Area’s First Pet Urgent Care To Open On Conant Street

Tonya Tack, founder and veterinary practice manager for The Bridge Urgent Pet Care, sits outside the 1011 Conant St. building that will soon open as the area’s first urgent care for cats and dogs. She is joined by Stevie. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Just like humans, the family cat or dog sometimes needs an urgent care – when an illness or injury is serious enough that waiting for a veterinary appointment is too long, but not severe enough to prompt a trip to the emergency room.

“If your dog breaks a nail, cuts a leg or is experiencing excess urination or diarrhea, waiting isn’t a good idea,” said Tonya Tack, founder and veterinary practice manager for The Bridge Urgent Pet Care. “If your cat is miserable and itchy or experiencing mild respiratory distress, you want to get her in and started on medication. You can’t wait two days.”

The Bridge Urgent Pet Care is slated to open soon at 1011 Conant St. in Maumee, where a human urgent care used to be.

“This is the only pet urgent care in the area. The next-closest ones are around Ann Arbor, Cleveland, Columbus and Fort Wayne,” Tack said. “It’s not a model anyone has picked up around here, until now.”

While she was a Bowling Green State University student, Tack began volunteering for the Wood County Humane Society, which quickly offered her a job taking cats and dogs to veterinary appointments.

“That’s how I got to know many of the veterinarians and staff in the area,” she said.

The now-retired Dr. John Jones in Bowling Green offered her a job, and she’s been in the field ever since. For the past three years, Tack worked for MedVet Toledo, which along with the Veterinary Emergency Center handles severe and life-threatening emergencies.

“I saw the need for a step in between the veterinarian’s office and an emergency center,” Tack said. “And we didn’t have one available.”

As she prepares to open the area’s first pet urgent care, Tack has brought on veterinarians, vet techs and office staff to provide dogs and cats with the best care possible in a timely manner.

Whether dropping in or calling ahead, each visit to The Bridge Urgent Pet Care will start with a triage and include not only comprehensive care and treatment options, but also coordinated follow-up care with the primary vet.

While treating patients is a top priority, so is taking care of employees, said Tack, noting that the veterinary field has not just a high turnover rate but also a high suicide rate.

“This can be a brutal job, coming in and talking to people who sometimes have to make decisions based on finances,” said Tack, who has been in the business for 26 years. “You have people mad at you sometimes. So I want to do everything I can for my employees, and that goes for my clients as well. My focus is on positivity and treating each other with compassion.”

While the Conant Street location has a high traffic count and visibility, Maumee still has a smaller town feel.

“It’s one of the reasons I picked Maumee. It’s not part of the big city. I like the atmosphere of recognizing each other and waving,” she said.

Tack closed on the 1965 building in April and has spent the past few months renovating the interior to prepare it for opening at the end of the month. Out front, Tack and her husband, Dave Schwan, are putting in sod and trees, and a walking path will be installed to give dogs a potty location. She’s also looking into a stone barrier to protect dogs from the busy street. Other improvements are in the works.

The website, www.urgentpetcare.us, has details on services available, as well as frequently asked questions. Sign up for the email list to get notified of the opening date. Calls are welcome at (419) 794-7010 as are emails to info@urgentpetcare.us.

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