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Salute to Service: Keeping animals safe and healthy - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Salute to Service: Keeping animals safe and healthy

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KALISPELL - Young participants in organizations like 4-H and FFA had the opportunity to have fun and show off their livestock at the Northwest Montana Fair, but show season also come concerns about livestock health.

In this Salute to Service segment, Reporter Nicole Miller introduces us to a Flathead Valley veterinarian who volunteers his services to ensure every animal gets checked for communicable diseases.

Thousands of animals come into contact with each other at the Northwest Montana Fair and Dr. Scott Smiley was busy checking them for any indication of respiratory distress or fever.

"To make sure that animals coming in are reasonably good health and don't present a communicable disease to other animals or to people," said Dr. Smiley with Smiley Veterinary Service.

He's been practicing veterinary medicine in the Flathead Valley for more than a decade and for about five of those years he's been volunteering at the fair.

"This mostly involves children getting involved with agriculture and I think that's good for children to develop empathy and develop a sense of financial and temporal responsibility. I think animal husbandry allows an opportunity for a lot of those things to happen," Dr. Smiley said.

.We stopped by one morning during last week's fair where Dr. Smiley had already checked out dozens of animals by 9 a.m. -- including Little Guy, a 4-year-old Bay Colt.

When Little Guy returns home he won't be bringing any communicable diseases with him and that's important to Dr. Smiley but what's also important is this community.

"It's nice to see the community have a venue to come together whether it's to go to the carnival or to the animal show but to be a part of that to help that happen is important to me," Dr. Smiley said.

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