Westport's humane society gets new X-ray machine

Veterinary technician Emma Delgado, medical assistant Stefanie Bolduc and Mila the kitty learn about the new X-ray machine recently installed at the Connecticut Humane Society's Westport location.

Veterinary technician Emma Delgado, medical assistant Stefanie Bolduc and Mila the kitty learn about the new X-ray machine recently installed at the Connecticut Humane Society’s Westport location.

Photo by Bliss Kern, Courtesy of the Connecticut Humane Society

WESTPORT — When a pet is sick or hurt, it’s a scary time for both the animal and those caring for it. And the Westport branch of the Connecticut Humane Society has seen its share of ill animals, said Theresa Geary director of operations for the organization.

Not only does the humane society provide medical care for animals up for adoption, but it also provides some veterinary care at a reduced fee to pets whose owners might not be able to afford a traditional clinic. Sometimes, these animals need an X-ray, but until recently, the Westport branch of the humane society had no X-ray machine of its own.

Now the Westport branch has its own X-ray machine, thanks to a $53,000 grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a Torrington-based organization that aims at helping animals of all kinds.

Animals with suspected bone breaks and other issues would previously have needed to be taken either to a local clinic that had a relationship with humane society or to the humane society’s Fox Memorial Clinic. Geary said she was grateful for the access to the machine in Newington, but taking animals there could be stressful and prolonged the diagnosis.

“The faster you get a diagnosis, the faster the animal can be treated,” Geary said.

Geary said the new machine was purchased and installed a few weeks ago, and it has made a huge difference. She said the X-ray machine “can be used for all kinds of things,” and not just breaks or fractures.

For instance, Geary said, if an animal is vomiting or has a poor appetite, an X-ray might be needed to determine whether the animal has swallowed a foreign object.

Though humane society staff were happy to take animals to the Newington clinic when X-rays were needed, Geary said it’s been a relief to be able to streamline the process.

“Whatever is in (the animals’) best interest we’ll do, but if we can reduce stress — which having the X-ray machine will do — we want to do that,” she said.