MAIN PHOTO: Dr. Krista Simonson with a test patient at the Waverley Animal Hospital. (Healey photo)

Dr. Pauline Giffin and Dr. Krista Simonson opened business on June 22

WAVERLEY: Living in Waverley, Dr. Pauline Giffin was looking for a way she could ply her passion in her own community. So, what better way then opening her own veterinarian clinic.

And thus, Waverley Animal Hospital was born. The clinic, which is in the old Wendy’s Neverland building at the corner of Hwy 2 and Rocky Lake Drive in Waverley, has undergone quite the changeover that allows it to be the purrrffect fit for an animal hospital. Dr. Giffin and her husband own the building.

Dr. Giffin and Dr. Simonson at the reception waiting area. (Healey photo)

As you walk in the front doors—due to COVID19 they are having clients call them at 902-576-2068 and are being met at the front door to be allowed in—you are greeted by the friendly receptionist who will let either Dr. Giffin or Dr. Krista Simonson know that you are there for your appointment.

“It’s been tough, but we’ve had an amazing construction crew who has worked hard at it, through social distancing,” said Dr. Giffin. “We also had to have some inspectors come form out west to do inspections of our equipment, so that was a bit challenging.

“Working together collaboratively we were able to get through some of these things. It was not insurmountable, but definitely a challenge.”

Who’s a good boy. (Healey photo)

COVID19 has affected the business by not allowing the interaction with the owners of their fur patients as they would normally.

“It breaks our hearts as doctors because we can’t greet our new clients as we would like to,” said Dr. Giffin. “We can provide all of the services now, before we were restricted.”

Dr. Giffin said as a health service, vet clinics have been given the privilege to remain open under the State of Emergency provided they take measures to respect public and staff safety.

“Now, we can provide our services, but we still have to limit public interaction for our staff and what they’re exposed too,” she said. “Most clinics have a locked door policy now,  and will continue that for the foreseeablefuture for the safety of everyone.”

In back there is the “heart of the animal hospital” the treatment area, where many things are done to look after one’s pet, including blood work. In the room is where in-house x-rays are taken, say if an animal has a broken leg it will be examined in that room.

This kitty wasn’t having any of the test photo for the Laker News. (Healey photo)

Adjacent to the treatment area is a room where any pets are kept warm and calmed during procedures such as surgeries, performed by Dr. Giffin or Dr. Simonson.

During the tour, we then walked to the examination rooms where the dogs and cats will be first seen by either of the two vets for care, with adjustable tables. Cats can be seen in another room to keep their stress levels down.

“We can check over the pets without even the use of the tables for the most part,” said Dr. Simonson.

They also have an isolation room for any dog that may have say for example kennel cough.

“They would go straight into that room, and we would examine them right there and talk to their owner, releasing them out the side door,” said Dr. Giffin.

Dr. Giffin and Dr. Simonson were anxiously counting the hours until they officially opened.

“We’ve got all our stuff on site now that we need, all we need and can’t wait to see are our new patients coming through our doors,” she said. “We’re all focused on our processes, that they’re in place and working well.”

Watching things like a hawk in the treatment area. (Healey photo)

Dr. Simonson said she’s excited to get working with the team at the Waverley Animal Hospital.

“I’m really proud and thrilled to be working with a local animal clinic,” she said. “The area is lovely. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Waverley Animal Hospital will have a staff of about 10 people, all of them from the Bedford/Sackville/Waverley area.

“We’re using the talent that we have form our area,” said Dr. Giffin. “There’s many years of experience with us.”

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The hospitals hours of operation are as follows: Monday-Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anything outside of those hours and on the weekends, clients are being forwarded to the 24 hour Metro Animal Emergency Clinic in Dartmouth.

The positive feedback has been amazing.

“We couldn’t have done this without the community support,” said Dr. Giffin. “We tried to keep everything local as best that we could. We’re so thankful to be part of the community and we can’t wait to serve them.”

For more information on the Waverley Animal Hospital, please checkout their Facebook Page.