COTTONWOOD - Late last week, the Lakeside Companion Animal Clinic was bustling with dogs, cats and the people taking care of them. It was partly a pre-holiday rush, said veterinarian Dr. Stacy Lewison. But it was also a good thing to be busy, especially since the clinic only just opened a few days before.
"It's really exciting," Lewison said.
Lakeside Companion Animal Clinic opened its doors Dec.16, in a new building on located on West Main Street in Cottonwood. Lewison is the clinic's veterinarian. She's a Cottonwood-area native and practiced in Marshall for five years before making the decision to start a new clinic.
Photo by Deb Gau
Staff at the new Lakeside Companion Animal Clinic in Cottonwood are Becky Skaj, Jenny Zeug, Brenda Doom and Dr. Stacy Lewison.
Lewison said Lakeside Companion Animal Clinic offers a full range of veterinary services. In addition to exams and vaccinations, the clinic also performs routine surgeries, X-rays, dental treatments and can even do pet grooming and boarding.
"I want to do everything I can to make it convenient for people. We really tried to set our hours nice and wide," Lewison said. The clinic also offers the option for clients to drop their pets off for a daytime appointment. There's no additional fee to drop off your pet, she said.
Lewison joked that she didn't have a "market research" reason for choosing to open a clinic in Cottonwood. But it seemed like the clear choice, she said. To start with, she and her family live in Cottonwood.
"I really like the community. It's very welcoming," Lewison said. She's also built up rapport with clients from the Marshall and Cottonwood area. "There are a lot of really good people in the community who care about their pets."
Finally, Cottonwood didn't already have an established veterinary clinic.
"There's sort of a geographical gap here," Lewison said. It might be more convenient for local pet owners to come to Cottonwood instead of driving to Marshall or Granite Falls, she said.
Making the move to her own animal clinic is something that Lewison said couldn't have happened without strong support from family and local community members.
"The city has also been really helpful," Lewison said.
It took a lot of work to try and design a clinic building from the ground up.
"It's sort of surreal being in the building now," Lewison said, when local contractors were still working to hang sheetrock not too long ago. But she said it's been worth it to be able try and find the ideal layout for the clinic.
Another good part of establishing Lakeside has been working with the staff members, Lewison said. Although the crew is small, she said, everyone works well together, and most importantly, they really care about animals.
Besides caring for clients' pets, Lewison said she and staff are working on getting the word out that the clinic is open. An open house is planned in January, she said.
More information on Lakeside Companion Animal Clinic can be found at the clinic website, www.lakesidecompanion.com.