Career Path at Safari

The word Safari literally means “journey” and employment at Safari starts an exciting career path towards a destination of veterinary wisdom. Along the path, you experience a new way of practice where your knowledge is magnified and your effectiveness as a practitioner is supported by a delivery system focused on practicing veterinary medicine the way it should be … in its highest form.


Safari Career PathSafari Career Path
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Safari Standards

Safari’s Standards reduce stress and conflict.

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At Safari, we start with a set of written Safari Standards that serve as the guide book on the path to a team-based delivery system. These Standards serve as the guide posts, or “rules of the game”, describing the level of care and expectations of all team members as they work together to serve the needs of the client and the pet. These guidelines include Standards of Care, Communication, Service, Appearance, Conduct and Ethics. Written Standards ensure that all team members understand their role in supporting the veterinarian in the delivery of medicine and surgery to the pet, while ensuring the client’s needs are met as well.

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Safari Workflow

Safari’s Workflow gives you more time per patient and less stress.

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The next step along the path of the Safari system is the utilization of the Safari Workflow. Workflow means how the pet and pet owner are shepherded through the system so that all their needs are met, all their questions answered, and their expectations exceeded. This workflow begins with the first phone or web-based contact with Safari and extends to how the Safari Standards are utilized by the reception staff to greet and educate the client about the services our veterinarians provide and their loved ones need. Within this workflow, the veterinarian’s role is to do only the things that a veterinarian can do. The trained technicians and assistants work to prepare the case for the veterinarian, assist in handling the pet, recording the dictated medical records, entering the charges, performing the routine diagnostics and explaining the recommendations the veterinarian may make. This workflow enables the most important asset in the Safari System to be spared: “Veterinary Face Time”. This way the veterinarian can be the most effective at what they are trained to do. Within this workflow, the client’s perception of value is enhanced by all the members of the team guided by the Safari Standards to provide an efficient, consistent and accurate veterinary visit.
Veterinarian’s Purpose

Safari’s Knowledgeable Team allows the Veterinarians to do those things only a Vet can do.

Respect All Life
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The veterinarian may come to realize early in this “Journey” that the purpose of the veterinarian is to share knowledge. Knowledge sharing is educating the client, educating the staff, and communicating the recommendations for the care of the pet in the most effective manner. Safari utilizes a proprietary database of veterinary knowledge in a software developed by Dr. Garner called VetPlan. VetPlan creates a written record of the veterinarian’s findings for the purpose of the medical record. More importantly though, VetPlan creates a “client friendly” version of this record for the client. This printed release instruction shares the knowledge of the veterinarian with the client and the client’s family. It is a printed representation of the veterinarian’s thoughts about the case that can also be used by the Safari staff to help the veterinarian be more effective in sharing case knowledge. Veterinarians are trained to save lives, cure disease, and correct damage; all of which focus the purpose of the veterinarian on the pet. The Safari System, however, focuses on the client and how the entire team can better communicate with the client, so the informed client can now choose what is best for the pet.

Knowledge Sharing

Safari’s Knowledge Sharing increases veterinary productivity — you make more pets well and more money when you are more productive.

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What is the purpose of your Veterinary Career?

You might answer this question by saying, saving lives, ending suffering, treating illness or injury. And you would be correct to a degree. At Safari, however, we realize that the real purpose of your veterinary knowledge is to share it. Knowledge Sharing is the primary purpose of all veterinarians — even though they may not know it. We know that the more knowledgeable the client, the more likely he or she is to take proper care of their pet. Also, the more you are trusted, and your opinion is respected, the better your relationship with your client. Your principle purpose at Safari, therefore, is building client relationships through this knowledge sharing.

Understanding this purpose enables you to appreciate your membership in the most rewarding profession on Earth — being a veterinarian. At Safari, we have a system of practice that magnifies your knowledge; enabling productivity and patient care standards to soar.

We are looking for bright, energetic, people–oriented veterinarians who love to teach their knowledge to join our staff. Those that accept this challenge will be rewarded with the following five Safari attributes:

  • Learn how to Minimize the Complexity of Veterinary Medicine... Technology is defined as anything that increases certainty. Increasing certainty minimizes complexity. The more technology applied to a case the more certainty is created. Safari will support you by enabling the most advanced forms of technology to be applied to each case. Diagnostic technology at Safari includes in–house advanced laboratory, ultrasound, endoscopy, MRI accessibility and radiology (direct digital x–ray, dental x–ray and C–arm fluoroscopic). Therapeutic technology includes state–of–the–art anesthesia and monitoring systems for small animals and exotics, specialized micro–surgical instrumentation for eyes, exotics, laparoscopy and arthroscopy. Orthopedic surgical instrumentation including almost every power tool made.
  • Discover how to Create a Decision Path to a Diagnosis... How to pick and choose the most likely scenarios for illness by using ethical guidelines for decision making. Veterinary school gives you all the information but does not help you rate the relative value of these learned facts. Employment at Safari will give you support and guidance as to how to apply your knowledge to the case in the most productive manner. This guidance is based on decades of practical experience distilled into a meaningful set of guiding principles. These principles focus on doing what is best for the pet first, respecting all life, diagnosing before we treat, and touching before we teach, just to name a few.
  • Maximize Your Productivity to enable Financial Security... As a Safari veterinarian, you will require the advanced diagnostic and therapeutic tools and training to practice at the levels that match your educational attainments. These tools are expensive. In addition, you need to be productive financially for Safari to compensate you appropriately for your skill and knowledge. You will also need medical healthcare and benefits that you deserve to provide for a stable current and future existence. Fortunately, Safari has just the system that can engage your productive potential enabling you to capture the value from the knowledge you have obtained.

    Because veterinary medicine has evolved to a higher level its delivery requires a new system that engages the productivity of the whole team not just the veterinarian. Team–based multitasking workflows increase productivity and reduce stress, enabling you to practice veterinary medicine the way it should be — at its highest level.
  • Learn how to Dissolve Conflicts... Management of conflict is one of the key elements to successfully exist in today’s complex decision ridden society. Our decisions, when made focusing only on our personal needs, create conflict when placed in the context of a team–based environment. Each week Safari has team meetings designed to dissolve this conflict. These meetings are an essential element of Safari’s success and teach not only how to work together to serve our customer better but also how to live better in our complex, multi–cultural, pluralistic society. By valuing the opposing view, which we discover by the properly questioning, we can interact with fewer conflicts.
  • Learn how Influence vs. Control affects your whole life... Learn how to influence the proper outcome instead of stressing over control of all the variables. Your ability to influence the outcome of a situation varies inversely to the degree that you can control the situation. Learn how to influence outcomes instead of exerting energy trying to control the parts. Influence is used to attain future long–term goals with the understanding that small course changes today result in great differences in the final destination. By focusing on the destination these course changes become almost innate. At Safari, we want you to set high goals and we want to help you attain them. The more successful you are, the more successful Safari will be.
Team Motivation
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Weekly Customer Service Meetings
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Team Meeting
Weekly Training Classes
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Rehab Team Training
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Safari’s Emotional Paychecks motivate the Team Members that serve You and the Safari Clients.

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Empowered Team Member Graphic
The Safari Team is huge compared to most veterinary practices. We have several technicians per veterinarian and several assistants serving the technicians, as well as boarding staff, grooming staff, reception staff, rehabilitation staff, and even cell technology staff. Team motivation is key to keeping everyone on the same page and focused on the needs of the client and pet.

Team motivation comes from the culture, and the culture has five dimensions: Beauty, Knowledge, Values, Wealth, and Power. These cultural dimensions are expressed within the language used and information shared by those in charge. At Safari, we provide team motivation and express our culture through weekly meetings that are attended by the entire Safari Team. The team is bonded by the information shared in these meetings and the meetings are managed so as to show appreciation for the excellent service we provide our client and appreciation for how to better serve those clients.

The five dimensions of culture defined:

  • Beauty is a term for... what an individual sees as valuable. If a person thinks something is beautiful, they want to share it with another person. This is an innate human quality. If you see something that you think is “cool”, it is human to find another human to show it to. To the degree they also think that thing or idea is “cool” is the degree that you are bonded to that person. The shared “Beauty” of veterinary care as provided by Safari is “cool”, and sharing the appreciation for that beauty each week is a way to enrich our culture and to motivate our team members.
  • Knowledge is essential to... cultural development. The knowledge of how things work about the veterinary care of animals is an essential part of our business. When you share your knowledge, your esoteric knowledge (or knowledge that is difficult to acquire or previously unknown), you give value to that person. That person is bonded to you, becomes loyal to you and is motivated to help support you as a veterinarian in the Safari System. This reinforces the need to share knowledge – not hoard it as many in our profession do.
  • Values are an expression of... what is fair, just, ethical and moral. Value appreciation is important to all people and all people are drawn and attracted to those that express those values. The Safari weekly Customer Service meeting reinforces the values we strive for and those values are exemplified in our Safari Standards and our Safari Ethics.
  • Wealth is essential in... any self-sustaining culture. Money is motivational, but it is not the “Wealth” that is denoted here. There is an emotional wealth that is received when you do something that is good. This wealth is inherent in doing good but is also magnified when another human appreciates the good you have done. We care for pets and I am sure they appreciate what we do, but it is difficult for them to show the same appreciation that their human owner can. When we all work as a team to care for pets, and the clients show their appreciation, and the team co-members show appreciation, it is called an “emotional paycheck” and that is more motivational than any money paycheck that you can receive.
  • Power is the ability to... choose. If you have power you can choose how to work, act and behave. If you do not have power, then others tell you how to work, how you must act, and how you must behave, which is not motivational. When team members have the choice of how to work, they are empowered and motivated. Empowerment comes from knowledge of veterinary care issues, giving them choice of how to deliver this information to the client or utilize it while working. Veterinarians working at Safari control how the cultural dimensions are managed, and by understanding the power of these concepts, a veterinarian can go further, save more lives and enjoy a more rewarding career.

Safari Laboratory & Rehabilitation Team Members

Stephen Willis DVM
Lori McCord
Dr. Curtis Klages
Robyn Griffin
Sergio Franco
Melissa Carter
Lacey Havard
Jessica Campbell
Gina Kloecker
Dara DelAngel
Megan Lowery
Michael McCord
Melinda Wharton
Jacob MacDonough
Stephen Willis DVM

Stephen Willis DVM

Veterinarian

I have worked at Safari since July 2016. I have been in practice for 30 years and have owned my own practice. I cannot imagine working anywhere else. The most rewarding part of working at Safari is building relationships and teaching clients. The client centered practice philosophy of Safari allows veterinarians to practice the way we were taught in veterinary school. Veterinarians are encouraged to offer the very best care for their patients. The hospital is well equipped to provide this level of care. There is an endless variety of patients and something new to learn every day. The hospital software, VetPlan, provides us with an excellent tool to teach our clients about veterinary medicine. The team at Safari is excellent. Everyone is focused on giving our clients the best possible care. Having Dr. Garner on staff allows us to take on the most difficult cases with confidence. If you are committed to quality veterinary medicine and want to challenge yourself to be the best you can be, Safari is the place for you. Come join our team!

Lori McCord

Lori McCord

Veterinary Technician

When I get to work there is a sense of wonderment within me. What kind of animals are we going to see today? What difference are we going to make? What new disease will I get to learn about today? There is empowerment to working here.

As a technician I’ve become so knowledgeable about every aspect of the business, especially customer service, and that is all because of Safari’s team-based medicine approach. Dr.’s Garner and Willis spend every minute they can educating us so that we may educate the client. I am empowered to provide the best care I can and to do what’s in the best interest of the pet. Whether I am needed for emergency care, or wellness vaccines, my ability to do so are because of the preparation Safari and its doctors do with the staff. There are thousands of vet clinics, but Safari is mine, and one of a kind.

Dr. Curtis Klages

Dr. Curtis Klages

Veterinarian

As of right now, the most rewarding part of my job is helping pets and their owners in any way I can. It is very rewarding to see the pets get better and return home. I am pretty senior in my career and an old veterinary mentor of mine told me, sometime in your career as veterinarian “you will want to just be a vet”... I think this is my time to “just be a vet”. The people make Safari. Safari has great staff who take care of all animals great and small. The variety of services Safari offers, from boarding and grooming to full clinical veterinary care. Anyone from a high school student to a seasoned veterinarian can learn from the folks here at Safari.

Robyn Griffin

Robyn Griffin

Veterinary Technician

I absolutely love coming into work every day. Most clients come in feeling unsure about the care their giving their pets, and it’s my responsibility to not only educate them on proper care, but to show them how simple pet care can be and how easily outside resources can be misconstrued! I love it when a client leaves with a big smile, a healthy pet and a little bit of knowledge. At Safari, we pride ourselves, not only on patient care, but client education. There are many available resources on our website, social media sites, VetPlan exam reports, as well as every employee is trained with the basic knowledge to help you!

Employment at Safari can be rewarding through its challenges. Every patient that walks through our doors is a learning experience for all of us. Our patients can’t talk to us to tell us how they’re feeling or what’s wrong, so it’s up to us, through diagnostic testing and doctor education, to figure it out. Some cases are more challenging than others, but every successful case is rewarding when a patient is returned happy and healthy with their family. These patients not only help us in our daily education of patient care, but are able to help others in the future as well. Growth at Safari is never-ending, and I’d recommend Safari for anyone who loves to learn as much as I do!

Sergio Franco

Sergio Franco

Veterinary Assistant

Since the first day that I stepped foot at Safari the biggest difference that I have seen is the amount of knowledge everyone is willing to share. From the veterinarian’s willingness to educate every single employee at Safari, the knowledge that I have received from the technical staff both in terminology and practical skills, to the overall physical handling of not just cats and dogs but exotic animals such as: bearded dragons, rabbits, birds, sugar gliders, and even a kangaroo!

One of the aspects of Safari that has surprised me the most is the ability of every staff member to help one another in any department. Client relations, boarding, grooming, and our rehabilitation staff have all developed skills that makes helping out anyone that much easier, thus making the pets overall experience at Safari great.

Working at Safari has helped my personal growth in the veterinary field tremendously. Learning the terminology and the practical skills here is a huge bonus, especially to someone like me who hopes to continue on to veterinary school, working with both Dr. Garner and Dr. Willis who are willing to share their experience and knowledge is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter

Veterinary Technician

I enjoy working with Safari because every day is a new challenge. There is always something new to learn and an opportunity to grow. My job as a veterinary technician is rewarding in that I get to help pets have happier healthier lives through client education and patient care. I enjoy being a part of watching my patients grow from puppies to adulthood. The level of care that we provide for our clients and patients far surpasses any other clinic I’ve ever worked for. Safari is a family environment and that makes it easy to come to work every day!

Lacey Havard

Lacey Havard

Veterinary Technician

I have worked at Safari for 6 years and the best part of my job is the ability we have to see things from start to finish. Like when they first get their pets and need help with how to care for them, to then seeing them come in all grown up or even when they have something bad happen like a torn cruciate and we can perform surgery to repair the knee and then continue with rehab to help them walk again, but we just don’t see dogs and cats, we will see pretty much anything that will fit through the door and I have learned so much about different exotics, from your normal bearded dragon to primates. That’s one of the many things why I love to come to work every day, you never know what will come through the doors and what you will learn next at Safari.

Jessica Campbell

Jessica Campbell

Veterinary Assistant

I am a fairly new member of the Safari team, but everyone has been so welcoming and kind to me that I already feel at home. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is having the opportunity to learn something new every day and knowing that I play an important role within the team. Safari offers such a wide variety of services and they actually invest in their employees by taking the time to train and educate them on these services and other pertinent information regarding the health care of animals. This is one of the many reasons I chose Safari Veterinary Care Centers over employment offers from other vet clinics. I know that I have made the right choice and am looking forward to my exciting future with Safari.

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Gina Kloecker

Veterinary Assistant

I first worked at Safari 17 years ago as a bather and in boarding. The exceptional level of care given to every pet is what most stuck with me. After a move out of state, and then returning, I was drawn to return and work for Safari again. It is amazing having a large group of co-workers that all equally care for the pets that visit us. Rather your position is reception, in rehab or assistant to vet and rather it’s a reptile, canine or wildlife, we all come together as one and give the same level of care and support. Additionally, I was also drawn back to Safari because of Safari’s focus on knowledge sharing. The education and training I have received here has allowed for personal and career growth. Today, I am working in the Hospital department and I continue to learn more each day, and all for the care of pets.

Dara DelAngel

Dara DelAngel

Veterinary Technician

My Safari career has been a journey of learning medical knowledge, compassion and commitment. Hello, my name is Dara. I’ve had the privilege of saving animal’s lives for more than 20 years now and 18 of those years were with Dr. Garner and the incredible Safari team. Safari has not only been a higher learning for me and my education, but also a place for personal growth and self-appreciation. Dr. and Mrs. Garner’s personal attention to not only the clients, but also their staff, makes Safari a rewarding place to celebrate my love of animals and the lifesaving skills I’ve learned. Joining our team will allow you an opportunity to not only be a part of the game, but also play a big part in how we win. The Safari family values commitment, kindness and above all the need for knowledge. As a veterinary technician at Safari, I’ve enjoyed long term relationships with not only the life of our pets, but also the loving owners that bring them to see us.

Megan Lowery

Megan Lowery

Stem Cell Culture Technician

I thoroughly enjoy working at Safari Veterinary Care Centers. The staff are friendly and helpful, and everyone is very knowledgeable with their treatment and care of animals. I originally applied to work at Safari because I wanted to work at an innovative veterinary practice with a great reputation in the community. With every shift I work, I know I made the right choice in employment as I learn more about helping animals and how best to serve the pets and pet owner community.

Michael McCord

Michael McCord

Veterinary Technician

The most interesting element to safari as a workplace is the continued variety and challenge. As a group we are driven to constantly expand our horizons in order to be able to provide both better medicine and better service. We see serving the pet as a unifying goal, and as such, the team is willing and happy to work together towards the same goal.

Melinda Wharton

Melinda Wharton

Stem Cell Liaison

Being the Safari Stem Cell Liaison is my dream job! I’ve done many jobs over the course of my career, but first and foremost, I’m a technical writer and editor. At Safari, I get to learn interesting new things on a daily basis and pass that knowledge on to our clients and online followers. The information we share online is more in–depth than the average clinic’s, in part because our vets have shared their knowledge with us with the intent that we share it with others. An educated client makes the best pet parent, and I love getting to share what I learn!

We also provide tons of information on our cutting–edge stem cell therapy program, and I get to be a big part of that. Our advanced equipment, stem cell laboratory, and techniques draw patients and clients from all over the country. It’s really exciting to learn how regenerative stem cell therapy benefits veterinary medicine. Every day I research something new or learn another facet of regenerative medicine that I can then publish online to teach others. As I learn, my intent is that our clients can also learn.

Jacob MacDonough

Jacob MacDonough

Rehabilitation Assistant I

There is no better place to bring your pet than Safari Veterinary Care Centers. We strongly appreciate your bond with your pet and will go above and beyond to facilitate the best experience and outcome. Whatever they may see us for, whether it be a routine appointment or surgery, you can have complete confidence with our team. We have the opportunity to utilize our state of the art equipment and continued knowledge to best care for your furry, feathered or scaled family.

Wellness Counts

Safari’s Receptionists go over vaccinations and routine wellness care, enrolling clients in Safari’s wellness plan and sparing the Veterinarians of this task.

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Safari practices proactive veterinary medicine through wellness protocols. These wellness protocols, called the HealthMap, are focused on the following four aspects of the pet’s wellness care:

  1. Examinations and Immunizations
  2. Preventions
  3. Diagnostics
  4. Quality of Life

Our software, VetPlan, creates customized wellness plans for each of our pets. Safari receptionists, as well as the rest of the Safari Team, are trained on how to communicate the benefits of these plans. The Safari veterinary staff benefits from this structured, standards-based system because, by the time the veterinarian sees the client, these discussions and many of the decisions about the wellness care of the pet have been made. The veterinarian then focuses on the exam findings and the communication of recommendations about future care of the pet. Properly delivered HealthMaps, for example, result in urine screens on “healthy” pets. Many times, these urine screens show crystals and inflammatory changes that support there are conditions for urolith development before there is an actual stone. This proactive approach prevents the need for surgery and arrests disease processes earlier, to the benefit of the client and the pet.

Diagnose First

When the First Focus is on Diagnosis instead of Treatment — Practice becomes fun and interesting.

Diagnose Before You Treat
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Diagnose Before You Treat — Tired of trial and error medicine? At Safari, we target the illness with the proper diagnostics before we start specific treatment.

Touch Before You Teach — At Safari, we understand the client wants to know we care before they care to hear what we know. We will touch the pet and communicate with the client our heartfelt care and consideration before we offer our recommendations.

Teach Before You Reach — At Safari, we believe that “He who has the smartest client”, “WINS!” We love to teach about the care we give before we reach for medications. We understand there are always alternatives and involving the client in the care decisions serves the client and the pet best.

Advanced Medicine

Safari Strives to practice at the same level of medicine taught in veterinary schools.

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Dr. Garner is board certified and has been since 1992, and as a result has been practicing a higher level of medicine on small animals and exotics for the past 25 years. The ‘Diagnose First’ paradigm creates the need for high level therapeutics. These therapeutics include intensive care, titration of cardiac care medications, oxygen therapy via intranasal catheterization, nebulization, constant rate infusions, chemotherapy and compounding of therapies for birds and exotic animals. Advanced medicine requires advanced team-based monitoring and maintenance of intravenous and urinary catheters, feeding tubes for reptiles, and crop feeding of the avian species. Endoscopically placed PEG tubes and esophageal tubes are common modes of therapy for debilitated or chronic critical care patients. Safari provides neurological administration of mesenchymal stem cells. Many of these pets suffer from paralysis which requires indwelling urinary catheter care and prevention of pressure sores. All patients undergoing general anesthesia are on calibrated ventilators, kept warm, monitored with pulse oximeters, ekg, and a caring technician. Advanced medicine is a team-based activity where monitoring and constant observation are critical.

Rehabilitation Therapy
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Jasper visits Safari regulary for underwater treadmill maintanence therapy due to severe arthritis in his elbows. [1 of 3]
Jasper on Water Treadmill
Jasper is enjoying his treats given by his Mom. [2 of 3]
Jasper on Water Treadmill
Jasper is asking his Mom for more treats! [3 of 3]
Jasper on Water Treadmill
This pet can bear weight without the support of the water, but still needs to work on coordination.
Pet on Land/Dry Treadmill
This pet is receiving therapeutic ultrasound treatment.
Pet receiving Therapeutic Ultrasound treatment
Rowdy is receiving electrostimulation therapy treatment after stem cell therapy to help him regain function and independence after losing the ability to use his hind legs.
Pet receiving Electrostimulation Therapy
This pet is receiving TENS therapy treatment.
Pet receiving TENS Therapy
This pet is receiving Laser therapy treatment.
Pet receiving Laser Therapy
Teaching Kickback Drill “2 On” [1 of 4]
Kickback Drill 2-On
Teaching Kickback Drill “2 Up” [2 of 4]
Kickback Drill To-Up
Teaching Kickback Drill “2 On 2 Off” [3 of 4]
Kickback Drill 2-On-2-Off
Teaching Kickback Drill “Kickback” [4 of 4]
Kickback Drill Kickback Front-Feet-On-Prop
TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) -Opal had surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and, to aid in a full recovery, began rehabilitation one-week post-op with focus training, mild interaction with Pilates and water treadmill. [1 of 5]
focus training, mild interaction with Pilates
TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) -Opal had surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and, to aid in a full recovery, began rehabilitation one-week post-op with focus training, mild interaction with Pilates and water treadmill. [2 of 5]
focus training, mild interaction with Pilates
TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) -Opal had surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and, to aid in a full recovery, began rehabilitation one-week post-op with focus training, mild interaction with Pilates and water treadmill. [3 of 5]
focus training, mild interaction with Pilates
TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) -Opal had surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and, to aid in a full recovery, began rehabilitation one-week post-op with focus training, mild interaction with Pilates and water treadmill. [4 of 5]
focus training, mild interaction with Pilates
TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) -Opal had surgical repair for a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament and, to aid in a full recovery, began rehabilitation one-week post-op with focus training, mild interaction with Pilates and water treadmill. [5 of 5]
focus training, mild interaction with Pilates
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Safari’s Therapeutic Modalities work synergistically with your medicine or surgery to ensure a good outcome.

Safari Pet Rehabilitation Graphic

The success or failure of many orthopedic and neurologic procedures depends on the aftercare and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is essential for neurologic damage and optimization of stem cell therapy. Dr. Garner has been through the University of Tennessee CCRP course in Rehabilitative Therapy and our rehabilitation technicians are known worldwide for their expertise and care of pets. Our rehabilitation technicians at Safari select from a wide range of equipment to match the needs of the pet with the best physiotherapy regime. Starter exercises include balance pads and wobble boards, while more advanced exercises involve balancing with 1 to 4 paws on a donut or peanut. Safari has full rehabilitation facilities that includes:

  • Land and Water Treadmills... The treadmill is used for both balance and proprioceptive training (knowing where the feet are) and strength training. Strength training is best done with the water treadmill. The water treadmill is state–of–the–art in pet rehabilitation. The water buoyancy helps supports the weight of the pet, enabling the pet to use its limbs more naturally, while the moving floor encourages walking. This builds strength without damage to the surgical correction. Land (or dry) treadmills are an advancement for the pet that can use and bear weight, but still needs to work on coordination.
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound... Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves to deliver energy to tissues with two types of effects. Therapeutic ultrasound is primarily indicated in the treatment of chronic scar tissue and indolent decubital ulcers (bed sores). It may also be effective for palliation of muscle spasms and for enhanced tendon healing. Therapeutic ultrasound offers many benefits, some of which are heat energy delivered to tissues, increased blood flow, flexibility and extensibility of connective tissue, pain relief, decreased swelling and muscle relaxation.
  • Electrostimulation and TENS... Electrostimulation Therapy (or NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation –NMES), is the electrical stimulation of muscles, or the nerves that feed muscles. The purpose is to make the muscle contract. This contraction of muscles is necessary when there is nerve damage to the brain, spinal cord or other nerves that feed the muscles, and they cannot move on their own. Electrostimulation is also beneficial in cases where there is trauma or surgery to the bone, joint or muscle that makes it too painful for the muscle to move without electrostimulation.

    TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is different from Electrostimulation. TENS is electrical stimulation to the skin; versus electrical stimulation to the muscles and nerves. When TENS is applied to the skin large nerve fibers (A-β) are stimulated. These A-β fibers synapse in the spinal cord and stimulate nerve fibers that block the perception of pain in the brain. This is called the gate control theory of pain. The frequency of electrical impulses that stimulate the A-β fibers also causes the release of endorphins from the pituitary in the brain. Endorphins are natural opiates that produce analgesia when released. The synapses in the spinal cord also stimulate another nerve fiber (A-δ). A-δ fiber stimulation blocks other nerves headed for the brain and are also involved in the mechanism of action for acupuncture. The effect of TENS is like the effects of acupuncture for pain control.

  • Cold Laser Therapy... Clinical studies have shown that laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation and, thereby, stimulates tissue healing, regeneration of nerve cells and reduces recovery time. Laser therapy can be used in addition to medication for pain management, or as an alternative to pills. Laser therapy is non-invasive, requires no sedation and is free from side effects. At Safari, we use a high-powered laser, so treatments take just a few minutes and can be performed on an out-patient basis. Laser therapy is suitable for all ages and all species of pets. Many pets show rapid improvement with reduced pain scores and less lameness after only 1 treatment. Treatment schedules are tailed to the pet’s condition and rate of recovery.
  • Pilates and Obstacle Courses... These lessons are designed to strengthen core muscle strength as well as to work on specific leg muscles. Balance exercises not only improve balance and confidence, they strengthen joints by making micro movements which exercise the muscles surrounding the joint. Improving balance and coordination is an important component of improving mobility in pets with chronic arthritis, post–surgery or recovering from injury.
Advanced Surgery

Safari offers Mentorship in Orthopedic, Neurologic and Soft-Tissue Surgery.

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Not every veterinarian is interested in surgery, but this is not the case with Dr. Garner. If you are interested in surgery and want a surgical mentor, then Safari is perfect for you. Orthopedic surgeries requiring plates, screws and pins are standard. For cruciate ligament ruptures, we recommend the TTA or Tight Rope techniques. We also have a C–Arm fluoroscopic imaging device for closed placement of pins or realignment of fractures.

Neurologic procedures require advanced imaging and Dr. Garner uses a human MRI with his own settings. Myelograms are common when MRI is not feasible. The C–Arm is useful for placement of stem cells into joints or into intervertebral discs or when intrathecal injections are required.

Intra–abdominal and intrathoracic surgeries are commonly performed when necessary.

Soft tissue surgeries, such as routine spays and neuters, are done for the local shelter, as well as more advanced surgeries requiring skin grafts.

Arthroscopic and endoscopic surgical instrumentation is also used at Safari.

For the new graduate or more experienced veterinarian, the surgery at Safari has something to offer.

Advanced Diagnotics

Safari Helps You reverse the trend of referring all the fun to others. We have all the equipment to make you the specialist.

Giraffe Graphic
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Safari’s mantra of ‘diagnose before you treat’ requires advanced on-site diagnostic capabilities. These tests give us a “Window into the pet’s body” and include: advanced digital radiography, digital dental radiographs, ultrasound, echocardiography with color-flow doppler, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, myelography, endoscopy, bronchoscopy, arthroscopy, avian laparoscopy, full in-house chemistry, complete blood count, fluid analysis by flow cytometry and C–Arm Fluoroscopy for motion studies of the esophagus and larynx.

Stem Cell Therapy
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A small incision in the abdomen allows us to collect a small amount of fat filled with stem cells.
A small incision
The fat is removed & now sent to the laboratory for preparation.
The fat removed
The fat is mixed with enzymes that separate the stem cells and placed in a special heated centrifuge.
The fat mixed
The centrifuge first mixes the cells then separates them from the remaining fat.
cell separation from fat
The process takes about 90 minutes.
90 minute process
A special kit for stem cell separation is used.
A special kit
The fat can be seen at the top and the stromal vascular fraction can be seen at the bottom containing stem cells.
stem cells separated
After several washes and a filtration process the stem cells are in the pellet at the bottom of the tubes.
filteration
The cells are counted with special dyes that tell live stem cells from dead ones.
special dyes to see live/dead cells
The hemacytometer is a carefully crafted microscope slide that’s made from thick glass with a rectangular indention that creates a chamber. Etched on the glass surface of the chamber is a defined gridded area of squares with specific area and depth. Thereby, it is possible to count the number of cells in a specific volume of fluid.
The hemacytometer-microscope slide
The hemacytometer is read using a special fluorescence illuminator device called a Bioscope™. Therefore, cells that are loaded on the hemacytometer are illuminated by ultraviolet light for optical analysis.
The Bioscope™ for optical analysis
Using a microscope, we can determine the number of cells by direct counting.
direct cell counting
The number of live cells is used to calculate the volume of dose for the joint.
Dose calculation by live cells
This is the final stem cells mixed with platelet rich plasma ready for injection.
Injection ready of stem cells mixed with platelet rich plasma
Dr. Garner with Piper the pug, preparing for stem cell injections with the aid of his C-Arm fluoroscope. The C-arm enables him to inject the stem cells precisely into the area of need!
Dr. Garner with Piper the Pug ready for stem cell injections with C-Arm guidance
Safari’s Thermo Scientific Locator 4 Cryogenic System allows us to store harvested stem cells for future use. Therefore, the pet will not need to undergo surgery to remove fat a second time; if a second round of stem cell injections are needed.
Cryogenic System to store harvested stem cells
Safari’s In-house Stem Cell Lab has all the equipment necessary for processing stem cells, growing stem cells in culture and cryogenically storing Stem Cells.
Safari's In-house Stem Cell Lab
Flacka the ferret is paralyzed from the waist down. We used stem cells to help regenerate the nerves. IT WORKED!! This is showing the administration of cells. The Stem Cells were harvested from the ferrets own fat then processed and injected.
Paralyzed Flacka the ferret received stem cells & is now walking!
After receiving stem cells, Flacka the ferret then went through therapy in the underwater treadmill to teach him how to walk again.
Flacka the ferret in rehab at Safari on water treadmill
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Enter the Future of veterinary medicine with regenerative therapy through Safari.

Stem Cell Graphic

Safari has a complete, state-of-the-art stem cell laboratory. This is far beyond the centrifuge and enzyme system that many who do “stem cell therapy” in the veterinary profession utilize. Safari has all the requirements for a complete stem cell laboratory. These requirements are:

  • Stem cell therapy requires the ability to collect tissues and process them in a sterile environment for administration or culture.
  • This process requires a biologic safety cabinet with laminar flow and ultraviolet sterilization.
  • Cell processing and culture requires incubators that can increase the CO2 and decrease the Oxygen tension so that the stem cells are grown in the optimal conditions.
  • Cell growth requires a sterile microscope for visualizing the growth characteristics without bacterial contamination.
  • Cell therapy requires viability testing, which requires fluorescent viability testing, thereby, requiring a fluoroscopic enabled microscope.
  • Cell therapy requires a count of the number of cells per ml, which requires an automated cell counter.
  • Cell preservation requires a controlled rate freezer that takes the cells down one degree per min until the point of ice crystal formation, then down 10 degrees per minute, then back to one degree per min until the -86C is reached.
  • Storage of frozen stem cells requires a liquid nitrogen storage system.
  • Running a stem cell laboratory requires trained laboratory technicians and the necessary space for them to work.

Stem cell therapy is transformational to a veterinary practice. Stem cells can be used to reset the major histocompatibility factors of T-cell, effectively stopping most autoimmune diseases. This allows us to treat IMHA, Pemphigus, Feline Stomatitis, Feline Asthma, Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, Atopic Dermatitis, and many other similar diseases.

Stem cells are anti-inflammatory and can be used acutely in spinal cord and brain trauma to reduce damaging inflammation.

Stem cells are regenerative and can be used in chronic degenerative diseases, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease. Stem cells promote neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, allowing pets with spinal cord damage or brain damage to respond to therapy.

Dr. Garner is a pioneer in stem cell therapy and has had advanced training in stem cell culture and propagation. Dr. Garner uses stem cells for therapy of many common, and not so common, illnesses in pets. Dr. Garner works with pet rescue organizations at a greatly discounted rate to gain the cases necessary to prove these treatments work.

Self Acutalization

Become the Best Vet you can be at Safari.

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acutalization graphic
At Safari, we hope to help develop you as a person as well as a veterinarian. We hope to show you a new way of practice that focuses on the dissemination of knowledge and to build upon the motivational emotional wealth that drives all veterinarians. We hope to teach you, not only the disciplines of diagnostics, medicine, surgery and exotics, but also educate you in the motivation and utilization of team members to magnify your effectiveness as a veterinarian. The metaphor of the tree is utilized to show that a strong practitioner has deep roots in the disciplines that support and hold up the boughs of the tree. These disciplines are important and need to drive deep to survive, requiring nurturing for constant growth and development. These roots are not perceived by the pet and, more importantly, the roots are not seen by the client, as they are underground. Above the ground is the tree trunk which supports the rest of the tree, and the limbs of the tree are the product of the knowledge that is hidden under the ground. The understanding of the needs of the pet and the needs of the client is this understanding that bears the fruit. The fruit is what is shared with the rest of the world, carried away because it is sweet, tasty and attractive. Within the fruit are the seeds of knowledge, that will again grow in new locations, spreading the benefits of your efforts far and wide. At Safari, we want to enable you to be fruitful in your professional life.
Exotic Medicine & Surgery
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Sara the Macaw. Prepping for blood collection while slightly sedated. [1 of 4]
Sara the Macaw
Sara the Macaw. Prepping for blood collection while slightly sedated. [2 of 4]
Sara the Macaw
Sara the Macaw. Prepping for blood collection while slightly sedated. [3 of 4]
Sara the Macaw
Sara the Macaw. Prepping for blood collection while slightly sedated. [4 of 4]
Sara the Macaw
Sara the Macaw. Tumor removed.
Sara the Macaw
Rocky the Tortoise [1 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [2 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [3 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [4 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [5 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [6 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [7 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [8 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [9 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [10 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [11 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [12 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [13 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Rocky the Tortoise [14 of 14]
Rocky the Tortoise
Silverdale the Zebra [1 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [2 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [3 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [4 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [5 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [6 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [7 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
Silverdale the Zebra [8 of 8]
Silverdale the Zebra
This baby squirrel was presented to Safari with a broken leg. After performing surgery and a full recovery, the squirrel was returned to the wild.
baby squirrel
Silkie is an exotic chicken, diagnosed with crop impaction from eating too much sand and gravel. She was sedated and we were able to flush her crop using an endoscope.
Silkie, exotic Chicken
This ferret is being weighed prior to examination.
Ferret being weighed
This guinea pig is being treated for mites.
Guinea Pig
This is the picture of a healthy iguana. He spent some time boarding with us here at Safari.
iguana boarding
This iguana is diagnosed with metabolic bone disease and is on the radiograph table to get x-rays of his spine, as he has recently lost the ability to move. Notice how crooked and thin the tail and back toes are? This is due to improper calcium balance and subsequent fractures.
iguana-metabolic-bone-disease
This is a monkey with Sex Skin; a common presentation of a monkey in heat. This girl is ready for surgery as she has endometriosis and adhesions of her uterus to the other abdominal organs. Her uterus forms large cysts that rupture and a chocolate milk like substance pours out. This is a very serious disease requiring hours of surgery. This pet is very much a part of the human family and we are happy to report that the surgery was successful.
monkey with Sex Skin
Still sporting the IV placed in his arm, this opossum was hospitalized at Safari and underwent surgery to redirect urine flow because he could not urinate properly. This is a native Texas Wildlife and should not be owned as a pet. However, this opossum is part of a wildlife exhibit to teach about the animals found in Texas.
Opossum
Potbellied pig care at Safari involves trimming the hooves, trimming the tusks and in this case, painting the hooves as well. This process usually requires sedation, or in the cases where sedation is not used, requires ear plugs. Pigs are loud!! Potbellied pigs must be vaccinated to prevent respiratory disease and other pig only disease. They also must be wormed and checked for mange. All of these illnesses are common, but can be prevented if given the proper veterinary care and attention.
Potbellied pig
This Red-Eared-Slider turtle is 35 years old. Reptiles are fraught with nutritional disease. The most common complaint is that they will not eat. She has stopped eating because she is full of eggs, therefore, we placed a feeding tube to supplement her food intake. This tube was removed once she started eating on her own.
Red-Eared Slider turtle
This two-toed sloth is being given the gas anesthesia, Sevoflurane, that has been proven safe for our exotic animals. Many exotic animals must be examined under anesthesia.
two-toed sloth
Two-toed sloth under anesthesia and ready for examination.
two-toed sloth
Venom is a 12 foot reticulated python who was not eating. We force fed one dozen eggs to help him get some healthy protein.
Venom the reticulated python
This is Zippy, a young ring-tailed lemur. At Safari, we want all our team members to be comfortable handling the exotic animals that we treat.
Zippy the Ring-tailed Lemur
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Practice with Veterinarians who are Board Certified in exotic medicine and surgery.

Hippo Graphic

As a veterinarian at Safari, it is not required of you to treat exotics, however, we do see a large number of these pets. Dr. Garner has been one of the only board certified exotic vets serving the greater Houston-Galveston area for 35 years; hence, Safari has a reputation to be “the place to go” for sick exotic animals. Dr. Garner owns two ring-tail lemurs and a zebra, and is one of the only vets in Texas that will see primates. In that regard, Dr. Klages, who is board certified in Lab Zoo and Exotic Animal medicine, is also a board member and vice president of the Association of Primate Veterinarians.

Dr. Garner has a special interest in exotic animals & birds and promoted this avenue of practice to differentiate Safari from the rest of the pack.

Safari believes in a proactive approach to wellness and preventative care with the utmost concern for the humane treatment to all species. We do not turn away from any challenge where we can make a difference; we embrace wildlife, exotic animals and even insects with the understanding that our mission is to promote life wherever we find it.

Safari not only has state–of–the–art diagnostic tools to treat the conventional pet, we also have specialized exotic equipment that is essential for the handling, diagnosis and treatment of exotics, birds and even primates; complete with an in–house, well–equipped Laboratory. Handling wild or exotic animals requires specialized training, skill and expertise. Birds, in particular, require small instruments and magnifications for surgery, requiring special skillful knowledge. One must be comfortably confident, cautious and efficient in the treatment of exotics.

Anesthesia of exotics is necessary in many cases for proper examination. At Safari, we only use Sevoflurane, which is a gas anesthesia that has been proven safe for our exotic animals. Wild or exotic animals hide their symptoms so as not to appear vulnerable to other animals in the wild that may prey on them. The more exotic the animal the less obvious disease becomes, therefore, an animal that is very sick on the inside appears healthy on the outside. It is this reason that we must sedate and palpate, listen and look at all the body systems to make sure the pet is well. Blood and urine tests are essential to knowing if an exotic animal is healthy or not.

Safari has created well–educated, qualified staff that is knowledgeable in the care of each species. We stay up–to–date on exotic medicine and continue to educate our team members and our clients. Many of the exotics treated at Safari come to us with health problems that are a result of the owner not being properly educated in the care of that specific species. It is for this reason that educating our client’s and keeping them up–to–date is extremely important to us.

Apply NOW!

At Safari, if you are a recent graduate or an experienced Veterinarian, we have a lot to offer and you have a lot to gain!

Safari Veterinary Care Centers is a state of the heart veterinary hospital for small animals, birds and exotics; where state of the art veterinary medicine and surgery is delivered in a team–based approach. This approach enables the veterinarian to leverage their effectiveness through team–based knowledge sharing.

Safari Veterinary Care Centers believes in a proactive approach to wellness and preventative care to all species. When the pet is sick, Safari provides the advanced diagnostic and therapeutic tools and trained support team that enables exceptional results.

At Safari, if you are a recent graduate, you will receive mentorship, support and guidance that helps take the stress out of learning how to apply your newly gained knowledge. If you are an experienced veterinarian, you will come to practice veterinary medicine in a new way that makes practice fun again.

Responsibilities:

  • Practice in accordance with the principles of veterinary medical ethics and the Safari Standards of Practice.
  • Continue the pursuit of knowledge throughout your practice life.
  • Learn the Safari Standards of Practice and work to continually improve those standards.
  • Diagnose before you treat, teach before you reach (for treatment). When you treat, do so within the Safari Standards of Care.
  • You are the pet’s advocate communicating on behalf of the pet; recommending optimal care plans for diagnosis and treatment and prevention of disease to ensure the pets live a longer healthier happier life.
  • Maintain relevant, comprehensive medical records with the support of Safari’s practice systems, including Safari’s software, VetPlan.
  • Foster an effective veterinary support team by communicating medical standards, ethical practices, and your veterinary knowledge and experience.

Licensing:

  • Texas State Veterinary Board License and must be in good standing prior to your start date.
  • A Texas State Controlled Substance License may be required.
  • Safari will apply and pay for your DEA License.
  • New associates will be required to take the Texas state USDA Accreditation.

Benefits:

  • Competitive salary with paid time off.
  • Medical, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits for you and eligible dependents.
  • Automatic enrollment 401(k) Savings Plan after 60 days of employment.
  • Automatic enrollment in 100% practice paid short– and long–term disability after 60 days of employment — includes maternity leave.
  • Liability and malpractice insurance
  • Safari Wellness Plans for up to three pets.
  • Personal development plans designed to define and achieve your career goals.
  • Practice-paid continuing education opportunities.
  • The chance to lend your skills to the communities you serve and live in.

Safari Veterinary Care Centers strongly supports and values the uniqueness of all individuals and promotes a work environment where diversity is embraced. Safari is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetic information, or protected veteran status. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know. Safari follows all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.