Cameras in town for new reality TV show
A representative of a new reality TV show to be filmed partially in Haines was approaching residents in the townsite last week, asking if they had pets in need of veterinary services.
The animals were being recruited for “Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet,” a show airing Saturdays at 8 p.m. Alaska time on the National Geographic WILD channel.
Michelle Oakley, a traveling vet who lives in Haines Junction, Y.T ., said in an interview that about half the show’s filming will be done in Haines.
Many Haines residents and pets, including a Haines dog whose leg was cut by a piece of metal, have been filmed.
Oakley travels to Haines about once a month, where she runs a satellite clinic at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. Veterinary technicians Nicole Holm and Kelly Williamson assist during clinics.
As a travelling vet, Oakley covers thousands of square miles throughout the Yukon and Alaska. Medical care ranges from domestic cats in need of check-ups to a yak with an eye infection.
The National Geographic film crew has been following Oakley since fall. She operates out of her home clinic in Haines Junction where she lives with her husband and three daughters. She also holds clinics in Whitehorse and cares for animals at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.
The series premiered Saturday, and featured Haines residents Scott Rossman, son Joseph Rossman, and Chihuahua/Dachshund mix Scrappy, who Oakley neutered on screen with Williamson’s help. The episode also featured eagle foundation handler Brian Kurtzman and Aspen, a great gray owl with an amputated wing. Oakley created a bandage for the local bird using pipe insulation.
The episode also showed Oakley pulling porcupine quills out of a sled dog, putting her arm into a cow to check for pregnancy, and releasing eaglets who had fractured their legs.
The film crew has wrapped up filming for its first season. Oakley and the crew are scheduled to come to Haines April 25, during which season two filming will take place, said Holm, who is booking the clinic. Filming is scheduled to continue through the summer, she said.