Shawn Behrenfeld commutes to work, but it’s no ordinary commute.
Once a month or so Behrenfeld flies from Palm Springs, his new hometown in California, to his old hometown of Sequim.
Behrenfeld, a 1992 graduate of Sequim High School, is now a veterinarian with a valuable specialty: orthopedic surgery.
His visits to Sequim serve two purposes: Behrenfeld gets to visit his family and he provides Sequim pet owners with services that might otherwise require a trip to Seattle.
Behrenfeld’s practice, Humanimal, Inc., is “essentially a mobile surgery business,” Behrenfeld said. “I perform the surgeries” the local vets can’t.”
Behrenfeld was quick to point out he is not board-certified — a distinction he said is important — but he is qualified and experienced in many orthopedic procedures.
He explained that if a dog or cat has a diagnosis that requires surgery “beyond the skill or comfort level of your primary veterinarian, the vet may first advise referral to a board-certified surgeon.” If the pet owner declines, then the vet can offer the services of Humanimal.
That includes Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO), a surgical repair of a rupture of the cruciate ligament. These ruptures can lead to lameness and chronic pain, Behrenfeld said.
Behrenfeld also works on broken bones “and certain cancer cases,” he said.
While in Sequim he also consults with local vets, and provides second opinions.
Behrenfeld said while he can perform many surgeries, “If I don’t feel comfortable I’ll send the patient somewhere else.”
A little history
After graduating from Sequim High, Behrenfeld attended Washington State University where in 1996 he earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology. He received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from WSU in 2001.
Behrenfeld’s mom and dad, Doug and Marie Behrenfeld, operate B-E Service and Supply in Sequim.