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Jasper County Tribune

‘Keeping the family together’

Colfax vet clinic announces new owners, name, location

COLFAX – From demanding belly rubs to stealing food right off your plate, pets can truly be a handful.

Whether they are a potbellied-pig or a Scottish fold kitten, many animal caretakers will argue pets are members of their family. And for nearly half a decade, Our Family Veterinary Clinic has been serving Colfax, treating our beloved four-legged partners.

Despite a new name, new owners and a new location, the veterinarians of the Colfax clinic said they assure its patrons treating their furry family is still their first priority.

The family from Our Family Veterinary Clinic is not going anywhere, they said.

“It seems like the right thing to do to stay established here. I commute 30 to 45 minutes to come here.” Meredith Jones, new owner and clinic veterinarian said. “Our clients, they are family. They stick with us. We see there animals grow up and maybe their kids grow up too.”

After opening a clinic in Maxwell in 2012, Sarah French purchased the location in Colfax from Frier Veterinary Clinic back in 2014. When French decided to move out to Bedford to begin a new life with her husband and open a veterinary practice there, she sold the two clinics to the three on-staff veterinarians March 30. The clinic was then renamed to Midland Prairie Veterinary Services.

The three said it was only natural to join together, purchase the practice as equal partners and continue to serve the communities they have grown to love.

“Dr. Christie Gordon has been with Sarah for three years. Dr. Meredith and I started about the same time, about a year ago ... we knew it was a risk for the three of us, who only worked together for a year, to buy a practice together. A huge part of that decision is keeping the family of this clinic together,” Rebecca Smith, fellow owner and veterinarian said. “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity of the legacy she started.”

Under their leadership, the three aim to retain the values and practices previously offered under French’s ownership, from retaining the staff of five to continuing all previously offered services.

While they have many changes in store for the business, the new owners said their clients and patients should expect the same high level of care, attention and dedication as the clinic has in the past.

“Our work family has become a secondary family. I didn’t want to see that dissolve. I didn’t want to leave our clients left with a need so this is kind of keeping everything together,” Gordon said. “We wanted to keep things growing.”

One of those changes was to relocate the clinic to 23 E. Howard St., located just down the block next to Colfax City Hall. They said they aim to restore the historic building while adjusting the facility to better serve their clients.

At this new location, the mixed-animal vets said there will be a 1,600 square-foot addition allowing the staff to serve large animals on-scene. They said this designated area will have haul-in facilities, allowing the practice to perform equine dentistry and reproduction and large animal emergencies, such as laceration repairs, injury treatment and surgical procedure at the clinic.

They said this new area will also allow the clinic to take in some cattle and hospitalize goat and sheep.

“No matter the hour, it would (previously) be (only) on-farm services. We can’t always give the standard of care that we want to provide for our clientele in the field,” Smith said. “A lot of times for emergencies after hours and certain types of surgical procedures, it is better for the patient and for us to be able to that procedure on-site at our clinic so we have access to our entire staff, equipment and all of that.”

According to the owners, the new facility will also designate 1,600 square feet for small animal facilities, featuring two examination rooms. The previous space at 116 N. Walnut St. covered a little more than 1,000 square feet and had one examination room.

“To be able to serve the needs we have, our Colfax office often demands us to have two veterinarians in the office. We really can’t see that level of patients coming through the door in this facility,” Smith said. “We are two weeks (booked). People whose animals need surgery, we may have to delay that and the new space we will able to serve people in a more prompt manner, which is always better.”

The veterinarian said another recent upgrade is the addition of full, in-house lab equipment to allow same-day results for small and large animals.

The new owners plan to host a grand opening the week of Jasper County Fair, which will be held from July 12 through July 26. They said they plan on moving to the new location within the 60 days.

They welcome residents to stop by, check out the new facility and if they aren’t too busy, share a conversation.

“Some of our clients, their animals are part of their family. Some of them, it is part of their livelihood,” Jones said. “They are two totally different aspects, but it is both rewarding for us to serve those (people).”

The veterinarians said there currently are no plans to relocate the clinic in Maxwell.

The clinic in Colfax is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours Thursday until 7 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The veterinarians will see small animal emergencies at the clinic until 8 p.m. and large animals at the scene 24 hours a day.

For more information, call 515-674-3228, email clinic@midlandprairievet.com or find Midland Prairie Veterinary Services on Facebook.

Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at areyes@jaspercountytribune.com.

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