EASTON — Two new animal vets are coming to town.
Patrick and Michelle Allen, from Cambridge, plan to open East Coast Vets, Family Pet Health Care Center in February. They aim to bring a stress and fear-free veterinary hospital to town.
The married couple’s business was approved by the town Board of Zoning Appeals in September, allowing for the Allens to move forward with remodeling an existing, empty 4,200 square foot building at 29315 Dover Road.
The first-time entrepreneurs plan to have builders within the “next week or two,” Patrick Allen said.
”It’s our first go-around with opening a business,” he said. “But we’ve been through private practices and we have learn a lot along the way, and we are confident we can hit the ground running.”
Patrick, 43, and Michelle, 40, have worked for veterinary hospitals across the state, including in Cambridge and Baltimore. Patrick specializes in orthopaedic surgery, while Michelle is “our cat whisperer,” Patrick said.
“I do quite a bit with feline medicine,” Michelle agreed. “But I didn’t use to be. It was a trial by fire, and now I’ve done a complete 180.”
For the most part, the couple simply want to manage a family hospital that is low-stress and family-oriented.
The Allens will design the hospital with pastel colors such as smoky blues and grays. Patrick said, “Most hospitals use really bright colors that can look fun but are threatening” to animals.
The couple have some other new additions planned, too.
“We will eliminate idea of a traditional waiting room where you are sitting there for thirty minutes,” he said. “You can come come straight into an exam room, so pets are not crossing paths with each other.”
Michelle said they have long thought about bringing these ideas into their own business, and finally decided to begin planning for it roughly a year ago.
“This is a great opportunity to bring what we learned over the past decade and a half and create the business we dreamed of,” said Michelle.
The hospital will open with just the two of them on staff at first, but could expand if things go well. The two will focus on household pets, such as dogs, cats, hamsters and even reptiles, but will not treat cattle, livestock or larger animals. The doctors will not turn away any animal, however, Michelle said.
The two will make visits to pet owner’s households if they are within a reasonable distance. They want to create as stress-free an environment as possible for pets and owners alike.
“We want this to be a place for people to enjoy when they come,” Michelle said.
Patrick, who hails from Cambridge, and Michelle, from Nova Scotia, Canada, met in college and moved to the Eastern Shore soon after. They live with two children, one dog, three cats and a turtle.
Michelle said she was “blessed” to have been born knowing what she wanted to do in life.
“It was a natural fit and I was drawn to helping and healing animals,” she said.
Patrick said this type of business was needed in the community, and it could help make a difference during a pandemic.
“Some vets are busier and have stopped helping new clients,” he said. “But honestly for us, it’s just us being ourselves, doing our thing and going out and being honest.”