The Ark of Socorro Veterinary Clinic has been servicing our four legged friends of all species for years, providing clinical services to pets in the Socorro community and surrounding areas. Rachael Baker is the office manager and has been with Ark for over a year. Rachael welcomed El Defensor Chieftain in for a bit of fun with the animals.
Question: What types of services does this facility provide?
Answer: Our group takes care of all types of animals big or small. Surgery, general health, ultra sound and digital x-ray.
Q: Does the facility provide other services outside of standard veterinary responsibilities.
A: We do. There is a boarding service for animals. It is a little bit tight right now but we are working on expanding it to provide for more animals. There is also a private grooming service that we work with and uses our facilities. We also sell standard pet needs such as food or collars.
Q: Is it challenging being the only main veterinary clinic in the area?
A: Not at all. We have a really great staff of trained professionals that keep things running smoothly while also taking care of the patients. At least as smooth as any business (laughs).
Q: Some pet owners delay regularly scheduled treatments due to time or financial constraints. Why should owners make sure to schedule regular checkups?
A: Most of what we recommend are vaccinations. Rabies is the top one. It is nearly 100 percent fatal and can be contracted to all mammals. Humans can be vaccinated if they encounter a bite from an animal with the disease but that is very expensive and sometimes insurance companies will not cover that. Also if an animal bites a person they must be quarantine for a minimum of ten days. If that is not possible in the area then the animal’s brain matter must be sent in for testing which of course makes it impossible for them to stay alive. If you cannot catch the animal, say a bat or raccoon, then you have to go in for shots. So preventative shots are a great way to keep you and your pets healthy.
Q: Does The Ark have an insurance policy or take insurance from other companies?
A: We don’t accept insurance policies directly here. There are companies that we work with but most of the time it's a reimbursement policy in which someone with pet insurance pays up front and works with their provider for whatever monetary coverage they have. Premiums vary depending on the age of an animal as well as pre-existing conditions and what breed they are.
Q: How did you come to work here at this location?
A: I managed a similar facility in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where I was also a technician. My father-in-law David Baker, whom also works here, contacted me. They had an open office manager position so I decided to come out.
Q: What is it that drew you into the field of working with animals?
A: It’s always been a passion starting from when I was little. I was born and raised with dogs, cats and horses.
Q: Do you currently have animals yourself?
A: Yes. At our family's home in Lemitar we have a horse, three cats and four dogs. The horse is recreational. We have a nice area in Lemitar where all of the animals can run around and enjoy themselves with the kids.
Q: A few random questions. What is your favorite book?
A: “The Book Thief”. I enjoy reading it. There’s a lot of emotion in it from happy to sad. Plus it’s very well written.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Any type of Mexican dish. As long as it has chile on it. I’m a Christmas style chili person. I love both red and green.
Q: What is your favorite type of music or singer?
A: Old style country. Merle Haggard, Don Edwards and several others. I grew up with that type of music. It’s in my blood and makes me happy when I listen to it.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Socorro County?
A: The outdoors. Plenty of fishing, hiking and camping. My kids love to go fishing at Escondida Lake so we do that a lot.
Q: Who is your favorite historical figure and why?
A: My two children are both named after legends from the past. Audie Murphy, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, and Winston Churchill. Both very strong personalities and my husband and I are big war history buffs.
Q: If there was something that you could change about Socorro, what would it be?
A: It would be education. We have some high quality teachers here but they have a lot on their plates. There are positions that need to be filled that they can’t fill. I don’t know how you wave a magic wand and get people to want to come here and teach. But I definitely think that is one thing that could help the community.
In addition to its normal office hours, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Socorro Ark Veterinary Clinic also provides private appointments and house calls to accommodate pet owners' busy schedules. Give their office a call at 575-835-9002. If you come into the clinic make sure to give Rachael a friendly hello as she and the rest of the staff will take care of your pet as if it was their own.