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Published: Wednesday, 12/12/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Animal emergency hospital moves to modern quarters

West Toledo facility adds space, amenities

BY TANYA IRWIN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dr. Kittsen McCumber stands in the hallway area and writes on a white board in the examining room area of the new Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building on Douglas Rd. Dr. Kittsen McCumber stands in the hallway area and writes on a white board in the examining room area of the new Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building on Douglas Rd.
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The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo is moving today to a new location that is more than twice as large and infinitely more modern.

The move is seven months in the making, said Dr. Kittsen McCumber, owner and president of the practice, which is the only veterinary hospital in the area that has a veterinarian on the premises 24 hours a day. She closed the deal on the building April 26 and construction began almost immediately.

“We started with a cement-block warehouse with no windows,” Dr. McCumber said. “What we ended up with is pretty nice.”

Many of the practice’s six veterinarians and 19 registered veterinary technicians will be working today because a full staff will be at each of the locations to care for the animals already at the hospital’s old location as well as any coming in to the new location.

The only service that won’t be available will be X-ray, as a team of movers work to disassemble and reassemble the extremely heavy and costly machine. Another local veterinarian is available to handle those if necessary, Dr. McCumber said.

Although decorated “on a budget” with furnishings from discount retailers such as IKEA, the new office has a decidedly modern and elegant feel to it, unlike the old office that, although serviceable, was stuck in a 1970s time warp in terms of décor.

Dr. Kittsen McCumber, left, and Audrey Sharp, RVT, right, talk in the reception area of the new Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building while the finishing touches are done on Douglas Rd. Dr. Kittsen McCumber, left, and Audrey Sharp, RVT, right, talk in the reception area of the new Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building while the finishing touches are done on Douglas Rd.
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Colors in the new office are bright and cheerful selections from Sherwin Williams’ HGTV color palette. The flooring on the client side of the office is a durable but upscale tile, in a shade called “Earth.”

The flooring on the treatment side of the clinic is equally durable, but a more economic sheet vinyl.

Dr. McCumber’s practice had been there 11 years, and for the 19 years previous to that, the building was used by the Companion Animal Hospital, which was a cooperative owned by 14 area veterinarians.

The new office, 2921 Douglas Rd., is just a half-mile from the old building, 2785 W. Central Ave. Dr. McCumber hopes to open another pet-related business at the old location, in part so that if old clients show up there, they can be directed to the new facility.

“The cages are already there so a boarding or pet grooming facility would be ideal,” she said. “But I’m open. It might also work for a rescue group.”

In the process of buying the warehouse complex for the new office, Dr. McCumber picked up an “accidental” business — a heated storage facility in one of the buildings. Another building on the premises previously used by a granite company is now vacant and will soon be available for rental.

The former warehouse was redesigned into a high-tech vet office courtesy of Dan Chapel, an Arizona architect who has drawn up plans for more than 500 veterinary offices nationwide. Dr. McCumber and her staff gave plenty of input, including a “wish list” they’d like the new facility to have, including a break room that is bigger than a broom closet.

One unique area of the facility is the quiet room, which is primarily used for cats and very sick small dogs. The cages have vertical bars because research has shown that looking through horizontal bars stresses cats out more. Part of the front of the cage is also solid, which gives the cat a more secure feeling becaise they can “hide” behind it, although the veterinary staff can still look in and see them.

The kennel area of the old Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building on W. Central Ave. The kennel area of the old Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Toledo building on W. Central Ave.
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Also new at the Douglas Road location are two “comfort” rooms with their own private entrance/exit that clients can use when they face the difficult situation where their pet needs to be euthanized. They can visit in quiet with the pet as long as necessary and afterward can exit without having to walk through the waiting area.

“In designing this area of the clinic, we are trying to be sensitive to what clients are going through,” Dr. McCumber said.

The new office has more cage space, a much larger waiting area and parking lot, and for behind the scenes, more counter space. It also includes an air-conditioned oxygen cage for dogs that come in with hypothermia, something the old facility was lacking.

Unlike the old building where the isolation area was stuck in a back corner adjacent to the laundry room, that area in the new building is right off the treatment area and has a large glass window so the patients can be observed at all times from anywhere in the treatment area.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.



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