Dr. Lori Pasternak has found her passion. "My ideal job would be to do nothing but surgery all day long," the veterinarian says, and she's found a way to reach that ideal while giving a little something back.
Pasternak and her colleague, veterinary assistant Jacqueline Morasco, plan to open Helping Hands Veterinary Surgical and Dental Care, offering low-cost surgeries, in mid-November. "The idea is that we won't offer regular veterinary care. If your pet is vomiting and sick, you would go see your regular vet," Morasco says. "By limiting the care to surgical and dental care, we … can keep our costs low."
Located at 3402 W. Cary St., in a space formerly occupied by Dogma, Helping Hands will be a full-time surgery center offering operations that do not involve bones (for a full list of qualified surgeries, visit helpinghandsvetva.com ). Dental services include polishing of the teeth, scaling, extractions, and any fluids or medication needs of the pet during the procedure.
Helping Hands will offer its services for a set rate. "When you pick up your pet, there are no more nickel and dime additional [fees]," Morasco says, though she notes that every procedure will include a $5 charge they have dubbed the good-citizen fee. "Five dollars goes into a pot, and this pot is there for the special cases," she says. Morasco and Pasternak will use the good-citizen fund to assist needy pet owners with payment for services.
Surgeries will primarily be by appointment only from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 355-3500 or visit helpinghandsvetva.com.