DESTIN — It’s a situation all pet owners hope they never have to deal with. Sometimes, a pet has a medical emergency. And when they do, the only after-hours emergency veterinary clinic is in Niceville.
But soon, that won’t be the case.
The extension of the emergency clinic in Niceville is coming to the corner of Main Street and Legion Drive in Destin in January. Katherine Young, the director of operations of the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton, said they decided to open another facility three years ago.
“The community needs it because it’s difficult for residents at the south end of the county to get to Niceville,” Young said
According to Young, the Niceville clinic is “busting at the seams” and they can’t add to their existing space.
“Sometimes, there’s four- to five-hour waits,” Young said. “Even if we hired more staff, we don’t have the space.”
The vet clinic purchased the 2,700-square-foot building from another veterinarian and began to renovate it.
“We looked right on the Okaloosa/Walton county line, but this is a really good location,” Young said about their new spot in Destin. “We kept some walls and the exam rooms, but basically redid everything else.”
Once the drywall goes up this week, Young said they can really start putting everything together.
“I know exactly where everything should go in my head. It’s just a matter of getting it from my head to reality,” Young said.
The clinic will have state-of-the-art equipment, three exam rooms, an in-house laboratory and pharmacy, an X-ray room, kennels, an isolation unit, laundry, a surgical room, and two outdoor dog runs.
Young said they will have a minimum of three veterinarians on staff at the Destin location, who will all train under the vets at the Niceville clinic first.
“I work with some of the best people,” Young said. “Sometimes our staff works 10-plus-hour shifts to make sure the animals are taken care of.”
On its website, the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Okaloosa/Walton states “We treat every animal that walks through our doors as though it was our own,” and Young believes the new clinic will continue that promise.
“We’re really excited to bring it to Destin,” said Young.
The emergency clinic will have the same hours as the Niceville location: 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 6 p.m. Fridays to 8 a.m. Mondays. The clinic also will be open 24 hours on major holidays.