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Meet Hayley, the First Patient of Auburn’s Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital

By Janet L. McCoy, (e) mccoyjl@auburn.edu, (p) 334-844-3698

Auburn, Alabama —

Just like clockwork, Hayley Eustice and her owners arrived at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, ready to start another week of medical therapy.

While Hayley’s visit was routine, blood and a check of her lymph nodes, for owners Elizabeth Eustice and Joan Taylor of Columbus, Ga., and the veterinarians and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine, today was significant – it was the first day in the Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital.

Hayley was the first client in the door of the 208,000-square-foot teaching hospital, and just like she’s done on every visit, the white poodle pranced around to greet everyone, happy to see familiar faces.

For the past 18 months, Eustice and Taylor have brought their beloved Hayley to the teaching hospital following a diagnosis of lymphoma by their Columbus, Ga. veterinarian.

And while the series of chemotherapy treatment has not produced the long-term results they have wanted, Hayley “doesn’t realize she’s sick,” said Eustice.

The eight-year-old Hayley hasn’t suffered any severe side effects – she plays and runs and loves to chase a ball, they said.

“We felt like we had to give her a chance because she was so young and she’s been a textbook case,” Eustice says.

“We were told we had two-to-six weeks with her if we didn’t treat the lymphoma and up to two years if we did,” Taylor added.

Eustice said they are glad they decided to bring Hayley to Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We know they love her as much as we do and we know they’ve done everything they can.

“They are not just working with the animals but the parents of the animals as well,” adds Eustice, saying the staff at the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital has become extended members of the family.

Hayley has also made friends at the teaching hospital, and she barked with excitement when her owners told her that she’s going to see Natalie Royer, a veterinary technician in the Oncology service at the teaching hospital.

“I love my patients and I love our clients,” said Royer. “I live for the small moments.”

The Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital stands as a national leader in veterinary education with the latest in animal health care delivery and clinical research.

With this new $47 million facility, the College of Veterinary Medicine will provide leading-edge animal health care, clinical trials to develop safe and effective treatments and the most advanced veterinary education available to benefit the residents of Alabama and beyond.

The teaching hospital’s clinical, examination and client-use space is three times that of the former space and houses 12 dedicated specialty service areas, an emergency room and the Auburn University Veterinary Clinic, a community practice facility open to the public. The new teaching hospital is designed to accommodate the 120 fourth-year clinical students, residents and interns.

Named to honor the late Dr. Wilford Bailey, a 1942 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and his wife, the late Cratus “Kate” Bailey,  the facility stands as a tribute to Dr. Bailey’s 50 years of continuous academic and administrative service to Auburn, including being Auburn’s 13th president.

The Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital will be dedicated April 11 during the college’s Annual Conference.

  1. From Left: Joan Taylor, Elizabeth Eustice, Natalie Royer and Elizabeth Stickelmaier


  2. Source: Hayley with one of her owners, Joan Taylor
  3. Hayley with Natalie Royer and Elizabeth Stickelmaier

  4. Hayley with Client Advocate Nancy Wagner and one of her owners Joan Taylor