POULSBO — Forget the Batmobile and the Mystery Machine. Kitsap pets and pet owners need fear no more, because there’s a new ride in town, and it’s tricked out with something better than sweet rims and a fancy music system.
It’s approaching the 13,000-mile mark and the end of its first full year in business, and now, a cool 26 feet of state-of-the-art, custom designed clinical equipment, the Peninsula Mobile Veterinary Clinic is blowing all other super cars right off the road.
“It’s pretty much got everything that a standing hospital does,” said Dr. Bill Larson, owner of the clinic. “This is where all the action happens.”
Sporting a surgical suite, two anesthesia machines, an X-ray and much more, the Peninsula Mobile Veterinary Clinic is just what it claims to be: a transportable doctor’s office perfect for house-bound pets or owners, multiple pet households and even those who simply don’t have the time to spend twiddling their thumbs in a pet hospital waiting room. In it, Larson offers just about every house pet outpatient service, from physical exams and vaccinations to dental care, general surgery, spay and neutering and microchips, all at the patient’s front steps.
But aside from the added benefit of at-home convenience, the mobile vet clinic’s atmosphere is one standing hospitals simply can’t recreate. With a quiet, personal ambience that pulls right into the client’s driveway, Larson’s medicinally-suped up machine doesn’t carry with it the sights, smells and sounds of stressed or nervous animals. Instead, its calm, cool hum relaxes both pets and owners, who can expect to see a lot more of Larson than they would in a regular veterinary office.
“They see me from the very beginning of the appointment to the end,” he said. “They are with me the entire time … It allows us to develop a stronger relationship.”
Seeing an animal’s home environment and behavior allows Larson further insight into the pets he treats, and forming a personal bond with owners while on their turf creates a trusting relationship, he said.
“The animals can’t talk for themselves, so I have to rely on the people to tell me about how they’re feeling,” he said. “It’s been a real positive thing.”
Larson’s wife and assistant, Gayle Larson, said the complete attention each animal receives is what sets this practice apart from the rest.
“He gets to do really one-on-one work with just one animal, one client,” she said. “The clients can be in here the entire time. Generally, the animal is whisked to the back, here it’s very transparent.”
Larson first discovered the mobile clinic idea while at a conference in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t until traveling to post-Katrina New Orleans in 2005 that the notion began to really come together in his mind.
“Having a mobile unit like this would have been so much more useful,” he said of his time assisting displaced pets in Louisiana. “That’s what really kind of gelled the idea that this could be a reality.”
Now boasting 14 years of veterinary service on his resume, Larson said his new clinic is growing just as he hoped, and he’s having a good time running it.
“It’s just loads of fun,” he said. “It really is a nice way to practice.”