The Girard Veterinary Clinic has been treating animals for almost 21 years.
Located at 2806 W. Girard Ave., the clinic was one of the first to open in the area and serve the community’s needs, according to owner Dr. Cynthia Balzer.
It was Balzer’s love for animals that led her to Brewerytown and the animals there that needed care.
Balzer’s passion to become a veterinarian started when she was 5 years old. It appears to be a natural occupation for her given that she has three dogs, three cats, two rabbits, several chickens and guinea pigs as well as a pot belly pig at home.
“I can handle all of them because that’s my family,” she said. “I take care of them, and they care of me.”
This business had started out as a routine clinic, but as Balzer moved forward with the practice, it expanded to offer more options for treatment and care.
“Of course, the goal has always been to have excellent care and reasonable fees,” she said. “The goal that we try to achieve is contacting pet owners and making sure that they bring in their pets on a regular basis.”
In addition to routine care such as vaccinations and well visits, the clinic offers things such as diabetic consultations, arthritis therapy, routine surgery, urinary blockages and amputations.
“We are making sure that we aren’t just improving quality of life, but maintaining it,” Christine Speir, practice manager, said.
The clinic also works with shelters and rescue organizations in the city because of the large population of stray animals.
“Not only does that affect our clinic, but it affects our clientele when they want to take their animals out to dogs parks or for a walk,” Speir said. “The alley cats and stray dogs can pose risks. We want to do our part for the community as well.”
The clinic’s patients all have to have fur and fit through the door — with one exception.
“We will see chickens,” Balzer said.
— Text, video and photos by Amber Nicole Connally