Emergency vet clinic under construction
JANESVILLE—As a veterinarian in Janesville in the mid-1990s, Dr. David Wirth fielded his fair share of late-night calls about sick dogs, cats and other small pets.
They're traumatic for the pet owner and often difficult for the vet on call.
That's the impetus for a new Janesville business that will open in November.
Under construction now, Veterinary Emergency Service will open at 3710 E. Racine St. and offer emergency and specialty veterinary care.
The clinic, Wirth said, is not a competitor for other local vets. Instead, it will serve as a complement.
Veterinary Emergency Service will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
“We won't stock vaccines, heartworm medicines or things for other routine care,” Wirth said. “It will be a fully staffed emergency clinic, and local vets will refer to us.”
Janesville's will be Wirth's third location. He opened one in Middleton in 2003 and another on Madison's east side in 2007. Both of those are open around the clock.
The Janesville clinic will serve pets in Janesville and the Rock County area, where Wirth said the nearest emergency clinic is more than 30 miles away.
“I got a lot of those calls in the middle of the night,” Wirth said. “I'd have to decide with the owner whether it was an emergency, and then I'd have to meet them there, sometimes not for 30 minutes to an hour.
“I'd show up alone, and it was usually just me and the owner trying to treat the animal.”
Twenty years ago, that was probably OK, Wirth said.
These days, however, expectations for quality of care have increased, and there are liability concerns and risks of meeting people alone at facilities where drugs are stored.
“A lot of vets just don't want to do that anymore, so they will refer to us,” he said. “We've had a really good buy-in from vets and clinics in the Janesville area.”
The Janesville clinic will be fully staffed, and the vets already have been hired, he said, adding that about 15 people will make up the local workforce.
Veterinary Emergency Service will lease the 4,700-square-foot building from Sara Investment Real Estate, which has developed and leased several other properties in the Janesville area.