In 1995, Dr. Richard Maser, an Ontario Veterinary College graduate, purchased a farm with a traditional white farmhouse on Highway 7A between Cavan and Bethany with the vision to transform the property into a veterinary clinic. In the centre of a growing community, its location provided loads of space with high visibility and easy access on a major artery. Plus it was right around the corner from his home.
The first job was to transform the 1800-square-foot house into a clinic with a reception area and a few treatment rooms. In the early days there were four staff and the clinic offered a wide range of veterinary services to pets in the area. The list of services expanded to include traditional services including preventative wellness treatments, spay and neuter procedures as well emergency surgery. The clinic responded to the growth in demand for its services by extending its hours of operation to seven days a week.
By 2015, it was clear the clinic had outgrown its accommodations. Dr. Maser and his partner, Laura Scouller, took their time in designing the new clinic, visiting other facilities in Canada, the US and the UK to get ideas. Together they designed every square inch of the new, 7,000-square-foot facility which opened last month. Its arrival was none too soon. Staff now total 70, including thirteen doctors. Dr. Maser remains on staff and while he does take appointments, the majority of his time is spent training new vets in surgical procedures and emergency medical treatments.
Despite Covid restrictions, clinic staff has begun to allow some clients into the new reception area because it is large enough to allow for physical distancing. Dog and cat areas in the facility are segregated to help keep animals calm. The clinic also treats exotic and pocket pets. Surgical and treatment rooms are on the main floor, but the telephone area is on the upper level where things are quiet, so conversations which are often fraught with emotion over an emergency can be more focused. The second story also features a board room for training, an area where treatment rooms can be monitored and a generous staff room.
The original farmhouse building will continue to serve clients as a wellness clinic, offering non-emergency services including vaccines, preventative care, dental cleaning and oral health care. It will operate on a more traditional schedule, with weekday and Saturday morning appointments, while the new building will offer emergency services and remain open twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. While they are always ready for any emergency, staff appreciate receiving advance notice of incoming situations so they can be better prepared. These situations include car accidents or trauma where there is severe injury including broken bones, where the animal has trouble breathing, has experienced sudden paralysis, or an enlarged abdomen.
Customers looking to minimize travel can access veterinary services remotely. Telephone interviews with a veterinary technician can help customers determine if their pets require immediate, in-person care or if treatment can be delivered at home. The clinic also offers video and telephone consultations with a Veterinarian to determine the best care options.
Now that construction is complete, the focus shifts to the exterior of the facility, where plans are in place to create a fenced in sitting area for clients and their pets.
Congratulations to Dr. Maser, Laura Scouller and the staff at Cavan Hills Veterinary Services on their success in establishing a thriving Veterinary care business helping pet-lovers in the community and beyond provide compassionate and timely care for their pets. KG