Veterinarian and pet owner Susan B. Komen for the Cure’s Colorado Spring Springs clinic is among the nation’s most popular veterinary practices, with a record-setting 10,943 pets and patients attending its clinic in 2016, the largest number of new patients for a clinic in Colorado Springs since 2009.
But the clinic, which has undergone extensive renovations in recent years, has long been a breeding ground for those who seek to fill their pet-loving hearts with an animal that will make them feel good.
Now, after a year of renovation and the launch of the clinic’s new veterinary center, it has become clear that many of the animals who came to the clinic from other veterinary practices are the most sought-after in the area, says B.K.C. Springs veterinarian Karen Davis, who founded the clinic in 2007 with her husband, Dr. David Davis, to care for animals that are in need.
“There are lots of people that want to be pet owners, and we’ve had a lot of pets coming to us, but we also have the kind of animals that come to us for the best care,” Davis says.
“We don’t have to ask them to pay a premium for the highest quality care.”
A few years ago, Davis started noticing the same pattern in her clinic: She was seeing more pet owners and more people who wanted to be veterinarians.
The most common pet diseases at the clinic are canine distemper, otitis media, and cholera.
Davis noticed that a lot more patients were coming to her clinic with a medical condition that required specialized care, like a heart condition.
“I thought, ‘Oh, these are really people who are really good at this, they’re really interested in what we do,'” Davis says, adding that many clients came to her office to discuss the condition.
While the clinic has grown in popularity in recent months, its staff of veterinarians and staff have also been on a hiring spree, offering appointments to more people than ever before.
“The people that come in, they want to learn more about how to be a vet, they don’t want to go to the vet who has a big ego, they just want to get an appointment,” Davis explains.
“So we’re always finding new people to join the team, and they’re always coming in and working with us to make sure we’re going to be the best pet-friendly clinic in the county.”
The clinic also is now providing specialized treatment for dogs that are not yet on their own insurance plan.
But Davis says the clinic is still not ready to fully implement a pet-sharing program for all pets, which is currently in the works, and for now, the only place to get care from a vet is through the clinic.
“If we get to that point, then we can certainly start to see that there are a lot fewer pets in need of veterinary care,” she says.
The first pet to come through the door at the new veterinary clinic was a three-year-old pit bull-mix named “Sandy,” who was diagnosed with a heart infection.
He had been hospitalized for several days before Davis got him in, and she was able to get him to the emergency room at a private hospital.
Sandy was eventually discharged and transferred to the Komen clinic, where Davis began treating him.
“He was just a really loving dog,” Davis recalls.
“Seth and I were both very nervous about bringing Sandy in, but I knew he was going to make a great addition to our family.”
Davis was able also to enroll Sandy in the clinic because the Komeas had a pet trust program.
“It was a great way to give people a little bit of hope,” she said.
Davis says that the clinic also has an online portal for vets to connect with their local community and learn more.
“A lot of people think that it’s just a pet clinic, but it really is more than that,” she continues.
“They can see where all of their pets are, and I really like that because it makes it easier to find the right vet for my dogs.”
Komen’s clinic is just one of many to open across Colorado Springs in the coming years.
The city is also adding several new veterinary clinics, including one in Aurora, another in Golden, and another in Littleton.
But for now Davis is focusing on the clinic she opened nearly 20 years ago in Golden to help expand her services and improve the care of her patients.
“Our goal is to make this a thriving veterinary clinic in a great community, and our mission is to create a better world for animals,” she adds.
“That’s our goal, and that’s what we are doing.”
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