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Thank you, vet techs!
Thank you, vet techs!
vet tech julie clouded leopard stretch
Vet tech Julie Lemon assists at a clouded leopard procedure.

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 16-22, and we’re celebrating our wonderful veterinary technicians with a virtual thank-you card. Keepers, curators and veterinarians all weighed in to thank our superhero vet techs Julie Lemon and Sara Dunleavy for all they do to care for animals and help staff: prepping for procedures, monitoring animal vitals and taking samples, working with keepers to help animals take part in their own health care, giving treatments, endless administrative support and generally being awesome.

“Our veterinary technicians, Julie and Sara, perform a vast array of duties and the veterinary hospital could not function without them. In a single a day they can be assisting in the pharmacy, the laboratory, in radiology and helping with anesthesia and surgery, as well as treating animals and maintaining the hospital. They have their own unique skill sets and personalities that complement each other really well. We are so grateful for what each of them brings to the job and consider ourselves very lucky to have such dedicated and hard-working veterinary nurses as team members.

vet team and red wolf pup
Vet tech Sara Dunleavy, left, with assistant curator Jennifer Donovan and veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf, examining a red wolf pup.

Thank you, Julie and Sara, for all that you do every single day, from the more mundane but necessary hospital stocking and upkeeping, to your incredible phlebotomy skills. You are appreciated and your many skills are valued!”
– Dr. Karen Wolf, head veterinarian, and Dr. Kadie Anderson, associate veterinarian

“I love our vet techs! Julie and Sara have wonderful bedside manners and always treat animals and keepers with compassion. I appreciate how they stay focused and calm, even in stressful situations. I also appreciate their cheerful attitudes and feel so fortunate to work with them both.”
– Suzanne Akerman, staff biologist, Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater

vet tech giving fish laser therapy
Julie Lemon, right, gives laser therapy to a fish, assisted by aquarists.

“Our vet techs are amazing! Whether it is helping with a puffer fish exam or getting in the water to draw blood from a 300lb nurse shark, Sarah and Julie are professional and organized, and display intense caring for the animals under their professional care.”
– Heidi Wilken, dive safety officer, aquariums

“From laser therapy and blood draws to prescription filling and fecal testing, and from lemur dental cleaning to meerkat cancer treatments, Julie and Sara help us provide the most optimal care for the many animal species in Kids’ Zone. We are ever-grateful for you and your amazing skills. Every day is an adventure!”
– Jenn Donovan, assistant curator, Kids’ Zone

“Julie and Sara are both amazing people and are excellent at their jobs. Both individuals are integral to the way the zoo functions and to the direct care of all our animals. Watching them during a procedure you can see the true nature of where they shine. They are prepared, observant and helpful and can almost predict the needs of the veterinarians. I am very thankful for both Julie and Sara! Thanks for everything you do for the animals and the keepers!”
– Lisa Ranck, staff biologist, Kids’ Zone

vet tech sara gives light therapy to penguin
Vet tech Sara Dunleavy gives laser therapy to a penguin.

“Thank you Julie and Sara for all of your hard work and dedication! From miraculous laser sessions on tapir feet to last minute prescription fills, you guys are literal life savers!”
– Sam Clark, staff biologist, Asian Forest Sanctuary

“Julie and Sara are the perfect yin and yang in our healthcare department, contrasting and complementing each other’s skills and interests. The vet techs prep all medical supplies needed for exams and procedures, fill and distribute all the medications for the animals, and have serious blood draw skills! As amazing as our vets are, their success is certainly due to the support they receive from the techs.”
– Natalie Davis, curator of land animals

“Julie and Sara, thank you for being so wonderful and always making sure our animals get their medications – even when we ask at the last minute!”
– Margaret Jones, staff biologist, Elephant Barn

“Sara: It’s been absolutely great to have you here at the zoo. Thanks for taking care of us and the critters.
Julie: Thanks for always helping us meet the needs of our critters, wherever and however they are.”
– Steven Ok, staff biologist, Kids’ Zone

“Julie and Sara really make the world go round in our area. Anything we need from medications to help training, they are always there willing to get us what we need so that we can take care of the animals. We could not do what we do every day without these ladies! I would like to say, ‘Thank you for helping us provide the best care possible for these animals! You two are the best!’”
– Sheriden Ploof, assistant curator, Rocky Shores

“Thank you for all you do, Julie and Sara. I appreciate you!”
– Adrienne Umpstead, staff biologist, Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater

Veterinary technician Julie Lemon assists during a sea otter procedure.