When the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNEGA) began offering basic wellness services to the community in 2010, the team had no idea the amount of need they would see.
“In the 8 years since wellness services began, our client base has grown exponentially,” says Julie Edwards, HSNEGA Executive Director. “And, as the need for low-cost care has increased, we outgrew the space we used for clinical services, so we decided to remodel an area of our building to become a new clinic space and, in turn, help even more at-need pets and pet owners in the community.”
The dream of a new space became a reality this week when the new Christian-David Healthy Pet Clinic opened in what used to be office space and storage. The 1,900-square-foot space includes three exam rooms, a larger waiting area, and a clinical team work area, allowing HSNEGA to increase client capacity and level of service.
“As a veterinarian, I am pleased the Humane Society can offer ‘gold standard” care to pet owners of all income levels,” says Jaime Feroli, DVM, HSNEGA Medical Director. “The choice between providing for your pet and caring for your family is a reality many people face on a regular basis, and it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to give pet owners an affordable option for caring for their beloved companions.”
The journey to the Healthy Pet Clinic began approximately a year ago when HSNEGA’s team realized the growing need to better serve their clients. Shortly thereafter, the HSNEGA team began to form their dream for a new space into a plan. In early fall, a signature gift from Murray and Daphne David fueled the plan forward. Construction started mid-February and was completed in late March, followed by set-up, move in and team training.
In March, Summer Andersen, DVM, joined the HSNEGA clinical team as an Associate Veterinarian. After months of collaboration and planning for the grand opening, Drs. Feroli and Andersen will share responsibilities for the clinic.
“While we are offering most of the same services with a few additions, our clinic model has completely changed,” says Dr. Feroli. “Clients will now be able to have ‘face time’ with a veterinarian providing a more individualized level of service and we can focus more on working with owners on ways to better the lives of their pets.”
Feroli does note the transition to a new way of helping clients and their pets will take time.
“(The new model) will take some getting used to for our team and our clients but, ultimately, this change is to better the lives of the pets in our community,” she adds. “The process is entirely new, from the clinic software we use to the way we interact with clients, and we appreciate our clients’ patience with our team during their learning curve.”
Edwards says the Healthy Pet Clinic is just one of several projects in the long-range plans for HSNEGA as the organization strives to meet the needs of the region.
“We are so grateful to the Davids for their tremendous generosity which will positively impact the lives of thousands of pets in our community for years to come,” says Edwards. “Their gift to build the Healthy Pet Clinic is the first of many projects on the horizon for the Humane Society which we hope will result in a healthier, happier community for rescues, pets and pet owners.”
To learn more about the services offered at the Healthy Pet Clinic, please visit HSNEGA.org/healthy-pet-clinic. The Healthy Pet Clinic is open Tuesday-Friday 10 am – 4 pm. Walk-ins welcome until 3 pm; limited check-in after 3 pm.