The staff of West River Veterinary Clinic held their ground breaking ceremony Wednesday, July 23.
By JENNIFER GARREAU | Record Editor
The staff of West River Veterinary Clinic held their ground breaking ceremony Wednesday, July 23. The new facility will be located east of Hettinger off of Highway 12 and will be one of the largest veterinary practices in roughly a hundred mile radius.
“We have a great bunch of clientele that has really been supportive of our growth and has really made this opportunity possible,” said Dr. Ethan Andress.
The practice, which has now grown to include six veterinarians, serving both large and small animal clients and emergency and urgent care seven days a week, is bursting at the seams in their current facility.
“If you look at our current facility we are really lacking space, so our surgery room acts as our exam room, and another exam room acts as our chemistry room, so while one doctor is in there examining a pet, there may also be another vet or veterinary technician in there doing lab work. We have six veterinarians and our business managers all working out of one small office. We are often trying to compete for space,” said Andress. “Basically we will take the three rooms we have here and turn them into seven or eight, because they are multi function rooms now that aren’t functioning.”
The new clinic will feature separate rooms for small animal exams, surgery, radiology, laboratory, and grooming, as well as, a 24 hour coin operated public dog wash.
“ Basically this practice has completely changed from what it was 30 to 40 years ago, it was predominantly a large animal clinic and now it’s a true mixed animal practice. We have to take care of all our clientele that is now much broader and bigger,” said Andress.
“On the large animal side of the clinic it will still be a haul in facility but customers will no longer have to back in to unload, it will be a drive through facility and we will have an equine surgery room with two stalls so we can keep patients over night for IV fluid treatments,” said Dr. Bleaux Johnson.
“There will be better access and more room for our customers, better parking, and a retail space where we can actually put our products on display,” said Andress.
The facility will also feature a conference room that will also be used as a community room. It will be available for the community to use for meetings and a space for FFA and 4-H youth to display their projects.
Building will begin this summer with hopes that the facility will be opened in February or March.
“This new facility is truly as much for our clients as it is for us, with easier access for our large animal clients and more space for our small animal clients, and it will allow us as vets to add more of a professionalism to our jobs,” said Johnson.