Work is under way to convert a 5,000-square-foot restaurant building in Lacey that has been vacant since 2013 into a pet emergency room.
The building has been home to three restaurants: most recently Native New Yorker, the Red Bike Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant before that, and originally the Lone Star Kitchen.
But now it will be the new home for Olympia Pet Emergency, a 21-year-old emergency room that needs additional space and visibility, said Dr. Blair Burggren, medical director. The new location is expected to open between late September and the end of October, he said.
Olympia Pet Emergency’s current location on Pacific Avenue isn’t visible from the street. Despite that challenge, the ER has experienced strong growth since 1996, partly because of population growth, but also because people’s medical expectations have changed, Burggren said.
“People expect around-the-clock care for their pets,” he said.
That led the business to begin offering 24-hour care four years ago, but now the business has run out of room at 3,000 square feet. The new location will have five exam rooms, a triage room, treatment area, an intensive care unit, lab and pharmacy. It also will have separate wards for dogs and cats, imaging services, an operating room, surgery prep and an isolation room for infectious diseases.
If you ate at one of the restaurants that occupied that site, you probably noticed the fireplace in a corner of the building. The fireplace will stay, and a “quiet room” will be built near it. That will be a non-clinical space for someone who needs a moment with their pet if the animal needs to be euthanized.
Olympia Pet Emergency largely serves cats and dogs, plus small pets like ferrets, rabbits and rodents.
The most common problems they see are gastrointestinal: a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding or the animal has swallowed something.
The location also is next to Woodland Trail. Dr. Burggren envisions offering a pit stop for trail walkers, where pets and their owners could sit and have some water.
Olympia Pet Emergency has a staff of about 30, including six veterinarians.
Olympia Pet Emergency
- Medical director: Dr. Blair Burggren
- Current location: 3011 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia
- New location: 4441 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. Business is expected to open at new site this fall.
- Type of business: 24-hour emergency care for small pets.
- Employees: 25-30.
- Online: www.olympiapetemergency.net
- Did you know? Dr. Burggren knew he wanted to be a veterinarian when he was 9. He has seven pets: three dogs and four cats.