PDT Staff Writer
Shawnee Animal Clinic is in the process of building a nearly $2 million animal clinic next to their current site on Bierly Road in the Clay Township area.
"It's going to be a totally new facility," said Dr. Gail Counts, one of the doctors who operate out of the current clinic. "Because we decided that there is so many inefficient areas in our old clinic that by the time that we remodeled it and did what we wanted to it was just more cost-effective to start over from scratch."
Counts said the company recently got a loan approved for $1.7 million.
"Hopefully we will break ground here in the next few weeks," Counts said. "And they are going to start building on that lot right next to us."
Counts said the clinic will continue to operate right up to when the new facility is completely built.
"We're hoping to be done by next fall," Counts said.
Counts said she has been working with architect Randy Mullins for over a year because she said she wants to make sure it is done right.
"We have the layout of the building pretty much done, but we're actually touring some newer clinics with our architect to try to get some ideas down about what we actually want to do with each room," Counts said. "We're planning on going paper light, which is almost paperless so you don't have paper files, and you don't have to store it. Everything will be in the computer when we switch over."
Counts said adding to the efficiency of the new clinic, the doctors will all use laptops and each room will have a monitor for things such as transferring x-rays.
"We're going to have eight exam rooms, separate entrances for cats and dogs, and a lot newer facilities," Counts said. "Some of our equipment is going to be new. We're going to switch to digital x-ray and some of the newer equipment, but a lot of our current equipment will be just moving over to the other facility when we're ready to switch over."
Counts said one of the highlights of the new facility will be the ability to do more work with birds.
"Our new doctor (Dr. Naomi Dean) does Avian medicine, so what better area for her to do ultrasounds and do bird work like that over there," Counts said.
Counts said there would also be a large surgical suite and a big intensive care unit, "the things that we really couldn't have done with the old building. It just wouldn't have done justice for what we wanted to do."
In addition to Counts, Dean, and Dr. Angie Sherman, Counts said she will be bringing on a fourth doctor when the new clinic opens.
"It's kind of scary," Counts said. "We planned all of this before the economy was going the way it is now going, but we never had any problems with our loan going through, so we're just hoping for the best."
Counts was in Cincinnati Wednesday to tour other facilities and get more ideas.
Counts said she has no plans to tear down the current clinic location.
"I own the old facility myself, so we're going to keep it and probably turn it into a total boarding facility," Counts said. "And just turn the exam rooms into boarding rooms, so house dogs will have a place to stay in a bed instead of a run."
Counts also operates Sierra's Haven Animal Shelter less than half-a-mile from the clinic property.