"We like to have a presence and be involved in the communities we work with. We saw this as a perfect opportunity to partner with a clinic that was already established in Ottumwa," she said.
"Since we have taken ownership of the clinic, we hired another receptionist and a practice manager," said Walkes. "They were both Ottumwa people. We hope to have this [change] provide more jobs for the community. Pipestone Veterinary Services of Ottumwa. That the three great vets have continued small animals to offer out of that location. Expand, offering more grooming, improved kennel spaces and suites."
For now, Hickie said, prices are, for the most part, staying the same. Clients will see a new logo, she said, and their bill will look a little different.
Will they be closing that office and moving to a new one?
Both Hickie and Walkes said that hasn't been decided yet. Walkes did say the hope is to increase the number of services available by offering more grooming and improved kennel spaces.
The city of Ottumwa recently approved a new zoning classification for the clinic. Does the rezoning mean they’re going to move or perhaps build on to the existing building?
“We’re still weighing our options [based on] what will best serve our clients,” Walkes said.
For now, however, they are putting their efforts into the change of ownership.
Currently, Walkes said, there are a total of six animal doctors at the Ottumwa clinic. "Three of our veterinarians will continue to do swine work and three small animal. The predominant work done out of that office is still going to be small animal."
"I think this will allow us to improve the way we practice medicine and the services we offer," Hickie said.
The things clients respond well to, like having a doctor on call 24 hours a day, have remained the same, she added.