MA, Main Street Animal Hospital in Salem, NH and Have A Heart Animal Hospital in Haverhill, MA offers these shirts for sale because he supports the mission of anti bull-e gear.  That mission is very straightforward:  Bullying is never acceptable.  The company believes that buyers of the clothing add their voice to this position and help to keep the issue in the forefront in an effort to address the epidemic.  The compassionate nature of the animal hospitals is a perfect marriage with the clothing line.  The hospital staff is accustomed to working with dogs whose barks are worse than their bite. Now the partnership hopes to take the bite out of bullying’s bark.

Dracut-Lowell Area Veterinary Hospitals Rally

to Help Local Shelter Pets in Need

Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic joins national movement to donate lifesaving medicine to benefit area dogs and cats in need

DRACUT, MA AUGUST 1, 2010 - Pet shelters in MA are seeing an increase in the thousands of cats and dogs entering shelters each year due to the economic recession. In response, Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic have partnered with more than 2,000 veterinary clinics nationwide to provide heartworm and intestinal parasite medication to shelter and rescue dogs and cats.

The program, dubbed Give Interceptor® Give Back, provides Interceptor® (milbemycin oxime) Flavor Tabs® to participating veterinary hospitals which, in turn, make the donation to any local pet shelter or rescue group of the hospital’s choosing. Nationwide, the program will ultimately deliver 167,900 doses to dogs and cats in need.

Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic chose to support Northeast Animal Shelter, Salem, MA because of its commitment to help local animals. “We know the importance of heartworm and parasite prevention,” said Dr. David McGrath, at Wignall Animal Hospital. “Because of our involvement, today, more animals are healthy and more are ready for adoption.”

Through the program, Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic have pledged enough medicine for Northeast Animal Shelter to keep 279 dogs and cats protected from the most common and dangerous internal parasites.

Interceptor Flavor Tabs prevents heartworm disease, which can be deadly to dogs and cats, but also controls roundworms, hookworms and whipworms in dogs and roundworms and hookworms in cats. Through the end of 2010, every qualifying purchase automatically generates a donation, making it easy for pet owners to treat their own pet while helping pets in need in the surrounding community.


Dogs and cats should be tested for heartworm prior to use. In a small percentage of treated dogs, digestive and neurologic side effects may occur. In cats, safety studies up to 10 times the label dose did not detect any adverse drug reactions. For full production information, go to or call 1-800-332-2761.

Wag-A-Pawlooza Saturday, May 22, 2010

Visit Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic at WAG-A-PAWLOOZA!

Bring your dogs, children, family, friends and neighbors to this wonderful community event supporting the Lowell Dog Park and Lowell Unleashed, the community organization that supports the dog park.  What a great way to be outside having some fun with your dog(s) and make a contribution to this needed addition to the Lowell community.  Come see us at our booth, visit with our staff, see pet care demonstrations and more.  For additional information about Wag-A-Pawlooza and Lowell Unleashed, visit


Wignall Animal Hospital, Lowell Veterinary Clinic and Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. have partnered to help support the local animal shelter, Northeast Animal Shelter, Salem, MA.  Through an innovative program, Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. will donate one dose of Interceptor® (milbemycin oxime) Flavor Tabs® to the shelter, at no cost to the shelter.  The Interceptor dose will be donated whenever a Wignall Animal Hospital or Lowell Veterinary Clinic client purchases a 12 Pack of Interceptor for his/her pet.   Because parasites can attack pets any time of the year, it is recommended that dogs and cats receive year round protection.   This includes shelter pets waiting to be adopted. Interceptor is a beef-flavored chewable tab (no beef contents) that dogs and cats take very easily because of its taste!

If you would like to help this well deserving shelter-which has helped over 100 Lowell/Dracut stray dogs find new homes and second chances-buy your pet’s Interceptor 12 Pack during March and April!  Your 12 Pack purchase will automatically help Northeast Animal Shelter protect its shelter “residents” get the same parasite protection as your pet.

Thank you in advance for supporting this fantastic program sponsored by Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic.

Santa Sunday 2009 a HUGE Success!

Thanks to the generosity of our clients, friends, employees and local community businesses, Wignall Animal Hospital was able to raise a record $3,512.12!  The donations accumulated from the sales of raffle tickets (our largest raffle ever with 67 raffle items!), Santa Sunday Photos with Santa Claus and “Paws for a Cause”; in addition, we had a very special and generous donation from an anonymous client – all of which enabled us to exceed our $3500 goal. Thank you to everyone who participated and for all the Christmas Cheer you spread by doing so. Extra Special Thanks go out to Santa for his special guest appearance and, of course, NATURAL EXPRESSIONS PHOTOGRAPHY of Dracut, for their extremely generous donation of their professional photography services.

2009 Santa Sunday Recipients



Northeast Animal Shelter

 Lowell Humane Society

We would also like to thank the following businesses and individuals who generously donated items for our Santa Sunday Raffle.  Without your participation, we would not have been able to offer such a wide range of raffle items which was a key to our raffle’s success this year. On behalf of the 2009 Santa Sunday Recipients – Lowell Humane Society, Northeast Animal Shelter and Pets In Need – THANK YOU!

  • Alesia Theriault
  • Amesbury Sports Park
  • Cassista Chiropractor
  • Davis Mega Maze
  • Donna Behrens
  • Dracut House of Pizza
  • Edaville Railroad
  • Edible Arrangements
  • G+G Quick Bite
  • Erin Shaughnessy
  • Gravity Fitness
  • Hickory Hill Landscaping
  • House of Seven Gables
  • JFK Library/Museum
  • Larz Anderson Auto Museum
  • Lori Silver
  • Linda Farley
  • Mark Feigenbaum/Winchester Financial
  • Margarita’s Restaurant
  • Mary Kay
  • Melissa Dow
  • More Than Hair Day Spa
  • Nashoba Valley Ski Area
  • Northeast Pet Center
  • Phillips House in Salem MA
  • Prothesia’s Unusual Things
  • Romano’s Pizza
  • Royal Hair Design
  • Sign Effects
  • Six Flags New England
  • Story Land
  • Subway Dracut
  • USS Constitution Museum
  • Zoo New England Franklin Park/ Stone Zoo
  • Wignall Animal Hospital
  • Hills Pet Products
  • Pfizer Animal Health
  • Brooks Delivery
  • Envy Hair Salon
  • Cameron Consulting
  • Dave Cameron
  • Tailored Cakes & Deserts/JoAnn Lavallee
  • Merial Animal Health


Pet Adoption / Environmental Awareness Faire

All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 10 Billerica Road, Chelmsford

SATURDAY OCTOBER 3, 11:00am- 3:00pm

Featuring Wignall Animal Hospital

Come and explore pet care, adoption options, environmental awareness and energy conservation.LIVE DEMONSTRATIONS, FREE RAFFLES AT THE WIGNALL BOOTH!

Eucharist Serivce with Blessing of Animals

All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 10 Billerica Road, Chelmsford


All Saints’ welcomes animals on leashes, in carriers or held securely in their owner’s arms.  Participants are asked to register at 9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall, so certificates may be issued in the name of each animal. Weather permitting, pets and owners will walk in procession on the church grounds to enter the sanctuary through the front entrance. Pets will receive individual blessings during the service. A pet-friendly coffee hour will follow the service.


Wignall and Pelham High School Winners of Gold Circle Award

Second Year for Award!

In recognition of its exemplary educational partnership again during the 2008-2009 academic year, which was made possible through the collaborative efforts of school and community, The Gold Circle School Partnership Award will be bestowed upon Wignall Animal Hospital and Pelham High School, Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

The award recognizes the contributions of Wignall Animal Hospital through its Veterinary Internship Program with Pelham High School, Pelham, NH.  The internship enables interested Pelham High School students to see veterinary medicine first hand for an entire school year.  Wignall Technician Supervisor, Bonnie Begin is the liaison at Wignall and acts as a mentor and coach to the student interns. In the 2008-2009 school year, two Pelham High School Student Interns were part of this program under the tutelage of Bonnie and the Wignall Veterinary Technicians.  Wignall Animal Hospital and Bonnie are honored to participate in the program and receive such a prestigious award.

Annual Blessing of the Animals, Dracut, MA

St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), a man of great faith, spent his life traveling throughout Europe, preaching to the lost, the last and the least likely; he was known to speak and sing to animals of all shapes and sizes. Because of his love for all that God creates, it has become a tradition to conduct yearly services for the Blessing of the Animals, in honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. On Saturday, October 11, 2009, Christ Church United (109 Arlington Street, Dracut) will hold its annual free non-denominational Blessing of the Animals Service.

The church will accept clean, gently used blankets and towels, as well as dog and cat food which will be donated to the Lowell Humane Society.  Anyone from an animal adoption agency is welcome to bring animals that need a home and to give a brief talk about the work of their agency.  Call Rev. Sylvia Robinson to be included in the program.

Adults and children alike are welcome to bring their pets –fluffy, scaly, winged, or hairy-to be blessed. For more information about the Blessing of the Animals visit the website and view video from services in other parts of the United States.


Dracut K-9 Unit, “Mason”, dies unexpectedly

By Dennis Shaughnessey,

Updated: 07/15/2009 04:53:39 PM EDT

DRACUT — Officer William Bailey knew Saturday night that something was wrong with his partner.

“He was lethargic,” Bailey said. “He was trying to play with the kids, but he wasn’t himself.”

On Sunday morning, Mason, a 4-year-old scent-discriminating German shepherd that joined the Dracut police force in 2006, was having trouble breathing and walking. Bailey called Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut and reached an attendant just after 8 a.m., an hour before the hospital opened. more…

Guiding Eyes for the Blind: Thank You Lowell Veterinary Clinic!

I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for agreeing to care for Harmony, being raised by Don and Marilyn Webster for Guiding Eyes for the blind in your area. We are so grateful for your time and generosity!

Guiding Eyes for the Blind was founded in 1954 to enable blind and visually impaired people to achieve greater independence and freedom through mobility and dignity with the assistance of a trained guide dog.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind places puppies in volunteer puppy-raising homes for approximately one and one half years. We are fortunate to have more than 500 puppy-raising families from Maine to North Carolina participating in the puppy raising program.

Although the cost of preparing a blind person and guide dog for their new life together is upwards of $40,000, there is no charge to the students. Guiding Eyes for the Blind is a not for profit organization and does not receive government funding, we depend solely on individual, corporate, and foundation support.

Conscientious veterinarians, such as yourself, who donate veterinary expenses incurred by a pup in need, help us to achieve our important mission in supplying healthy, intelligent, and the highest quality guide dogs to visually impaired individuals.

Thank you very much for your support to Guiding Eyes for the Blind!


Carol Buchanan – Volunteer Regional Team Leader

Wignall Veterinarian Visits Stoklosa School

Dr. Tamara Pikulik was a guest speaker at Stoklosa Middle School, 560 Broadway Street, Lowell on June 5, 2009.  As a veterinarian participating in the Stoklosa Middle School Career Day, she spoke to the middle school students about the training and skills required to be a successful veterinarian; the everyday challenges handling patients that can only communicate with their behavior; the typical day of a veterinarian and what kinds of patients she sees at the hospital. Wignall Animal Hospital is unusual because the patient population includes pets other than dogs and cats, encompassing birds, reptiles, hamsters, rats and mice, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, gerbils and rabbits.  The students were also provided with a question and answer period to learn more about the life and training of a veterinarian.

Middlesex Community College, Lowell, MA:  April 8, 2009

Wignall Animal Hospital Veterinary Technicians, Kristina Lavoie and Deb Fitzpatrick, reached out to the Lowell community on April 8, 2009 by teaching a pet care class to a group of mentally challenged adults.  The program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation and  held at Middlesex Community College, Lowell, focuses on various aspects of adult independent living skills. Each week a different topic/class is presented by members of the greater Lowell community.  Kristina and Deb presented “Basic Pet Care” to the class in the hope of helping them learn about the responsibilities and joys of pet ownership.  Covering topics ranging from “How to Trim Nails” to “Is Pet Therapy For Real”, they provided valuable and helpful information that many pet owners are missing. The students loved it!

Wignall Veterinarian Visits Local Schools For Dental Health Education, February and March 2009

Dr. Tamara Pikulik, Wignall Animal Hospital Chief of Staff, visited some local schools and daycare centers to celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month and National Children’s Dental Health Month. Showing young children the importance of good dental home care for their own teeth, as well as the teeth of their pets, was the focus of the school visit program which was devleoped by Dr. Pikulik and Patricia Mancini, Wignall Practice Manager. The children, ranging in age from 3 to 6, were educated and entertained by live story reading and a canine tooth brushing session for Dunner, Ms. Mancini’s dog. Dunner provided the “wow factor” because children were able to see real live canine teeth up close and see how easy it is brush a dog’s teeth. Of course they also were able to give Dunner lots of pets preceded by instruction on meeting and greeting new pets. Wignall was honored with a hand made book of the childrens’ drawings and photos depicting the visit which was presented by staff from Lowell Day Nursery. A story written by the children and more photos are also on display at the hospital.

Too Cute, Doggone It!

By David Pevear,

Posted: 02/17/2009 10:30:01 AM EST

DRACUT — Once an animal-control officer drops off a stray dog at Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut, a grim clock starts ticking.

Hospital staff has 10 days to find the dog’s owner, find the dog a new home or make that decision every dog-lover dreads.

“This is a healing facility,” said Patricia Mancini, the hospital’s manager. “To be put in the position of having to end an animal’s life is traumatic. We try to take solace in that at least here the animal is loved and not killed by somebody out of cruelty, or not dying on the street. But it’s very difficult on our staff. It takes a toll.”

Nearly 400 dogs picked up each year by animal-control officers in Lowell and Dracut wind up at Wignall. Nearly half are happily claimed by their owners. If a dog is not claimed within five days, though, the staff knows the dreaded decision of the 10th day is certainly coming.

Some animals are unadoptable because of behavioral or medical issues and must be put down. Others are in need of only love. But this 10,000-square foot animal hospital, which also includes a boarding facility and dog day care, has not the space and resources to house them all.

Staff members, their soft hearts further softened by each case, often break down and bring home a sad-case animal. “In fact, it’s become a joke that it’s an initiation for new staff members,” says Mancini.

Being unable to take them all home can be unbearable. As day 10 approaches, Jolene Landry, the hospital’s kennel manager, sends out e-mails searching for shelters with space. One of those e-mails last year resulted in Wignall Animal Hospital forging a relationship with the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, which Mancini says so far has saved almost 100 dogs from the Lowell area that probably otherwise would have been euthanized.

Laurie McCannon, the development director at Northeast, drives to Wignall in a van each week. On one trip, she returned to Salem with eight dogs after driving to Dracut to rescue four. The Wignall staff kept pleading, “Take this one, too!”

“They all have a personal thing with each dog,” says McCannon. “They’re kissing them goodbye and putting them in the van.”

Northeast is a no-kill shelter.

McCannon laughs, recalling the first dog she came to rescue at Wignall.

“Strangest-looking dog I ever saw,” she says. “Short-legged. Basset-hound body. Big head. Scruffy and tan. Big underbite. I said, ‘Oh my God, what is this thing?’”

Strange as the dog named Stohli looked, it was cute enough to be adopted from Northeast within three days.

Last August, the staff at Wignall convinced McCannon to take a big old black lab with a graying muzzle that had been abandoned in Lowell and faced being put down. The dog named “Riley” would lie quietly under McCannon’s desk but bark in his cage when potential adopters arrived. He was adopted last September by a Somerville woman who saw his picture on the Northeast Animal Shelter Web site.

Wignall Hospital owner Dr. David McGrath and Mancini recently presented Northeast Animal Shelter with a check for $3,009, raised during Wignall’s annual Santa Sunday photo event in December.

“Northeast Animal Shelter has been a fantastic partner,” says Mancini. “They have made a huge impact on the outcome of the animal kingdom in Lowell. Animal-lovers in our community are fortunate.”


Thursday, February 5, 2009 Northeast Animal Shelter, Salem, MA was honored with a commemorative Santa Sunday 2008 plaque and a check for $3009. All donations collected for Santa Sunday 2008 were donated directly to Northeast Animal Shelter in recognition of their commitment and dedication to the animal community. The shelter has been instrumental in finding new homes for approximately 50% of the adoptable stray and abandoned dogs in the greater Dracut/Lowell area during 2008.

Approximately 400 dogs from these communities are processed by local Animal Control Officers each year-only 50% are ever claimed, leaving the rest to be euthanized unless Wignall Staff and shelter/rescue organizations can find new homes for them. Santa Sunday is an annual charitable event provided by Wignall Animal Hospital and all donations go directly to the animal organization chosen at the honoree each year.

Santa Sunday 2008 a GREAT Success

Thanks to our Wignall/Lowell Vet Clinic clients and community members, approximately 200 photos with Santa, hundreds of raffle tickets and “Paws for a Cause” were sold on Santa Sunday to benefit Northeast Animal Shelter on Sunday, December 7th at Wignall Animal Hospital. The tremendous community response to such a deserving organization was heartwarming to the shelter staff and volunteers attending Santa Sunday. Attendees were serenaded by professional carolers, including our own Dr. Laura Leanza. They harmonized beautiful Christmas and holiday songs throughout the afternoon, entertaining old and young alike. Treats for people and pets abounded, including home made dog biscuits baked by our Kennel Technician, Alexina, and there were lots of free toys and other goodies for pets to take home. The festive atmosphere was, of course, highlighted by the presence of Santa Claus, tirelessly posing with every pet or person, some costumed, some not; some providing licks and wags, some providing a list of hoped-for-gifts! Our staff were ever-present to ensure that every guest had a fantastic time until every single visit with Santa was completed.

Thank You For Helping Us Reach Our Goal of $3000.00

You can still donate by purchasing “Paws” for $1 each, available through 12/31/08 at Wignall Animal Hospital, and 100% of the donations will go to Northeast Animal Shelter. Watch the website for the final total and Thank You again for all your generous and kind support of such a deserving animal shelter. We will post the actual presentation of the donations to Northeast Animal Shelter and you will see their name honored on a new plaque that will be hung in the waiting room at Wignall Animal Hospital in January 2009.

For more information about Northeast Animal Shelter or to adopt one of their fantastic pets up for adoption, visit their website at


Animal Rescue League of Boston / Wignall Animal Hospital Partner to Help Local Strays


Wignall Animal Hospital, Lowell Veterinary Clinic and the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) have partnered to provide the very best medical care possible to ARL shelter pets in foster care in the Greater Dracut/Lowell area. ARL has adoption centers in Brewster, Dedham and Boston, MA and provides temporary homes through its foster care program; as well as permanent homes through adoptions. ”The Animal Rescue League is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment, and neglect. Since 1899 we have advocated the philosophy of our founder, Anna Harris Smith, that ”Kindness Uplifts the World. The Animal Rescue League of Boston will be a leader among animal welfare organizations in providing rescue and law enforcement services and promoting a compassionate and responsible attitude towards all living beings. The Animal Rescue League of Boston envisions a day when all pets are cherished, and animals are no longer threatened with abandonment, neglect, abuse, exploitation, or extinction. ” For more information about the Animal Rescue League of Boston, contact them at 617-426-9170 or

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Partnership Announced

Wignall Animal Hospital and Lowell Veterinary Clinic are proud to partner with Guiding Eyes for The Blind, by providing veterinary care to Guiding Eyes dogs residing in the greater Lowell/Dracut area. Guiding Eyes for the Blind was founded in 1954 to offer visually impaired people “the gift of greater personal freedom, independence and dignity by providing them with the finest bred and trained guide dogs in the world.” Anyone interested in being a ‘puppy raiser: for Guiding Eyes for the Blind should contact the organization at or 1-866-432-5227.

Pets In Need – Dracut, MA


Pets In Need is a small Dracut no-kill dog and cat adoption program run privately by volunteers who have joined together since 1999 to save the unwanted and abandoned animals who have come across their path. Although Pets In Need is not 501c, it is run like a non-profit organization. All donations and adoption fees go directly to the animals. As a strictly no-kill rescue, the volunteers including Wignall Animal Hospital Staff, work tirelessly to find homes for adoptable dogs and cats Extensive fundraising effort is required on a year round basis and you will see Pets In Need at community events such as Wag-a-Pawlooza and Pet Rock Festival. As a shelter less rescue, Pets In Need depends on donations of space and veterinary care, such as at Wignall Animal Hospital. Foster homes are always needed due to space limitations and a home environment is the best living situation for pets awaiting adoption. For more information on volunteering for Pets In Need, participating in their fostering program or making a donation, contact Pets In Need at or 978-459-8700


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