STEVE CAHALAN For La Crosse Tribune
ONALASKA – Billed as La Crosse County’s first new veterinary clinic in 30 years, Onalaska Animal Hospital is slated to open early next summer at 984 12th Ave. S. in Onalaska.
The new clinic will be built by local veterinarian Dr. Nicole Azene and her husband, Gundersen Health System interventional radiologist Dr. Ezana Azene, on vacant land across from Misty’s Dance Unlimited. The general contractor, Borton Construction Inc., plans to begin work on the site Monday.
The 5,000-square-foot facility will provide a full range of veterinary services, including preventive, routine, diagnostic, dental and surgical care, Nicole Azene said Wednesday during a groundbreaking ceremony.
Coulee Region Humane Society officials said their organization welcomes the project because the county has not seen a new veterinary clinic open in 30 years despite an increase in the number of pets.
“We are fortunate to have several excellent veterinary clinics in this area, but the combination of these factors confirms that we need more options here,” Heather Drievold, executive director of the Humane Society, said in a statement. Press.
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The shortage of veterinarians is tapping into the Humane Society’s already limited resources, Drievold said.
“For care that we can’t cover ourselves and our local clinics can’t access, due to their capacity, we took animals to Minnesota, creating more stress for the animals and requiring more driving time to volunteers and staff,” says Drievold. “Plus, the longer wait times mean the animals are spending extra weeks in our care.”
“Here in La Crosse County, the number of households with dogs and cats has increased 29% over the past 30 years,” Azene said. “However, there was no increase in the number of veterinary clinics during this period.”
Azene added: “We have excellent veterinary clinics here. However, there is this shortage.
Azene said she has been practicing veterinary medicine for 16 years. For more information on the project, visit the clinic’s website Facebook page.