Members of the Animal Welfare Council, staff of the Allegheny Spay and Neuter Clinic and and family of Dr. John Thomas gathered Monday to dedicate the clinic in his name.

WOODLAND — The Allegheny Spay and Neuter Clinic dedicated their building Monday to the memory of a doctor who dedicated his life and expertise to caring for animals.

A plaque was presented in memory of Dr. John Thomas, a veterinarian who helped establish the clinic that opened in 2009 to provide reasonably priced emergency care, vaccinations and reproduction prevention surgery for dogs and cats. Since 2013, the clinic has been located at 1380 Shawville Hwy., Woodland.

The Animal Welfare Council’s board of directors recently decided to honor Dr. Thomas’ memory by dedicating the building housing the Allegheny Spay and Neuter Clinic to him. Animal Welfare Council President Wil Beauseigneur said, “The success and mission of the Allegheny Spay and Neuter Clinic could not be achieved without a collaborative group effort by its employees, directors, and customers. However, Dr. Thomas’ devotion and compassion allows us to thrive. Dedicating the clinic’s building in his name is a small token of our appreciation of Dr. Thomas’ legacy and his commitment to our community.

“Alongside Dr. Thomas, our success can also be attributed to our director, Kimberly McKenrick. Kim is a founding member of the Animal Welfare Council. She and her team have ensured the continued quality of our services in John’s absence.”

During the brief ceremony, Beauseigneur presented a plaque honoring Dr. Thomas to McKenrick and the clinic’s staff.

“For those who work here, being able to help so many families and animals is an amazing feeling, however, none of this would be possible without Dr. John Thomas. Dr. Thomas was originally from Hancock, New York, but moved to Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelors degree in animal science at Penn State University and his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Thomas was the owner and operator of Mount Nittany Veterinary Hospital until his semi-retirement in 2009. It was also in 2009 that he became such a crucial part of the success and healing that has taken place in the clinic.

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“Dr. Thomas brought a passion for the care of animals that was second-to-none, and also brought the expertise of more than 50 years in veterinary medicine to a community that truly needed it. His dedication to his field and those around him was truly admirable, and this building would not be part of our community without his contributions.”

Beauseigneur said clinic staff and patients keenly feel the loss of Dr. Thomas.

“Dr. Thomas also left behind many people who were privileged enough to be able to say they have worked with him over the years. The Animal Welfare Council would like to dedicate this building in loving memory of Dr. John Thomas. While we continue to grieve his loss, we can also begin to celebrate his life’s work. This plaque will be a permanent reminder, for all of those who enter of the devotion, compassion, and perseverance he put forward to make our continued work possible.”

McKenrick told The Progress that Thomas was the force behind establishing the clinic and making sure it moved forward. When the clinic opened, Dr. Thomas said he would retire after spaying and neutering 5,000 pets. Instead he provided 50,000 animals with care.

“This place wouldn’t be here without Dr. Thomas. His passion for providing care for animals is unsurpassed. He has been part of the community for so long. His name and experience was so valuable in establishing this clinic and getting it going.”