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To help Capitol Hill pets and their owners get back on a healthy track, Urban Animal holding vaccination clinic

Dr. Cherri Trusheim

In the middle of a major expansion and the challenges of 2020, Capitol Hill’s Urban Animal is hoping to help the neighborhood’s pets and owners get a healthy start on 2021 with a first come, first served vaccination clinic.

It’s not just people waiting in lines for vaccines right now. Many dogs and cats have also been waiting for vaccines or boosters while COVID-19 restrictions and busy human schedules have made getting things scheduled a little more difficult than normal. Tuesday at the Capitol Hill clinic, Dr. Cherri Trusheim and her staff are hosting a day of walk up vaccinations and quick wellness checks to try to help Urban Animal families get needed care.

The first come first serve walk-up clinic will be from 11 AM to 2 PM on Tuesday, February 23rd. According to Liz Weber of Urban Animal, “this will be a low cost, brief exam, vaccine day where people who haven’t been able to get into our clinics for an appointment with the restrictions can now get updated.”

In late 2019, CHS reported on Urban Animal’s big plans to expand on Capitol Hill as Cafe Solstice got out from under its expensive just off-Broadway lease. The plans for a new expanded clinic — complete with separate entrances for dogs and cats — have been delayed through the pandemic. Urban Animal is currently operating out of the old cafe space while remodeling the original location next door as part of the expansion.

“We feel like all we do is tell people no all day, they call and we tell them we can’t get you in, because we can’t have people waiting outside,” Trusheim said. “It’s been really challenging. The expansion will help, we will be able to get more people in the door.”


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With the surge in new pet ownership during the pandemic, the need for vaccines has risen, and according to Trusheim, many vets aren’t accepting new clients.

Trusheim expect to see more than 100 patients during the three hour clinic.

“It’s about trying to lighten our load and allow us to help those patients who really do need help,” Trusheim said. “The ER is equally overwhelmed and you could wait eight hours for an ear infection for your dog and pay three times as much. We want to be able to help those folks.”

Like most small businesses, Urban Animal has faced many challenges of its own during the pandemic though the clinic is considered an essential business and received a PPP loan. Trusheim said her staff have continued to help people and pets through it all, “essential workers since day one.”

“What clients don’t realize is that might be their one interaction for the day but that’s just one of many for the staff,” Trusheim said. “They are trying their best to help people. The anxiety and burden over all these months has taken a toll on folks.”

Urban Animal also lost a beloved member of its clinic family with the death of Summer Taylor who was killed by a driver speeding through a crowd of protesters in a demonstration on I-5 in July.

“That’s been the hardest thing we’ve dealt with, without a doubt,” Trusheim said. “The pandemic has been incredibly challenging, but I really haven’t gotten to the place where I can talk about it without shedding a tear. It just wrecked us. Summer was one of the most beloved people on our staff. They grew up here. As a leader of this company, I’m used to fixing things or making things better, but there was no doing that. We just had to grieve. That by far was harder for us than dealing with COVID.”

As she looks forward to opening the expansion, Trusheim is confident in her staff and their desire to help. “There’s no one in this building who does not have the best of intentions” she said.

And Tuesday’s vaccine clinic opens up an opportunity for pet owners to cross another to-do item off their list. “This is a way about helping people feel a little less stress and help us focus on patients that are sick,” Trusheim said. “That’s our goal.”

Urban Animal Capitol Hill is located at 909 E Thomas. You can learn more about Tuesday’s clinic at urbananimalnw.com.


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Patty
Patty
12 days ago

Nice story! Impressed with this group. Thank you for sharing it.

Bob
Bob
12 days ago

I stopped going there after 4 years when they started a lottery system of if your pet could be soon.

Pamela X.
Pamela X.
11 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Huh? I’ve been going there consistently and never happen aware of any lottery system nor have I had a long wait. They’ve always been kind to me and transparent with their charges. I’ve had to put several pets to sleep including one that occurred slightly after the death of Summer Taylor which was obviously traumatic for staff. Despite the crisis with COVID and death of a staff person they were nothing but kind and gentle.

Bob
Bob
11 days ago
Reply to  Pamela X.

I called every day over the summer and they would completely fill up appointments within a few minutes of opening, I could never get connected to someone in time. I never tried showing up in person (I live a bit far away) because they recommended only people that called ahead show up.

No harm done, I found a great clinic that let you make appointments.