FAIRMONT — The coronavirus pandemic has caused the need for people to social distance, but in some cases, this applies to animals as well.
While pets cannot contract COVID-19, Fairmont Veterinary Hospital has been conducting most of its appointments outdoors, in order to keep the pet owners from getting too close to one another. In short, the inside of the practice is not large enough to accompany this distance.
“We were past the time to expand,” said Scott Moore, part owner of the practice. “One of the problems that you have when you’re limited on space is moving people in and out efficiently. The hope is to move people in and out more efficiently so they don’t have to wait.”
On Wednesday, construction workers installed an entire building right next to the hospital on Gaston Avenue. According to Jamie Moore, founder of the business and Scott’s father, the expansion will allow for more room for pets and practitioners.
“I started the practice here in ‘79 on Fairmont Avenue, then we expanded to this building and thought we would never outgrow it,” Jamie said. “We’re adding six more exam rooms, a small surgical area, we’re putting in a suite so we can have students from veterinary school come in and stay.”
According to Jamie, the volume of patients seen by the hospital has been consistent, and an expansion will help the practice to see even more clients.
“We’ll see 40 to 50 animals a day five to six days a week,” Jamie said. “It’s going to make it move much more smoothly for our clients.”
With this volume of patients, efficiency in moving clients has taken a hit. Once the new addition is completed and open, which Scott said is estimated to be in mid-July to August, moving pets and their owners around will be a little easier.
“The whole idea is we’re trying to expand so we can provide better services for all the people in this area,” Scott said. “We see such a large number of people.”
Scott also said the large number of patients seen by the practice is partly because of the vets’ philosophy. Instead of having people sign their pets up to be patients, the office treats any pet that needs help.
“Our opinion has always been, ‘If your dog or cat needs to be seen, it needs to be seen,’” Scott said. “We have never really accepted new patients, we kind of just accepted everybody, which is why we need the additional space.”