A brand new vet’s surgery in Lerwick opens for business on Monday – four and a half years since the last one in the town closed.
Shetland Vets, on the corner of St Olaf Street and Commercial Road, held an open day on Saturday and attracted nearly 50 people in the first 15 minutes, according to vet Jim Nicolson, who owns the business with his wife Juliet and their staff.
The new practice, in the completely refurbished premises, becomes the third business for Shetland Vets and will deal specifically with small animals.
Mr Nicolson said it was important to have a presence in the town. He said: “We wanted to make sure it was accessible for people without cars, or who rely on public transport. We’ve had lots of bookings already and we’re pleased with the way [so many] people turned up.
The pristine new premises will deal with domestic pets: “from dogs down”, said Mr Nicolson – this will include cats, budgies, parrots, tortoises and more unusual creatures such as reptiles
The light and airy interior of the building comprises a reception area with a shop, with lots of pet toys and treats on sale, a consulting room, with a table that can be raised and lowered where minor procedures such as stitching can be carried out, and “walk-on” dog scales. “A lot of pets are overweight these days,” said Mr Nicolson.
There are spacious kennels where dogs and cats can be kept during the day, but not overnight – the company’s other surgeries in Bixter and Scalloway would cater for longer stays
These two sister surgeries will also carry out major surgery and X-rays, and continue to look after farm animals. All three surgeries are linked by computer, which enables appointments to be made or medicines to be picked up at any of the premises.
The idea of opening a branch in Lerwick came in part from the staff. Mr Nicolson said: “All the staff are shareholders and all had an input, there was a lot of enthusiasm.”