Victoria Veterinary Clinic’s 40th Anniversary!!

In 1977, Jim Inglis started a search for a commercial property to rent with the vision of opening his own veterinary clinic. Options were limited at the time but he knew a friend who rented a building at 628 Victoria Ave which then was Argan Carpet. With the help of his father, it was decided that this would be an ideal spot and plans were made to take over the lease. Jim and 7 of his fellow classmates all had a plan to open up clinics after graduation so they set up a “buying group” to hopefully procure good prices on things they would need. Such items included stainless-steel surgery tables, surgical equipment, surgical lights, anesthetic machines, autoclaves, portable picker x-ray machines, x-ray film, developing tanks, filing cabinets, ophthalmoscopes and otoscopes, dog and cat kennels and pharmacy inventory. It turned out to be a very efficient and economical venture for all.

Dr. Inglis graduated May 18th 1978 on his 31st birthday and just 2 days later opened the doors to Victoria Veterinary Clinic.  Dr. Inglis had no employees, no clients  and 1 phone line. It was a very quiet and lonely time and he wondered if he had made a wise decision. 

yes12His very first client was a neighbour, a European lady named Mrs. Walters. With her European accent she pronounced it “Vaulters” and that is how he spelt it on her file! At the time the majority of neighbourhood was made up of older European immigrants that had come over after WW2. How times have changed since then….yes11 yes10

Dr. Inglis’ business eventually grew to become a successful veterinary clinic. He owned and operated Victoria Vet Clinic for 26 years before deciding to begin a new chapter in his life. He sold his practice to Dr. Denita Shtuka and Dr. Brent Walter in 2004. In 2005 the opportunity to purchase the building and lot next door became available. The business next door operated as Central Signs, where the owner, a very talented man, hand painted signs. The original house was this man’s home and office. He built a 2 story cindercrete block warehouse behind his house which is where Victoria Veterinary Clinic expanded. The old house on the front of the cindercrete addition was torn down to clear way for the much-needed parking lot that is used today. This was a great improvement for the safety of clients and their pets as we all know how busy Victoria Ave can be. yes33                                                                               2018

With the purchase of the warehouse next door Victoria Veterinary Clinic was able to change many areas of the clinic. In addition to the parking lot a staff room and office were built upstairs as well as our cat boarding area. What used to be 6 small kennels, located where our surgery area is now, became 18 spacious condos with window views and a play room for your feline family members to enjoy. Also what used to be 2 dog runs are now 5 with heated floors.  A separate isolation area was added as well as main level laundry and food storage. 

IMG_7913More cat boarding pics 010

                         Cat Boarding 1990′s                                    Cat Boarding 2018

The existing clinic was able to be modified to expand the reception and client waiting area. Some may remember our lovely purple carpet in the reception area! That was replaced by new linoleum and tile flooring. Our 2 small exam rooms also increased in size and became 3.

yesDSC08227

                              1990′s                                                           2018

What was once a single ~250 square foot room which consisted of our lab, x-ray machine, surgical pack prep area and treatment area now covers ~700 square feet. The pharmacy/doctor work area, x-ray developing room/staff kitchen were all expanded from a couple of small closets into a spacious work area. The x-ray/ultrasound machine now has its own room in the new building. The current pharmacy/surgery pack prep area took over the old treatment/x-ray/lab space and adjacent to that area our veterinarians and technicians now have a separate lab and work area.  Surgery was enlarged and separate rooms to house dogs and cats were then possible. The only unfortunate change to the facility is that the washroom was moved to the 2nd story floor but we all get more exercise now and should an expansion happen again this is a top priority!

Over the last 10 years we have expanded the building and staff size as well as our services. Our x-ray machine is now digital so not only does it provide better quality x-rays, it takes less time to view an x-ray. In addition there is no more developing x-rays in a small dark room! We purchased an ultrasound machine and have 2 vets who are trained in its use. We also have a surgical laser and a therapeutic laser machine which provide many benefits to our patients. Two digital dental x-ray machines have made taking x-rays of teeth much easier and our in clinic blood machines provide lab results in 20 minutes.

IMG_7914IMG_E7936

                                   1990′s                                                              2018

Technological  upgrades have allowed us to move from paper files to digital records as of February 2012. Prior to having computers, we had to rely solely on pen and paper… can you imagine reverting back?! No more organizing or searching for patient files in those bulky filing cabinets. Everything is now available at the click of a button.

Over the years our staff size increased. What was once a single vet practice has tuned into a 7-vet practice with 27 support staff which include 5 Registered Veterinary Technicians, 7 veterinary assistants, 6 receptionist, a kennel assistant and office manager.  Many of our staff are cross trained in different areas so you may see them with different hats. We are very lucky to have a great group of staff.

Dr. Shtuka is still working to make the Victoria Vet clinic even better. Recently she purchased the grocery store next door. Many of you may have noticed it is already torn down and plans are in the works to convert it to a new parking lot. What was once a small building on a single lot will now extend over 5 properties!

In the 2017 we set a goal to provide a fear free environment for our furry patients. Most of our veterinarians, technicians and many of our support staff have taken the fear free training and have been certified to deal with nervous and/or anxious patients. We strive to improve on all aspects of our veterinary clinic, especially patient care. In recognition of this, we have had the honor of receiving Consumer Choice Awards for the past 5 years in a row which we are incredibly grateful for.

Throughout the years we have been very fortunate to have great clients and memorable patients. We extend many thanks and appreciation to everyone who has put their trust in us over the years and we will shall continue to provide knowledge, compassion and service of the highest quality.

We invite you to join us to celebrate Victoria Veterinary Clinic’s 40th Anniversary Party!! We will be hosting an open house on Tuesday, June 5th between 6-8pm. There will be tours of the clinic, snacks, drinks, door prizes and games for the kids. RSVP by calling us at the clinic or email us a careteam@victoriavetclinic.ca. We look forward to seeing you!