Our Hospital Story
Our office was built in 1975 and was the first veterinary facility in the area to be constructed as a veterinary hospital. In those days, the majority of veterinary services revolved around food animal production and that meant going out to farms to treat cows, horses, pigs, and sheep. Most veterinarians had a mobile vehicle equipped to handle large animal emergencies and a small animal office in part of their house. It was Dr. Ed Empringham that had the vision to build a clinic that would be capable of serving the small animals in the community then and well into the future.
The 1975 clinic was very modern for the times with a comfortable small animal waiting room and a large animal dispensary. Two examination rooms seemed like a waste of space but that would soon change as Kincardine grew into a bustling community serving the Bruce Nuclear Power Development. In 1976 the clinic changed from one to two veterinarians on staff. In 1985 the small animal demands pushed the staff to three veterinarians full time. By 1991 the clinic was bursting at the seams and a major expansion was planned and implemented. Three main objectives had to be maintained. First, the front office had to be spacious, bright and comfortable for both the pets and their owners. We also wanted to keep the large animal dispensary accessible to our farm clients. Although the small animal business was expanding, we had a very loyal group of clients in food animal production and still have them today. Second, we needed to expand the treatment area and surgery to accommodate the growing staff and patient volume. We always prided ourselves in providing quality medicine and surgery. With a major expansion this would only move us to a higher plateau. Third, we had to have more room for office space for our veterinarians and staff. With the exploding volume of information available we needed more shelf space for our reference books, videos, cd-roms. The computer system was expanded to four stations all hooked into a main server.
Throughout the clinic, we have incorporated surface areas that meet our licensing body’s guidelines. These surfaces are designed to allow disinfecting solutions to easily sanitize floors, kennels, cages, countertops, and exam tables. The surfaces are sometimes slippery to pets, however it is these features which help make them impervious to viruses and bacteria.
When you do an expansion, there are always pleasant surprises. We built one small room that was intended to be an isolation unit. It turned out to be impractical in its location to fulfill that function. Instead it is now a quiet room where people can come and visit with their hospitalized pets in a tranquil atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of a busy clinic. Because it was painted green, it is referred to as the “GREEN ROOM” by our staff and many of our clients. There have been many happy memories and some sad ones associated with the green room.
In 2004, another major change came to our hospital. It was becoming more evident that it would be easier to operate Kincardine Veterinary Services as two seperate businesses. Veterinary medicine continues to change and this split would allow veterinarians to focus their care on either small or large animal medicine. So on September 1 2004, Thomson Veterinary Services was born and was owned by Dr. Roger Thomson until he retired from large animal medicine and sold the mobile practice. The small animal clients continued to enjoy individualized professional veterinary care from Kincardine Veterinary Services. Dr. Heather Ribey became the proud owner of Kincardine Veterinary Services.
In late 2016, Kincardine Veterinary Services changed hands once again, as one of our long-time Veterinarians Dr. Laurie Norman became the new owner and manager. Upon Dr. Laurie assuming ownership, the clinic underwent a rebrand and a minor facelift, including paint and a new logo. Currently, there are 4 doctors, 4 veterinary technicians, an office manager, kennel manager, and kennel students to attend to all of our client and patient needs.