Animobile veterinary offers mobile clinic to Foothills
Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016
A new mobile veterinary clinic has opened in the Foothills area by the name of Animobile clinic.
Owned and operated by Chapel Hill native Kelly Sulik, and Atlanta native Scott Houser, the mobile clinic offers the services of a stationary veterinary on the go.
House call fees start at $25 per visit, but Sulik said her rates are comparable to a stationary clinic.
Discounts exist for multiple pets in one location, such as in a farm setting.
“We’ve been working since August to get it ready to go,” Sulik explained. “We’ve been running it for about a week and a half now.”
Blood work, digital X-rays, surgery and dental equipment can be found inside the mobile clinic, according to Sulik, and the equipment is state of the art.
Intensive care hospitalization and orthopedic surgeries cannot be performed in the truck, though, and Sulik said she would refer those cases to a stationary clinic when they came up.
“We’re in Green Creek, and we will only drive about an hour outside of there,” Sulik said in regards to the clinic’s coverage area. “We do the Upstate and the Foothills, mainly, even Spartanburg and Saluda. Hendersonville would probably our far end.”
Sulik said she used to do equine work as a technician after attending veterinary school at Texas A&M.
Her favorite part of this field was doing ambulatory work, where Sulik said she went out to the farms and worked one-on-one work with the horses.
“I liked having one patient at a time,” Sulik recalled. “It seemed like in a clinic setting you are being pulled in 10 different directions, and so you can’t focus on that one patient. I liked that aspect of it and driving around to visit the farms.”
Transitioning her previous experience to a smaller animal setting helps the Animobile clinic gain ground.
“I think it’s a new development in veterinary service by going mobile,” Sulik explained. “It’s also a lot faster to see patients in the truck because I can take a blood sample and do the work inside the vehicle with our machines. The person could have the results in five minutes as opposed to a few hours at a regular clinic because patients could get backed up at the stationary place.”
Houser works with Sulik as the vehicle’s practice manager, technician and pet wrangler, according to Sulik.
“We went to this one neighborhood where a lady had two barn cats and we were able to treat them at the house,” Houser said. “With cats, they tend to freak out if they know they are going to the vet, but there they were so low stress.”
Sulik said this helps because sometimes the animals will not know she and Houser are at their house for vet work, but rather think they are there to just visit them.
“We met this dog once who didn’t even know she was there to give him a shot,” Houser said about Sulik and her visit to one of their animals who didn’t realize the veterinarians were nearby. “She just walked by, poked him in the back and said, ‘Good to go.’”
Convenience, according to Sulik and Houser, is also be a factor in their business model.
“Someone at Roger’s Diner at the equine center needed to have their dog neutered while they were at work,” Houser explained. “We picked him up and took them here and did the surgery and then dropped him back off when she got off her shift.”
Sulik said this aspect is also easier when it comes to home euthanasia, because she said she has seen that people want to be at home with their animal in this setting.
“That is something that is never easy for anybody, but when it comes down to it, it’s just more pleasant to have it done in a home,” Sulik explained.
This service is also good for people who can’t get around or for parents who have small children, Sulik said, as it is more convenient to just come to pick the animals up at the house.
“It’s less stressful for pets,” Sulik said. “Cats tend to become very stressed when they are away from their normal environment, and elderly or very large dogs may have trouble getting into their owners’ cars.”
Being mobile also means less stress for pet owners as well. These benefits range from less time spent at their clinic to the convenience of having Sulik and Houser come to them.
“That’s why I wanted to do this, because I can focus on one patient at a time like I did with the equine work,” Sulik said. “I have worked in a busy setting and I’ve been in the position where I’ve been pulled in 10 different directions and it’s hard then to try to focus on one animal.”
The focus given to one animal at a time also contributes to the decreased chances that contagious viruses and diseases be transferred between pets, Sulik explained, which is especially important for young, geriatric and immune-compromised patients.
Emergency services are also available by Animobile if a person calls after-hours.
To set up an appointment with the Animobile clinic, call Kelly Sulik at 828-817-8749.