The dedicated dogs of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) K9 teams work tirelessly to keep citizens safe alongside their human partners to fight crime. But who helps these heroes when they’re in need?
For more than two years, Dr. Brandy Fay has provided medical care for the TCSO K9s, generously donating her time, expertise, and supplies. Dr. Fay is the co-owner of the Chehalis-Centralia Veterinary Hospital in Chehalis, and she enjoys living and working in such a supportive community. Her support is integral to maintaining the TCSO K9 Unit – and to running it at a low cost to the taxpayers of Thurston County.
While Dr. Fay loves the work that she does, it’s not what she initially envisioned for her career path. “I graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 with every intention of being a bovine veterinarian,” she explained. “Instead, I found myself coming back to my hometown of Chehalis, where I shifted my focus more towards companion animal medicine as well as set up a mobile practice doing alpaca and small ruminant vet work. I have special interests in dermatology and chronic disease management in cats and dogs.”
Dr. Fay is the primary care veterinarian for both the Lewis and the Thurston County Sheriffs’ departments’ K9s, a well as several city-owned K9 Officers. “I oversee the dogs’ preventative care and attend to any medical problems they may have, such as laceration repairs and wounds,” she explained. She’s very forward thinking when it comes to their care. Working dogs are like Olympic athletes and constantly require care to maintain their fitness levels. Dr. Fay doesn’t want TCSO’s K9s to get sick or injured; she’s always looking for ways to prevent injuries or sickness, which enables the dogs to stay on the road serving the citizens, rather than taking “sick” days.
“We cannot thank Dr. Fay and the staff at the Chehalis Centralia Veterinary Clinic enough for what they do,” said Deputy Tyson Shenkel.
Dr. Fay donates all of her time and has worked closely with several veterinary supply companies to donate flea control, medications, and any special diets that the K9s require. She has also taught several K9 first aid and trauma courses to canine handlers from police departments all over Washington, Washington State Patrol, Port Authority, and Homeland Security. “I’ve also worked with these groups developing first aid kits for their K9s’ specific use, such as tracking and drug sniffing,” she said.
“There’s no question about the value that these dogs provide to our communities and it’s very important that they are always in the best possible health,” Dr. Fay explained. “I really enjoy working with the officers and the dogs as my own little way of giving back to my community. My dad was an Auburn firefighter for 30 years, so I grew up around first responders and have a tremendous respect for their work. I also know police department budgets can be pretty tight and many of the K9 programs depend on donations from the community they serve. By donating as much as I can, I hope be able to help these programs continue.”
When she’s not at the clinic, Dr. Fay enjoys spending time with her husband Ted and her two kids, Lindy and Dalen and, of course, her constant companion, Lola, her nine-year-old Lab, who helps her teach first aid and trauma classes.
While Dr. Fay’s career path took a direction that she hadn’t planned on, she wouldn’t change a thing. She’s filled with pride whenever she reads about one of the K9s tracking down a suspect or helping out with a bust.
She added: “It’s an honor for me to be able to work closely with the K9 officers.”
Thank you, Dr. Fay, for supporting Thurston County Sheriff’s Office’s K9s, and thank you to the K9s for all that they do!