It’s been close to two months, but the new operators of the veterinary clinic in Bashaw have found the welcome to be wonderful.
Central Veterinary Clinic in Ponoka took over the location at the end of June following the retirement of local vet Henry Srubka and officially opened its satellite facility on July 8.
“We’ve had a limited relationship with Henry for many years, as he would refer his clients to us when he was away or on holiday and such,” explained Central Vet co-owner and veterinarian Trevor Hook.
“So recently, when he began to think about retiring, he approached us to see if we would consider taking over his practice.”
They hosted an open house, complete with free food and prizes, on Aug. 14 as a bit of a coming out party to help its new clients familiarize themselves with the new staff as well.
“It’s to help make ourselves known to the community and some of the people knew about us, but there were many that didn’t,” said Laura Duckett, Central Vet’s office manager, who is also responsible for integrating the satellite location into the clinic’s computerized client care system.
“The people we have seen have been really receptive and thankful that they will still have vet services close by.”
The challenge with a vastly rural practice like Bashaw is finding someone to replace a solo veterinarian, added Hook, though it was made easier for the Ponoka-based clinic with its large base of staff.
Central Vet’s compliment of veterinarians will rotate through Bashaw on nearly a daily basis and the vet technicians will rotate on a weekly basis and a regular receptionist/technician assistant is already in place.
“Henry had a lot of stuff that could be of value to a practice, but finding an individual vet can be hard. However, with our home base being so close with enough people in the right places to be able to staff the new clinic, it has all worked out really well,” he said.
“With our multi-discipline veterinary practice, there is certainly more support available to cover Bashaw and not have to relocate. In time, there may be some specific people out there full time, but for now this is the option we went with. It’s nice though, to be able to provide service to such a big area that otherwise might not have access.”
And for those that were worried about the local resident, Duckett calmed those fears, noting Riley the cat will continue on is his capacity at the clinic.
The new clinic will cater to both small and large animals, while also offering an improved range of items — pet food, care products, medicine, toys, other goods —
The new office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at (780) 372-2411.