| For the Daily Commercial
MOUNT DORA—Dr. Raquel Fagan of Shamrock Animal Hospital has been named a finalist for the American Humane Veterinarian Hero Award. The winner will be chosen by the public by voting at herovetawards.org/vote by Sept. 15.
Fagan was nominated by Patriot Service Dogs President Julie Sanderson for her volunteer work in helping take care of the dogs going through their program.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated for this,” Fagan said. “When I knew about Shamrock, I wanted to find ways of giving back, and the Patriot Service Dogs organization seemed like that perfect fit.”
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The Patriot Service Dogs is a nonprofit that trains and pairs service dogs with veterans at no cost to the veteran. Fagan donates her services as the medical director for the organization, and her medical partners help with providing all vaccinations, spay and neuter services, and heartworm prevention medication.
“I love that she is willing to be an active part in all we do,” Sanderson said. “It’s a great partnership, and many of our veterans still use her after they graduate the program.”
Fagan also participates in the WOOF training program. Dogs from 8 weeks to 2 years old will train at the Lowell Correctional Institution, a women’s prison, and Fagan instructs them how to properly care for the pups as well as provide wellness checks.
She also works with the veteran recipients.
“I try to go the all the graduations and I get chills because it’s so rewarding,” Fagan said. “I can save dogs here in the clinic, but to see what these vets do and to hear their stories of triumph, it is just amazing.”
An Ocala native and University of Florida grad, Fagan took over the Shamrock Animal Hospital in 2016 with a mission to “do great work, have fun and give back.”
“It’s an unbelievable privilege to have my wife nominated for this,” hospital administrator Jeff Fagan said. “Knowing we’ve had a small part in helping out those who have served our country is the greatest feeling.”