FLORENCE, S.C. — The Florence Animal Hospital recently opened at 2520 Melon St. Florence, just off Highway 52 and less than a mile from I-95.
The new hospital is a part of a practice with Ryan James, DVM, and Kenzo Tochiki, DVM. James and Tochiki have been working together at the Hartsville Animal Hospital at 914 W. Carolina Ave. since they purchased that practice in 2014.
"We always planned to expand, with the hope that by creating a network of hospitals we would be able to offer the best possible care to our patients," James said. “That was always our goal.”
Both veterinarians will be working at the Florence and Hartsville locations on alternating days. The mission of the Hartsville Animal Hospital has always been to practice the best medicine possible, the owners say.
“We look forward to bringing our fear-free approach to practicing the best quality veterinary medicine to our new location—Florence Animal Hospital,” James said.
He said that means not trying to “manhandle” the animal. He said there is a fear-free movement going on in the field of veterinary medicine. He said this involves offering treats, light sedatives and other means to make the patent less fearful. He said it is an attempt to calm the animal’s fears and avoid the snapping and growling often associated with the animal’s fear of people it doesn’t know who are trying to manipulate it. He said often this means just being patient.
The Florence Animal Hospital takes care of all animals except venomous snakes and nonhuman primates.
While the veterinarians make scheduled house calls for larger animals (horses/cows), some are seen in trailers in the parking lot, James said.
There is also a small quiet waiting room for animals such as birds that might become agitated or nervous being with other animals.
Danielle Eads, practice manager, said the new facility has been designed with the experience of their clients’ pets in mind.
“We believe that this is visible throughout the clinic,” James said. “For example, the clinic is configured so that cats have their own separate room when boarding to ensure that they don't become stressed while in the presence of dogs. In addition, sick and hospitalized patients can be kept in the ICU, which is connected to the treatment area. This ensures that our sick patients are never out of sight.”
“Attention to even the smallest details has been given with our patients in mind,” he said.
Textured flooring has been used throughout the hospital because a slipping and sliding doggie is never a good thing, he said.
Tochiki said they "want dogs to pull their owners in the door because they feel so comfortable at the hospital."
”Bringing your pet to the vet doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, and at the Florence Animal Hospital we are dedicated to serving the surrounding communities and ensuring that your pets are pulling you through the door and not out of it,” Tochiki added.
James said one of the goals for this office is to ensure accessible and conveniently located veterinarian services for both Florence and Darlington communities.
"Our hope is that by being centrally located between downtown Florence and Darlington we can provide a more convenient location for people to take their pets for care," James said. “We want to offer the ‘gold standard’ to practice the best medicine.”
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon. The doctors will alternate days at the Florence location and the Hartsville location.