OSWEGO — The Tara Animal Hospital has a new forever home.
The new facility, built directly behind the old building on Route 104 in the town of Oswego, is double the size of the last building, has separate areas for cats and dogs, and better amenities for pets and their owners.
The goal of the new 4,600 square-foot facility is to provide a fear-free atmosphere for furry friends visiting the Tara Animal Hospital.
“We’ve got a much bigger facility for dogs now, especially for some of the large breeds over 100 pounds,” Dr. Gretchen Schlientz said. “We also have a brand new cat facility where they can look outside and see the bird feeders. … We’re trying to make things more comfortable.”
Schlientz has been at Tara Animal Hospital since August 2009, and purchased the business from Dr. Ken Hodgson in 2014. Schlientz has been planning for a new building for a while, and had drawings made up three years ago.
Crews broke ground on the new facility in late November. The framework was put into place in January, the inside walls were being worked on in April and by May most of the work was completed.
Schlientz needed the construction noise kept to a minimum so she could keep conducting business at the old building.
“It was an extremely challenging build,” Schlientz said. “I’m sure our foreman and contractor would agree with that.”
The business was closed in early June so the transition could be made to the new building. A few days later the old building was demolished.
“It was sad seeing the place I came to and I know (demolished) … but it was a mix of emotions. I was happy to start something new,” Schlientz said.
While there are larger waiting areas now, those won’t be put to use immediately. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the animal hospital staff is accepting pets curbside and Schlientz either talks with the owner during or after the exam.
“We’ve been super busy,” Schlientz said. “There’s some small things we need to tweak in here, but for the most part we’ve been open and functioning.”
Schlientz is hoping the new facility will attract another veterinarian into the business, which would allow Tara to take on more clients and possibly expand its hours. She said she put feelers out at area veterinary schools.
Schlientz had opportunities to move into other businesses, even ones closer to her family home in the Camillus area, but she opted to stay in Oswego.
Now her business has a new forever home.
“When I came to Tara I fell in love with my clients and a good part of them are closer than family,” Schlientz said. “I chose to stay here to continue to provide the best possible care I can to the Oswego community. … I’m committed, I love the community and love the people. I appreciate all their support.”