OTTUMWA — The new owners of the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic consider themselves to be a hometown kind of business rather than a big corporate presence.
"Pipestone Veterinary Services is in the southwest corner of Minnesota in Pipestone, a small town of 4,500," said Hannah Walkes, a spokesperson for the clinic. "This is a veterinary clinic that has been in business for 50 years, started by a veterinarian who is still [in our] practice today."
They are a mixed animal practice, meaning they care for both small animals (like dogs and cats) as well as farm animals. It's the latter that sees their employees traveling the most. Walkes said the clinic has several top swine specialists who travel throughout five states. The work they do services about 300 family farms.
With all that traveling, Walkes said, there are times it's better for the doctors and the clients if the veterinarian can be based nearby.
"The two swine vets out of that office, as they provided more service in the Wapello County area, the more [Pipestone] began to think about putting down roots to service our clients better and provide them with more timely service," Walkes said. "It’s a move in a positive direction for everybody, employees and clients."
"The doctors and staff are the same friendly faces," said Dr. Lori Hickie, DVM in Ottumwa. "As far as the way we do things, I think you’ll see the things that can be improved will continue to improve."
Besides having clients in the Ottumwa area, there was a connection through one of the Pipestone owners who knew one of the Ottumwa Veterinary partners. Those two doctors respected one another and were able to reach an agreement. When asked if Pipestone was always looking to expand, Walkes explained that such a team-up is actually rare. In fact, after 50 years, they have only three locations: Ottumwa, Pipestone and Independence, Iowa, the town where one of their veterinarians resides.