24/7 pet care comes to North Suffolk

Published 9:40 pm Monday, April 30, 2012

Kline Construction's Jim Brown and Larry Kline, COVE co-owner Turkan Ertugrul, Kline's John Wiertel, and COVE co-owners Merrilee Small and Jeff Stallings at the veterinary hospital Saturday.

A 24/7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospital is set to begin operating in North Suffolk this week after offering a sneak peak of its facilities Saturday.

In a shop front at 6550 Hampton Roads Parkway, the COVE Center of Veterinary Expertise is an initiative of three veterinarians collectively based in Hampton Roads for 15 years, Hospital Manager Danielle Russ said.

The new facility means Suffolk pet owners will no longer have to travel to Greenbrier for after-hours emergencies, according to Russ.

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The veterinarians are Head of Emergency and Inpatient Services Turkan Ertugrul, board-certified surgeon Jeff Stallings and board-certified cardiologist Merrilee Small.

Although the COVE will begin treating pets mid-week, Russ said, Saturday’s open house gave the general public its first opportunity to see the facilities.

The 5,000 square-foot COVE will offer 24/7 emergency and critical care services, treating injuries and illnesses from minor lacerations to major trauma, according to a press release.

Facilities include advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies and a fully staffed intensive care unit with a veterinarian always available.

Of particular community benefit, Russ said, primary care veterinarians will now be able to send pets to the COVE for specialty care in cardiology, surgery, and in the future internal medicine.

“Similar to the relationship you may have with your primary care physician, a general practice veterinarian will often look to a board-certified specialist in surgery or cardiology, for example, to partner with when one of their patients can benefit by our expertise,” Russ added in the statement.

“We look forward to partnering with veterinarians and pet owners to provide the very best care.”

The COVE’s owners did “a lot of research” before deciding to locate the facility in North Suffolk, Russ said.

“This is definitely an area they felt welcome in,” she added. “We’re really excited about being part of the Suffolk community and looking forward to making some excellent services available.”

The facility is a major boon for the people of Suffolk, Mayor Linda Johnson said in the press release.

“Pets are important members of a family and deserve quality providers,” she said. “We value the COVE’s investment in our community and we look forward to seeing them grow to meet the advanced health care needs of our fuzzy and furry citizens.”

Russ said its owners hope to move the COVE to its own storefront in the next five to seven years.

The COVE is the 85th veterinary hospital Kline Construction has built nationwide, Kline’s Vice President of Business Development John Wiertel said.

“What’s unique is that they have three surgery rooms,” he said. “They also have an ultrasound, which is unique.”

He also said the veterinary hospital is designed so that visiting animals are always within sight of staff.