Amongst the free hot dogs, crafts and meals made available through the Festival this year will be another service available to tribal members – free vaccinations for family dogs provided by Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member Dr. Heidi Stone, a board certified veterinarian.

We spoke to Dr. Stone ahead of this year’s Festival about what to expect from the tribe’s free dog vaccination clinic taking place at BDC Gun Room at 40960 Hardesty Rd, Shawnee, OK 74801.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

“I am a 2007 graduate of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. The tribe helped support my educational endeavors through the scholarship program. During my senior year of veterinary school I spent a month in the tribal jurisdiction while doing an internship at a local mixed animal practice in Tecumseh.

“Since graduation I have done mixed animal practice and general small animal medicine tending to animals from dogs, cats, and livestock to pocket pets and reptiles.

“I have a keen interest in preventative care, geriatric medicine and dentistry. I currently practice at Georgetown Veterinary Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.”

What gave you the idea to offer free vaccination services for family dogs during Festival 2017?

“I had spoken with the chairman and vice-chairman over the years about opportunities to use my degree to give back to the tribe. In January I began brainstorming the idea of a vaccine clinic and was fortunate enough to get the support of several animal health companies including Elanco, Merial and Zoetis.

“Festival seemed like the logical choice to allow for tribal members from all over the U.S. to take advantage of the service (provided they are able to travel with their pets).”

Is this your first time at Festival?

“We have come to Festival several times in years past. This will be our daughters’ first time at Festival, although our oldest daughter Madeline came in 2015 when she received her Potawatomi name from the chairman. My husband and I are so excited to be able to teach the girls about their Potawatomi heritage as they grow.

“When not at the office, I spend time with my family [husband James and daughters Madeline (3) and Annabella (1)]. We have a Cardigan Corgi named Zooey, a Miniature Pinscher, a cat named Tabby, two guinea pigs, and pony named Peppy. I also enjoy photography, scrapbooking, hiking, and music.”