Business

Animal hospital heads south

A new business in Coupeville is going to the dogs ­— sick dogs that is.

The Animal Hospital on Midway in Oak Harbor will soon move onto North Main Street in Coupeville. The business goes into a space on a strip mall where a dentist office used to be located.

Animal Hospital owner Donna DeBonis said she has been looking for a new location off and on for the past several years. Her efforts intensified when the Midway Boulevard property where she is currently located was sold in October and she had to go on a month-to-month lease.

Since then she has worked to find an affordable place to relocate.

Debonis found that place in Coupeville. In addition to the affordable rent, she said it is easy and inexpensive to get the spot ready for business. She said biggest part of the project is installing several new walls.

It turns out that the move could help her business. When she recently surveyed her customers, she found that three quarters lived south of Oak Harbor or had Coupeville addresses.

“It was quite astonishing to us,” DeBonis said. She hopes to move into her new location sometime early next year.

Her plans to move her business to Coupeville cleared one hurdle when the Coupeville Planning Commission unanimously approved forwarding a Conditional Use Permit for the Town Council to consider.

The Conditional Use Permit is needed to mitigate any potential adverse impacts a vet clinic may have on the community. The conditions attached to this permit include limiting services to companion animals and that only animals that are sick or recovering from surgery can stay overnight at the clinic. There won’t be any outdoor kennels or pens on the site and any hazardous waste has to be properly disposed of.

Commissioner Barbara Cope asked about the renovations the space needed.

DeBonis said during the meeting that the remodeling needs to be done to allow for facilities that include a surgical suite, exam room and a front desk area. She said that all of the needed remodeling is on the inside of the space and she will have to get a building permit before that work begins.

Commissioner David Day asked how hazardous material is handled. Debonis said such material is sealed in a plastic container before it’s disposed of. If an animal dies, she said a service takes the animal and cremates it, or some families have a private cremation for a deceased pet.

She hopes to have her new space ready for business in early 2006. She appreciated the good work the town is doing to help with relocating. She said her husband, David Cadwell, has focused all his time on meeting the requirements needed to open a business in Coupeville.

DeBonis said she is looking forward to having a business in a spot that also features New Beginnings thrift shop and the Island County Economic Development Council.

Her Oak Harbor office will remain open until the move takes place.

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