North Canton: Two young moms have taken their talents on the road in an attempt to fit their dreams into busy lifestyles.
Dr. Julia Morrow, 33, of Bolivar, always wanted to own her own veterinary practice, but cost and practicality stood in her way.
“It’s always been my dream to own my own business,” said Morrow, who was born in England and emigrated after she graduated from high school in 1998.
Rather than purchasing a brick-and-mortar building to grow her practice, she and registered veterinary technician Jen Nugent, 30, of North Canton are taking their practice to their patients.
The Family Pet Mobile Veterinary Hospital officially launches at 10 a.m. Saturday at the North Canton Tractor Supply to reintroduce an old concept to the public: a doctor who makes house calls. The women plan to see patients until 2 p.m.
Morrow, a 2006 graduate of Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, purchased the new ambulance-style truck and outfitted it with the same type of equipment you would find in any veterinary hospital, including a full surgical suite with anesthesia and a machine that can do full blood-work testing.
She estimated that a building for a typical clinic would have cost her twice as much.
The mobile hospital also allows both women to set hours that fit around the responsibilities of being mothers to 9-month-old babies who were born only three weeks apart.
“It was really convenient the way we did that,” Nugent said with a laugh.
The way the women figure it, they are the people who would appreciate having a vet come to their homes rather than trying to drag pets and babies to an appointment with a vet.
“I was thinking, from my perspective, this is something I would use,” Morrow said.
It’s also easier on the animals in their care, she said.
In one of their first house calls, a woman said she was unable to get a cat with an injured paw into a carrier.
“She said the cat would shred her into pieces. In their own environment, a cat that is supposed to be really, really evil isn’t all that bad,” Morrow said.
On Thursday, the women were scheduled for a noon appointment in Marlboro Township to give a pair of Bernese Mountain puppies their first official vet visit for a checkup and inoculations. One by one, the pups were taken out to the truck where Morrow examined them as Nugent assisted.
Crista Hostetler, who home-schools her three children and is pregnant with her fourth, said they bought the dogs, which will weigh about 100 pounds when fully grown, because her 14-year-old daughter “has a great, great passion for dogs.”
“When [the pets] get bigger, that’s huge not to have to put the children and the dogs in my vehicle for a vet visit,” Hostetler said.
Morrow, who also has practiced veterinary medicine in Florida as well as in Dover, Ohio, said she did a lot of research before embarking on the mobile hospital. Making veterinary care more user friendly by bringing it to patients might encourage animal owners to stick with the professionals when it comes to their pets, she said.
“Veterinary visits are down because people don’t see the value in taking their pets to the vet. Instead, everybody is going to the Internet veterinary treatment on ‘Dr. Google,’ ” Morrow said.
The mobile veterinary hospital treats dogs and cats in a 40-mile radius of Canton, she said. Services include exams, vaccinations, routine surgeries, pain control and euthanasia.
Call 330-415-0255 for an appointment. For more information, visit www.mobilefamilypetvet.com.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or email@example.com.