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Business of the Month: January 2024

Eagle River Animal Hospital



Eagle River Animal Hospital

1720 Highway 45 North
Eagle River, WI 54521
Phone: (715) 479-7090
Website: https://eaglerivervet.com/

In December, the Eagle River Animal Hospital celebrated the opening of its new and expanded hospital, enhancing the quality of care for pets, providing new services, and offering a more comfortable experience for both animals and their owners. 

Dr. Katie Hom, owner, envisioned the project before Covid, which has now become a reality. The new 10,000-plus sq. ft. hospital is a replacement for the familiar aging facility next door, which had limited space. The former hospital has since been demolished. 

Recently, we sat down for an interview with Dr. Mary Camp, one of the veterinarians at the Clinic, and Practice Manager Amber Plautz, to delve into the exciting developments at the Hospital. Dr. Hom, Dr. Camp, and Plautz have all been with the hospital since 2014. 

When people and their pets walk into the new hospital, they are welcomed into a large lobby featuring a cozy faux fireplace, expansive windows, and a welcoming reception area. 

Camp expressed her excitement about the new facility. "With the new animal hospital, we have been able to update a lot of the spaces,” she said. They include areas dedicated solely to veterinarian workspaces, surgery, lab, treatments, isolation, as well as an indoor dog training center led by trainer Heidi Skarda. In addition, they now offer pet grooming services, provided by groomer Jennifer Vessell. 

The hospital has experienced a steady increase in patient volume, and appointment slots are consistently full throughout the year. Camp stated that there were 6,700 patient visits from January to October this year.

Camp and Plautz acknowledge the need for 24/7 emergency veterinary care, but staffing challenges remain a significant obstacle to providing this service. “We still face a shortage of veterinarians,” said Camp. “The demand for comprehensive pet care has been on the rise, with an increased emphasis on preventive care, dental health, and specialized treatments like dermatology. We’re doing more in-depth care these days.”

The new building is expected to improve overall efficiency, and hopefully, Camp said, potentially attract additional veterinarians to join the team. The hospital has 19 full- and part-time staff members, and recently welcomed part-time veterinarian Dr. Roger Flemming allowing for two doctors to be present every day.

One of the significant improvements in the new facility is also the kennel area. The clinic has introduced glass kennels that help reduce noise, with in-floor heating, and adjustable lighting to create a quieter and more comfortable recovery space for pets.

Camp emphasized the positive impact of the new facility, stating, "We're excited because we want to provide the best possible care, and the new facility gives us a better opportunity for hospitalized care. It was nice to see people coming in that first week, the animals have been really relaxed."

The Eagle River Animal Hospital provides care for a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, and reptiles by approval. The hospital has implemented a Closed Captioning Television system so that the veterinarians can monitor pets remotely, including large screens in the treatment area for enhanced observation.

To cater to the emotional needs of pet owners during difficult times, the facility includes a separate euthanasia area for saying goodbye to one’s beloved companion.

Camp also highlighted the clinic's regional significance. "We draw people and their pets  from Ontonagon, Antigo, Crandon, Hiles, Iron River, and Bruce's Crossing,” she said. “If we can attract some additional veterinarians and support staff up here, we can make an even greater impact on the community.” 

Plautz emphasized the joy of working with pets and their owners. "The pets are so happy. When you make that bond, when that dog and owner are so excited to see you; it is a shining part in my day."

Camp summed up her passion for veterinary care. "It's something different every day. I always wanted to be a veterinarian and use my skills to benefit animals and their owners. It feels like home here."

Plautz concluded by highlighting the clinic's focus on building a close-knit community. "I love Eagle River because we're helping our clients, and it feels like family here. I think Dr. Katie and Dr. Mary work really hard to have a family here, happy patients, and happy clients."

Congratulations!



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