Community Vet Hospital was started as a Mobile clinic. In 1995, Dr. Martha Sweeting lived in Trinity, Trinity Bay where she had a very small clinic in Port Rexton and spent 3 to 4 days a week travelling to communities that did not have easy access to veterinary clinics, such as Ferryland, Fortune and Harbour Breton. She would set up in any available space and provide basic veterinary care: spays and neuters, vaccinations and medical cases that could be treated on an outpatient basis. This was interesting work, but unfortunately it didn’t pay the bills. In 1996 Dr. Sweeting moved into Clarenville where she set up a full time practice.
In the beginning, her clinic was very basic with everything being done by hand: booking appointments, appointment reminders, and the accounting. Dr. Sweeting gradually added equipment: Laboratory equipment, an X-Ray machine, dental equipment, and became computerized. They moved from a very small space on Vardy’s Ave., to a rental space in the shopping centre, and finally to a 3,600 square foot free-standing facility. They are continually upgrading and adding new equipment. They now have a digital X-Ray system, including a dental X-Ray and recently introduced a Therapeutic Laser.
They offer preventive medicine such as: vaccinations, parasite prevention, wellness exams, dental care, spaying and neutering. They also offer diagnostic work-ups: blood work and X-Rays and therapeutic care. They have the facilities for around the clock animal hospitalization, as well as out-patient care. They offer therapeutic Laser to speed post-operative healing and to treat chronic inflammation, such as arthritis.
Dr. Sweeting started the practice with one employee and now has 9 employees, including herself and an Associate Veterinarian. She is proud to say that 2 of her employees have been with the Community Vet Hospital for over 15 years and another has been employed with them for 13 years.
When they built their own building the goal was to make it as environmentally friendly as possible. They installed Geo-thermal in-floor heating and put in a Reed Bed septic system. They do composting and recycle their containers with the money from the recyclables being donated to the SPCA.
The Community Vet Hospital gives back to the community by providing discounted services to the Clarenville Area SPCA and to Feral Felines. They also support charitable organizations on the entire Bonavista Peninsula: such as the volunteer fire departments and schools, the Terry Fox Run and participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Day. They have supported the local cultural organization, New Curtain Theatre, and have sponsored concerts at the Eastlink Events Centre.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Sweeting’s very small veterinary practice has grown from a basic practice that employed herself and one other employee to a thriving business that employs 7 people full-time and 2 part-time. They plan to continue to expand their services and business in the Clarenville area.