Palmer veterinarian Dr. Sean McPeck knows how useful working dogs can be overseas. He was a captain in the U.S. Army, serving on Special Forces before becoming a Ranger veterinary surgeon.

During McPeck's deployment to Afghanistan, he not only took care of canines, but taught their handlers how to act in an emergency.

“Training them in what we call CTCCC: Canine Tactical Combat Casualty Care,” McPeck said. “So, care under fire. Your dog gets hit, what do you do.”

McPeck said dogs are great for detecting explosives and tracking down and capturing people. He said they also keep soldiers safe.

“We value them, they are a part of the team but their number one job is making sure that all of the soldiers and service members come home,” McPeck said.

His wife Sarah was also an Army veterinarian. The couple wanted to settle back in Alaska to raise their family when they got out of the military.

McPeck saw there was a lack of specialized pet services in the Mat-Su and opened Tier 1 Veterinary Medical Center in Palmer near Trunk Road.

“Whether it’s surgery or rehabilitation. We also offer very unique alternative medicine. We have two certified veterinary acupuncturists here,” McPeck said.

As a veteran, he also wanted to create an atmosphere of teamwork and camaraderie for his staff.

“If we can have a solid team, if people can be excited to be here and be willing to trust that person that is left and right of them, then overall we’re going to be much more effective at saving that patient’s life that comes through the door,” McPeck said.

The McPecks have served their country caring for military dogs and now plan to meet the needs of the Mat-Su community by providing more medical resources for local pups.

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