A much anticipated mobile vet clinic still needs to acquire accreditation from the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia before it can open the door to the public, Carole Scholz veterinarian said, on Dec. 2.
Despite social media posts and community enthusiasm, steps still needed to be taken to ensure the clinic can open, Sholtz told The Northern View.
“We want to open the clinic in a way that the community needs, so they are not disappointed,” Scholz said.
“There is a 39-page checklist that we must pass before we can open,” Scholz said, adding even the name of the mobile service needed to be formalized but has been dubbed “Vet to Pet” on social media.
The mobile clinic facilities in the city arrived on Nov. 28, and the intent is to alleviate some of the stress for pet owners requiring basic services such as spay and neuters and dental services.
The mobile clinic will not provide emergency or after-hours care, x-rays or complex procedures.
Kimberley Hunter, the veterinarian in Smithers and owner of the mobile facility, said the clinic will offer basic services only.
“We’re equipped to do surgery spays and neuters, [but] nothing really technical like fixing broken bones,” she said.
Scholz has more than 26 years of experience as a veterinarian and ran her own clinic for 14 years in Grand Forks. She said she understands the dilemma and crisis when no clinics are taking on new patients, and pet owners have to travel to other municipalities for vet care.
She said she looked to the North to see where she could use her skills and thought Prince Rupert would be it would be a good fit.
The idea behind the Prince Rupert mobile veterinary clinic was born when Hunter teamed up with Scholz, who saw the city’s need for more veterinary services.
Hunter had a mobile vet clinic sitting idle in Smithers. Due to a lack of assistants, she was unable to put it to use to run that part of her practice.
“So, she’s supplying the veterinary services in Rupert … and I’m supplying the trailer, and altogether it just seems to be serendipitous things coming together to help the people of Rupert,” she said.
Many people have viewed the social media posts which show the travel trailer with a phone number. However, that phone number is not the correct number for the clinic as they still have to get services set up.
There is already a 70 person waitlist for services, Scholz said, with the idea for the clinic to be based in town most of the time in the warmer months travel to villages and remote communities to provide services.
Prince Rupert’s shortage of veterinarians is part of a larger province-wide problem due to a large number of veterinarians retiring. Throughout B.C. and Alberta, both provinces are just under 200 veterinarian positions behind Scholz said.
The new clinic will be located at 1065 Saskatoon Avenue when it begins operations.
With files from Norman Galimski
K-J Millar | Journalist
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