BIRDSBORO, PA — Following a nine-month nationwide search, Jason Banning, DVM, a native of Hutchinson, Kansas and recent graduate of Kansas State University’s Veterinary Medicine School in Manhattan, Kansas, joined the Animal Rescue League of Berks County on Monday as its full-time shelter veterinarian. “With an educational focus on shelter medicine, and a surgical emphasis on performing high quality and volume spay/neuter procedures, Dr. Banning offers the ARL and our community a unique skill set that will allow us to shorten the stay of animals in the shelter, while offering them high-quality medical care for both their minds and bodies,” says Alexis Pagoulatos, executive director. While interning at the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan, Dr. Banning also worked closely with municipal leaders to improve local animal control ordinances and policies to improve the shelter’s lifesaving capacity with an eye on fiscal responsibility. He also closely worked with the public to provide practical treatment plans, which allowed them to keep their pets rather than surrender them.
Dr. Banning’s hire will also allow the organization to resume offering spay/neuter surgeries to area residents and their pets. These services have been offered intermittently for the past 9 months due to COVID restrictions and per diem veterinarian staffing. Pagoulatos also anticipates Dr. Banning’s hire will allow the ARL to increase its capacity to offer more TNR (trap-neuter-return) low-cost surgeries for outdoor cats who live in the community, which offers Berks residents a solution for outdoor cats who cannot be adopted as traditional house pets, but will continue to reproduce uncontrollably if left unsterilized.
“When I first met this team who was so passionate about saving the lives of homeless animals, I became excited about how I could help impact animals’ lives in Berks County by providing humane care for animals and developing additional services for the shelter to offer. Along with partner welfare organizations, we can create a network to ensure every animal receives quality and compassionate care, regardless of their circumstances,” said Dr. Banning.
Dr. Banning is joined in Berks County by his wife, Alexis Leiker, a speech-language pathologist, and their two dogs, Kaia and Caoimhe; and one cat, fittingly named, Cat.