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LAKELAND, FL (September 22, 2020) — The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th for the 40th Annual Swan Roundup. Parks & Recreation employees will be carefully gathering the swans to get them ready for their annual veterinary check-up. The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for their annual wellness examinations with My Pet’s Animal Hospital that will start the morning of October 7th at 8:00 a.m. The Annual Swan Round-Up allows the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population. 

Steve Platt, Parks & Recreation Supervisor who is also known as the Swanfather said, “We will gather the swans on Lake Morton using catch boats with our crews setting up a perimeter around the lake to help keep the swans on the water. Our veterinarian will be out the very next morning to assist with keeping our swan flock healthy. Day two may take a little longer this year because we plan on having a swan sale this year. We will have to separate the swans that will be part of that process but we will have more information on our swan sale later.”

The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in 1957.  As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began in 1980 and has continued every year since then. The swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original “Swanvet” W.G. Gardner. Dr. Patricia Mattson oversaw the birds for several years and now My Pet’s Animal Hospital will take care of Lakeland’s swan flock. 

“My Pet’s Animal Hospital is honored to provide medical care for the swans of Lakeland. The swans are iconic to Lakeland and we are looking forward to taking care of these majestic birds.  Our team cannot express how excited and honored we are to give back to the Lakeland community through this experience,” said Dr. Erin Rothrock. My Pet’s Animal Hospital is located at 2225 Drane Field Road. Dr. Donna McWilliams, Dr. Erin Rothrock, Dr. Price Dickson and Dr. Sara Davis offer their clients and patients a wide range of services at My Pet’s Animal Hospital.  These services include surgical services, preventative wellness healthcare, vaccinations, extensive dental care, grooming, boarding and daycare. My Pet’s Animal Hospital is an AAHA Accredited Hospital. The AAHA accreditation standards are considered the highest standards in companion animal care and are routinely reviewed and updated to ensure they remain consistent with advances in veterinary medicine. Only 15% of Animal hospitals in the United Stated are awarded this accreditation.

Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been interacting with the birds for decades. It is very important that our Lakeland flock is doing well so we schedule the Swan Roundup each year with the primary purpose to check on the health of our birds.”  He added, “People may not realize but the Parks Department actually has a line item in our budget for swan food and upkeep. It costs about $10,000 per year to feed and care for Lakeland’s domestic swans.  We really appreciate the good folks at My Pet’s Animal Hospital for donating their time to take care of our swans this year and we are looking forward to working with them going into the future.  Through the years all of our veterinarians donated their time and resources. We know it is a big undertaking and we thank them.” 

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 

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