Onalaska Animal Hospital to open next summer

ONALASKA — Billed as La Crosse County’s first new veterinary clinic in 30 years, Onalaska Animal Hospital is expected 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 a vacant lot across the street from Misty’s Dance Unlimited. The general contractor, Borton Construction Inc., plans to begin site work Monday.

The 5,000-square-foot facility will offer a full range of veterinary services, including preventative, routine, diagnostic, dental and surgical care, Nicole Azene said Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony.

Coulee Region Humane Society officials said their organization welcomes the project as the county hasn’t seen a new veterinary clinic open in 30 years despite an increase in the number of pets.

“We’re fortunate to have several excellent veterinary clinics in this area, but the combination of these factors confirms we need more options here,” Heather Drievold, the humane society’s executive director, said in a news release.

The veterinarian shortage draws on the humane society’s already stretched resources, Drievold said.

“For care we can’t cover ourselves and our local clinics can’t get to, due to their capacity, we’ve been taking animals to Minnesota, creating more stress on the animals and requiring more drive time for volunteers and staff,” Drievold said. “Plus longer wait times mean animals are spending additional weeks in our care.”

“Right here in La Crosse County, the number of households with dogs and cats has increased by 29 percent over the last 30 years,” Azene said. “However, there has not been an increase In the number of veterinary clinics over that time.”

Azene added, “We have really excellent veterinary clinics here. However, there is that shortage.”

Azene said she has been practicing veterinary medicine for 16 years. For more information about the project, visit the clinic’s Facebook page.

Source: https://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/onalaska-animal-hospital-to-open-next-summer/article_e9fe6a75-af3b-5963-9ccc-5f2a3a812919.html