GREENFIELD – A longtime local veterinary practice is moving into a bigger building and adding to its services.
Westwood Veterinary Clinic, which has operated at 1306 W. Main St. in Greenfield for more than 40 years, is moving down the street to 2390 W. Main St. The building formerly housed Beagle Furniture and most recently Remodeling Services and Complete Restoration.
The clinic will be going from its current space of about 1,100 square feet to about 17,000 square feet, and has plenty of plans for filling up that extra room. Along with continuing its veterinary practice at the new location, it also intends to provide pet boarding and daycare, training classes, grooming, pet ownership education and an initiative for finding new homes for pets whose owners have died or gone into nursing homes.
Heather McClure O’Farrell, a member of Westwood Veterinary Clinic who has raised and showed dogs for 30 years, noted other veterinarians in the area have recently retired, reduced hours or closed.
“With a lot of the veterinarians around here retiring, we need to bring in new people,” she said. “We’re expanding like crazy, and we need more space.”
Dog and cat boarding services in the new location will include spaces decorated with facades resembling island bungalows and cameras that owners will be able to access to check in on their pets at all times. Other spaces will be made of stainless steel, glass and laminate as opposed to chain-link barriers or cages.
There will also be an area for obedience classes where O’Farrell wants to facilitate private training during the day and group sessions in the evenings.
Her nonprofit organization, Tottie’s Place, will have a home at the new location as well. The initiative will take in pets whose owners have died or gone into nursing homes, foster them and help them find new homes.
“When you can’t take care of them anymore and you’re in a nursing home, nobody wants their dogs to be put down or go somewhere strange,” O’Farrell said.
And if a new home can’t be found for any of the Totties’ Place animals, they’ll get to stay in the happy, healthy environment created for them, she added.
“If there’s nowhere for them to go, we keep them,” O’Farrell said. “They’re not going to be put down; we keep them.”
She estimates needing about 30 employees in the new location, up from the six who currently work at Westwood Veterinary Clinic. The existing staff includes Dr. Holly Jacobson, chief veterinarian and O’Farrell’s sister; as well as Dr. Jeffrey Hanssen, chief surgeon.
O’Farrell said the clinic will be looking for more veterinarians along with veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses. It’ll also need staff for boarding services, the daycare, dog training and Tottie’s Place.
The clinic needed approval from the Greenfield Board of Zoning Appeals to have a kennel in the new building, which the board approved.
O’Farrell said pet waste will go through a macerating process before being disposed of via the city’s wastewater system.
If an animal has to be euthanized at the clinic and the owner wants it cremated, that service would be provided offsite, O’Farrell said.
She also said the facility will be equipped with vacuum systems for cleaning up urine that will add disinfectant and dry.
“The key is to keep it clean, smell clean, your pet will be clean, and there will be no spread of disease or germs,” she said.
She hopes to open in the new location in August, but said it will likely be closer to October.
“We’d like to be ready for fall breaks and Christmas,” she said.