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PetFocus vet group hunts down digs for new hospital

Bedford facility will be eighth in stable of clinics and will offer specialized treatment

The largest veterinarian group in Atlantic Canada is about to get a little bigger.

A year after amalgamating seven practices, PetFocus Veterinary Group has begun renovations on a 2,900-square-foot space within Hemlock Square in Bedford.

When it opens at the end of the year, the full-service veterinary hospital will be the eighth in the group’s stable of clinics in the region and the first since amalgamation.

CEO Louisa Horne said the time was right to grow after the group spent the last year working on creating a cohesive unit, putting efficiencies in place and improving the quality of pet care.

“That was part of the initial thinking, that we’d take a year to get our legs under us and get things worked out and make sure that we had a full understanding of what the operation was going to look like as a combined organization,” she said in an interview.

“There was lots of work behind the scenes to rationalize seven different ways of doing everything and seven different suppliers, and so we’ve worked very hard … to put in place some common policies and procedures to support and improve pet care.”

The new clinic will offer a focus on special areas of veterinary medicine like orthopedics, minimally invasive surgery options and rehabilitation for dogs.

This will be the first location that will offer both orthopedic surgery and a dedicated rehabilitation room staffed by a certified rehabilitation technician. Currently, the group offers orthopedic surgery in Tantallon and most rehab services in Cole Harbour.

“So that’s not very convenient for anybody that might need both of those things, which a lot of people do if they have a dog that has had orthopedic surgery and has mobility issues,” Horne said.

Located off Larry Uteck Boulevard and Starboard Drive, Hemlock Square is an ideal location for such a clinic, she said.

“It’s a very much dynamic and vibrant community that’s growing rapidly and where there isn’t a full-service comprehensive veterinary hospital today.

“We serve clients from across Nova Scotia and beyond … right now, and so we wanted to have a location that was very convenient for clients who are coming from a long distance to easily find us and have other services that they might be interested in.”

The seven other practices that form the group are Clayton Park Veterinary Hospital, Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital, Eastern Shore Veterinary Hospital, Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital, Petworks Veterinary Hospital, Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital and Woodbury Animal Hospital.

PetFocus has 10 owners, 25 associate veterinarians and about 100 members of the technical and support staff.

(rzaccagna@herald.ca)

Source: Chronicle Herald.

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