East New Market Vet celebrates 12th anniversary

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz Cabin Creek Animal Hospital in East New Market celebrated its 12th anniversary with a ribbon cutting. Dr. Donna Flaggs, hospital owner and veterinarian, did the honors.

Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Cabin Creek Animal Hospital in East New Market celebrated its 12th anniversary with a ribbon cutting. Dr. Donna Flaggs, hospital owner and veterinarian, did the honors.

EAST NEW MARKET — And the winner of “Miss Personality” at the Cabin Creek Animal Hospital’s 12th anniversary gala and ribbon cutting was (drum roll, please) – Fiona! This energetic 2-year-old pit bull lass never met anyone – four-footed or two – she didn’t like. And, she’s up for adoption at Baywater Animal Rescue.

Cabin Creek’s owner, veterinarian Dr. Donna Flaggs, invited her human clients to bring her canine clients to the party. And they came. All sizes. All colors. All breeds. All ages.

Dr. Flaggs, a diminutive, energetic marathoner and Blues aficionado, said, “I love to throw parties.” The purpose of this party was twofold: First, she wanted to celebrate 12 years of serving the needs of north county pet owners. She explains, “When I first moved to East New Market I was a relief vet and drove all over the shore. Then I started thinking maybe I should look into building an animal hospital. So I did the research, put a business plan together and on a wing and a prayer was able to open the practice.”

With an architect, a bank, and a business plan she opened the doors. “I had six medical records on my shelf. I didn’t know if it would fly which is why I didn’t have the ribbon cutting 12 years ago. But now we’re doing so well. It’s a great little practice.”

The party was also held to celebrate the realization of a dream. For many years Dr. Flaggs has sought a way to help feral cats. She says feral cats live in towns and counties everywhere. “People want to bring a cat in for spaying or neutering but it’s not really their cat. It’s an outdoor cat.” She acknowledges while they should all have good homes, “that’s not going to happen and we can’t change that.” What she could do was incorporate a non-profit business, Fixing Cats for Shore, to spay and neuter cats to reduce the feral populations.

Money raised from a gift basket raffle of vendor-donated items will go directly into the Fixing Cats for Shore account. Dr. Flaggs explains, “We’ve been doing it in the hospital for about a year now on Wednesdays. We’ve spayed or neutered feral, farm, and barn cats.” All this was done at a low cost to the public with most expenses borne by the practice.

The fledgling nonprofit will operate “one day a week to start,” she says. “We’re hoping it evolves, grows, and becomes its own entity. Maybe even at another location.”

Liz Gannon, the hospital’s manager, said “We wanted to show appreciation to all of our wonderful clients. We thought it was a good time to have a summer celebration and finally, after 12 years, have a ribbon cutting. Our vision is to help the north county population one cat at a time with spaying or neutering the feral, outside, or wild cats that may have wandered up to your house.”

In addition to food, snacks, and drinks some local vendors participated and Cambridge radio station WHCP-LP broadcast the event live.

Baywater Animal Rescue volunteers brought four dogs – Fiona, Sugar, Moscow, and Cash – all of whom are up for adoption. Four volunteers and some on the spot dog-loving recruits were on hand to walk dogs and chat with interested guests.

Samantha Trout and Lucy Welch represented Maryland Shore Pet Resort on US Rt. 50 near Vienna. This self-described “lavish yet affordable hotel and spa for pets” offers boarding for dogs and cats, obedience training, gun dog training, grooming, and even aqua therapy. Plus, for a little extra, pets receive regular “cuddling.” A luxury wing offers spa-like comforts.

Laura King, her husband Scott, and sister-in-law Donna displayed information on Laura’s Pretty Paws pet grooming business. Although currently on Roslyn Avenue, a new facility will open at 503 Maryland Ave. on Aug. 2 to offer boarding, doggy daycare, and grooming.

Dorchester County Director Of Tourism Amanda Fenstermaker congratulated Dr. Flaggs on her celebration and noted, “It’s just a great thing to see all the people in the community coming out and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.” Her toddler enjoyed himself, too, especially the wading pool.

This was the kind of event that shows how much people love their pets. Nothing makes someone’s eyes light up more than asking about their beloved animals.

East New Market Mayor Caroline Cline noted the glorious weather and said, “We’re so appreciate that Dr. Flaggs has made this lovely occasion possible for all of us. And it’s even greater to see all these dogs out here.” She described her own dog, Beatrice, as gentle and kind with children but because she “isn’t the friendliest around other dogs,” Beatrice stayed home.

Bill Christopher, president of the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce is an energetic, affable, and vocal supporter of local businesses and stressed that his organization helps community-based ventures to grow. It was the Chamber’s huge scissors that cut the celebratory ribbon.

But it was his dog that raised the animation level of conversation. Asked why his dog was not at the event, he explained that his current Akita is not “dog friendly” or he would have been at the party. Mr. Christopher explained that “He’s an ‘only dog’ who’s great with people. The Akita rescue was abandoned in a Virginia backyard and eventually found a home with the Christophers. He and his wife support animal shelters, particularly national Akita Rescues. His in-laws bred and showed Akitas and his sister-in-law fosters dogs.
That’s a real family tradition.

This was a party to remember and guests of all ages hope Dr. Flaggs will have another celebration soon. With dogs of course! Cats? Hmmm. Maybe not.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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