By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 25, 2009 at 11:41 AM

There’s good news for critically ill or injured animals and their caregivers and it’s called the Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals. (MECA) The state-of-the-art facility, 3670 S. 108th St., opens on June 1 and is equipped to accept the city’s most critical care cases. Also, the facility will be prepared to perform surgeries seven days per week, 24-hours per day.

"Time is of the essence when trying to save these animals," says Dr. Marla Lichtenberger, MECA’s owner.

Lichtenberger is a board-certified emergency and critical care specialist and has been in practice since 1987. She served as president of the Milwaukee Veterinary Medical Association (2002-07) and on the executive board of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association. In addition, she is an international speaker and published researcher regarding emergency care for small animals and exotics.

Lichtenberger was born and raised in Milwaukee, and studied and worked in Los Angeles and New York City before returning to Brew City.

"I have no higher priority than promptly serving these patients," says Lichtenberger.

MECA works with pet owners’ veterinarians to provide advanced diagnostic, high-tech monitoring and surgery services not available at their facility or at a time when they unavailable.

"We will treat your referring veterinarian and all our clients in a manner that will surpass their expectations. We work with your general practitioner to help the client get the best care possible," says Lichtenberger.

The  facility will employ 24, including six veterinarians, and will treat dogs, cats, small mammals (rabbits, guinea pigs), rodents, reptiles and birds. Critical care is the cornerstone of the practice, but the staff will offer services such as fluid therapy, blood products, in-house laboratory evaluation and state-of-art anesthesia.

In addition, MECA will also offer monitoring equipment, such as an electrocardiogram, digital imaging, ultrasound, echocardiograms, endoscopy and surgery.

"Greenfield is proud to serve as the home of Dr. Lichtenberger's critical care veterinary facility," said Michael Neitzke, mayor of Greenfield. "It clearly meets a need not only for pet owners in our city, but throughout the region as well."

Dr. Randal Zeman, director of veterinary services at the Wisconsin Humane Society, believes MECA will improve health care availability to pets in southeastern Wisconsin.

"We are excited about the opening of Dr. Lichtenberger’s new state-of-the-art clinic and the expertise she brings," says Zeman.