Business activity in Houston continues with Bulkley River Veterinary Services preparing to move to a lot just across the road from its current location on Nadina Ave.
A 24 X 60 modular structure of two 12 X 60 sections was moved to a prepared pad with services last week and the expectation is to have it ready for occupancy next spring.
“It’s been gutted. Right now it is just a roof, 2 X 6 walls, a floor and an electrical panel,” says Raili Vanderwiel, the practice manager for the vet clinic.
A pet crematorium will be added as an addition as time and circumstances permit.
The clinic is now in rented space in a duplex but the landlord, who occupies the other side, wants to expand.
One of the benefits of having to move is that there will be more room for the clinic to expand its opening hours and services, said Vanderwiel.
Right now the clinic employs four people — Vanderwiel, veterinarian Dr. Katie Morton, a technician and a receptionist — and is open three days a week.
“I can see us adding more people, having up to seven people, and moving to four days,” said Vanderwiel once the new clinic space is ready and occupied.
Topping the list of projected new employees is a second veterinarian, one that specializes in large animals, something that is in demand in Houston and area.
Vanderwiel said the clinic is looking forward to adding a pet crematorium as animals now have to be shipped elsewhere where service has been spotty.
“The crematorium time is always down,” she said of one run by the City of Terrace.
Vanderwiel foresees a pick up service in both Burns Lake and Smithers once the crematorium is established.
“Or people from there can just bring in their pets,” she said of locations outside of the Houston area.
Vanderwiel and Morton purchased the practice from Dr. Kim Hunter in mid-April 2020, just weeks into the first phase of the pandemic.
Vanderwiel describes that period as one of having many unknowns as to the effects on the clinic.
“We couldn’t even have people inside,” she recalls.