After spending the last few years working across northern B.C., Dr. Ben Bauman is coming back to his hometown to open a brand new veterinary clinic in downtown Prince George.
As many pet owners are facing long-wait times to access veterinary care because of COVID-19 backlog, Dr. Bauman and his wife Mel have decided to join forces and open Birchwood Veterinary Clinic on the corner of Victoria Street and 17th Avenue.
“We know that Prince George really needs another clinic,” says Dr. Bauman. Although Birchwood will be a small practice with Dr. Bauman as the sole veterinarian and Mel as clinic manager, Dr. Bauman says he hopes it will make an impact.
“Just having another space to access pet care is how I am going to help and do as much as I can for the problem this town is facing.”
Born and raised in Prince George, Dr. Bauman says he is excited to establish roots as a veterinarian in his hometown.
“I want to work with the pet owners,” he adds. “I think pet owners are knowledgeable about their pets and they come in for a reason, so my goal is to solve the problems that they come in with and then identify any extra things that I see as a professional veterinarian – but the first thing is open and honest care.”
Dr. Bauman says he’s also excited to be able to care for animals throughout their entire life stages. As a locum veterinarian he’s dealt with every part of a pet’s life in his career but not yet had opportunity to be the sole care provider for an animal from start to finish.
“This will be the first time in my career where you meet a puppy at eight-weeks-old for its first vaccine and the goal is to be there for the dogs last days and go through end of life care.”
Once renovations are complete on the building, the clinic will open in spring 2021 and will focus on dogs and cats.
Together with the building’s owner Primex Properties Inc., Dr. Bauman and Mel will transform what used to be an old car lot and carwash into Birchwood Veterinary Clinic.
“There’s obviously a lot of renovation that has to be done to that building,” adds Dr. Bauman. “The city is working on rejuvenating that area so we will be a welcome part of that.”
He says a big part of choosing to locate his clinic in downtown Prince George was that it is a fair distance away from other veterinary clinics in town and there is a lot of traffic through the Gateway area.
“There is a lot of development and excitement about downtown Prince George, and I think it’s a goal for the city, and it’s cool to be a part of that in our hometown.”
Despite a delay due to COVID-19, Dr. Bauman says renovations are picking-up speed especially on the interior of the building and they are on track to be open sometime in the spring.
“We are excited to provide the service and we are going to help as much as we can,” adds Dr. Bauman.
“We can’t solve all of the problems in the city, there’s way more than I can do on my own as just a one vet practice joining the scene, but we are going to do our best to provide the highest quality care that we can.