Animal Referral Center Fox Valley keeps its Level 1 Certification

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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) -- The Animal Referral Center Fox Valley has been recertified as a Level 1 Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Facility.

It’s one of the facilities credited with saving Green Bay K9 Pyro’s life when he was stabbed on the job.

The Animal Referral Center has been certified as a Level 1 since 2014 and has to pass recertification every two years.

“We do emergency critical care, specialty medicine for any cases that would need a higher level of care than what our primary care veterinarians do in the area,” said Kris Eggleston,

hospital administrator. “We do blood transfusions, plasma transfusions, emergency surgeries that are kind of at a higher level.”

There’s a long list of requirements the hospital has to meet to be recertified.

“We are open 24/7 days a week, 365 days a year so each of our shifts have to have one doctor and two technicians that are on,” said Eggleston.

The center also has to have a minimum number of certified specialists on hand.

“Our certified specialists are in emergency, critical care, surgery, internal medicine, radiology, ophthalmology and dermatology,” said Eggleston.

One of their specialists even went to Green Bay to help Pyro.

“We sent one of our critical care specialists to meet Pyro when he was stabbed and then transferred him back here,” said Eggleston. “Being a level one facility and having to have those critical care doctors allowed us to have someone go off site, provide exceptional quality of care and stabilization efforts for him and bring him back here.”

If they don’t have Judy Freeman, a veterinary technician specialist in emergency/critical care, they wouldn’t make the cut either.

“Correct, it is one of our requirements,” said Freeman. “We are prepared to handle almost anything. Not to say that a normal vet couldn’t handle, but we have more advanced equipment and more advanced people as far as doctors and technicians to handle those problems.”

Some of the required pieces of equipment include a long-term ventilator, ultrasound machine and crash cart.

The center also needs to have a triage room, surgery area and a diagnostic lab with blood and plasma ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

“We have to have feline and canine,” said Eggleston.

Even the building has to meet requirements by having a backup generator to keep operations going during a power outage.

For Eggleston, it seems the checklist from the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society goes on and on.

“We have to have a number of rounds the doctors do, morbidity and mortality rounds, journal clubs and continuing education logs,” said Eggleston.

But it’s one where Eggleston said you don’t want to miss a thing because being a Level 1 Emergency and Critical Care Facility matters.

“It means our hospital is exceeding the minimal level of requirements to provide our community of pet lovers and families with top-notch quality care,” said Eggleston. “We are the only one of our type within a hundred mile radius of where the next one would be.”

“It keeps us at a higher level for the patients that come in because it’s not a patient coming in for vaccines and a wellness exam, it’s a patient that is coming in because they are emergent,” said Freeman.