Animal Health Week is a national public awareness campaign organized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and hosted by veterinarians across Canada. Each year, during the first week of October, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals across Canada promote animal health and responsible animal ownership as part the of the Animal Health Week celebrations.

This year Prairie Animal Health in Weyburn is having an open house today to celebrate Animal Health Week with all of the funds raised going directly to charity.

"This year we're celebrating the five animal freedoms," said Kristin Caldwell, Chief of Veterinary Operations for the Prairie Animal Health Centre in Weyburn.

The five animal freedoms are as follows:

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst

-By providing access to fresh water and diet to maintain health and vigor.

2. Freedom from Discomfort

-By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease

-By prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior

-By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.

5. Freedom from Fear and Distress

-By ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

"This is our fifth annual Animal Health Week and it'll be full of lots of fun stuff. We have a barbecue, a bunch of little raffles going on, a bean bag toss, a fishing game, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a bake sale," told Caldwell.

Prairie Animal Open House 2

The open house has lots of fun planned, but the staff at Prairie Animal Health Centre are planning on educating people on proper animal care as well.

"We do have a bit of an educational component to the celebration of animal health week," added Caldwell. "We open our doors and have people come through the clinic to see behind the scenes of what it's like in a veterinary clinic and learn a little bit more about the proper veterinary care that animals should receive."

Caldwell said that their pony rides have always been a big hit with the kids.

"The pony rides are always lots of fun," said Caldwell. "The rider will be led around by one of our staff on a pony between three and seven. We'll also have a petting zoo with pigs, calves, horses, bunnies and a goat. It will be lots of fun and some hands-on experience for people that don't necessarily get to handle farm animals every day."

Prairie Animal Open House 3

All of the proceeds from the day will be going to Prairie Sky Dog Rescue who are based out of south-east Saskatchewan and have a location here in Weyburn.

"Prairie Sky Dog Rescue will be here during the open house to help us out as well," added Caldwell. "We actually have someone bringing in some bees. That will be really neat, we've never done that before. He'll be teaching us all about bees, honey and bee health as well."

And just in time for the open house, they just had their parking lot paved to make parking much more convenient for visitors today.

"For anyone that's come to Prairie Animal Health Centre after a rainy day, they know that it's not much fun. So we just got a cement parking pad done out front and we're planning on putting our barbecue right on there for the open house just to christen it's being finished in time for this event," told Caldwell.

They also have a coloring contest that can be found here. The winners for each age category will be chosen at the end of the month.

Prairie Animal Open House 4

The open house is today from 3 pm to 7 pm at Prairie Animal Health Centre in Weyburn which is located at 416 7 St W.

Prairie Animal Open House 5

So bring the whole family out for a fun-filled and educational day to celebrate animal health week.

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