Published Date Written by Adam DrapchoMEREDITH — When the Winnipesaukee Veterinary Emergency Clinic closed last year, local pet owners found themselves in a precarious situation. If something were to happen to an animal outside of their regular veterinarian's business hours, the nearest emergency care facility could be as far as Concord — a long drive when a beloved pet is in crisis.
Thanks to veterinarian and entrepreneur Lee Garrod, the local emergency veterinary care void will soon be filled. Garrod will be opening Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency Hospital on March 15, and will immediately begin offering emergency care during hours that other vets are typically closed.
The Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency Hospital will operate out of the same Maple Street storefront as the Winnipesaukee Clinic, and will have the same phone number (279-1117). Despite the commonalities, there is no business or legal connection between the two entities.
The Meredith facility will be the third veterinary-related business operated by Garrod. She owns an emergency care facility in Newington, and is also an owner of the Southern New Hampshire Veterinary Referral Hospital in Manchester, a practice that offers specialty services such as internal medicine, neurology, cardiology, surgery, dermatology, oncology, acupuncture, diagnostic imaging and other services not available at a typical veterinarian office.
For the first few months, the practice will be open from 5 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. on Friday through 8:30 a.m. the following Monday. Garrod plans to eventually expand the hours of operation to 24 hours each day, every day of the year, and to offer some of the referral services also provided by the Manchester practice.
Cheryl Duszak, director of marketing for Garrod's company, emphasized that the Meredith practice isn't intended to offer duplicating services already provided by local veterinarians. "We don't compete with veterinarians, we supplement area veterinarians." The clinic will employ three veterinarians specializing in critical care, as well as technicians and a practice manager.
Jonna Fulton, who owned the Winnipesaukee Veterinary Emergency Clinic prior to its closure and now works in local veterinary practices, welcomed the return of emergency care to the region. She issued the following statement:
"I am thrilled that the former Winnipesaukee Veterinary Emergency Hospital will re-open under new ownership and new name of Meredith Place Veterinary Emergency Hospital. There will be many familiar faces working there and also many new doctors and staff. As a local general practitioner, I am looking forward to referring my patients to the ER. The doctors and staff are top notch. The after hours veterinary emergency services are such an important resource for Lakes Region pet owners. I am looking forward to the new ownership continuing to carry on the vision of delivering high quality compassionate emergency medicine and surgery."