FLORENCE — Local veterinarians have joined forces to reopen an after-hours veterinary clinic that closed about a month ago.
Tuscumbia veterinarian Randall Davis said the clinic at 1421 N. Pine St. is open on weekends. Expectations are that it will be open after regular business hours by early 2013.
“This is the same building, but owned and operated by local veterinarians,” Davis said. “It’s kind of a cooperative.”
For now, the workload is spread among nine veterinarians, Sheffield veterinarian Troy Youngblood said.
“Everybody’s very committed to this,” Youngblood said. “The veterinarians have come on board and taken leadership roles in this.
“We are excited about this being here for the long term and look forward to it becoming a fixture in the Shoals.”
The clinic will have a board of directors to oversee it, he said.
Davis said Veterinary Regional Referral Hospital, of Decatur, opened the clinic two years ago. The agency had to close it Nov. 25 because of staffing issues and other logistics associated with trying to operate a clinic from out of town.
Davis said the local group reopened the clinic last weekend and it operates from Friday evening through Monday morning. He said they hope to have 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. hours on weekdays by January or February. That way it will be available when clinics that operate during weekday business hours are closed.
Clients can call ahead at 256-740-4800 or simply show up at the clinic.
“This has been a quick thing, and there’s still a lot of other things we have to get done for it to be official,” Davis said. “But we opened last weekend and were able to do some things.”
Davis said veterinarians often go on calls after business hours, but it is difficult to deliver full care without a completely operating clinic and staff.
Youngblood said the group has a veterinarian who will work most shifts at the clinic.
“We’ll fill in for the other shifts,” he said. “Ultimately, we hope to have two veterinarians full time, who would be the primary veterinarians. That’s important because when you work 50 to 60 hours a week in your own practice, it’s taxing on us and our families to be able to work at night.
“The clients deserve a veterinarian who is fresh at all times. We want the same type of quality options at midnight that our clients would expect from our hospitals at noon.”
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.