Animal hospital keeps it local and expands during the pandemic

Dr. Jessa Kocher helps a pup.
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 00:31:36-04

MONUMENT — As we work to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, and as we celebrate Women’s History Month, a dynamic duo is pursuing their dream of opening a local veterinary clinic. They’ve had some tough times along the way, but things are moving along and they’re happy to help others in our community at the same time.

It was a groundbreaking two years in the making at the future site of Fox Run Veterinary Hospital in Monument.

Dr. Jessa Kocher has been a veterinarian for ten years and decided it was time to open her own clinic.

Dr. Jessa Kocher helps a pup.
Dr. Jessa Kocher does a dental cleaning at Fox Run Veterinary Hospital.

“I made the decision- I need to figure out a way to own my own hospital- because I feel like that’s the only way I’ll have ultimate control over keeping it local,” Kocher said.

“We can make decisions in the moment that are going to best serve our client without having to worry about other regulations and oversight,” Jessica Daniels said.

Her friend turned business partner Jessica Daniels put her design skills to work right away.

“It was kind of a slam dunk. I knew right from the beginning we’d work really well together and it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up,” Daniels said.

Fox Run co-owners show off plans.
The co-owners show off renderings for the Fox Run Veterinary Hospital.

The co-owners said a lot of veterinary offices are being bought out by corporations or using a corporate model and they want to keep things local.

In fact, right now, Kocher is running her temporary clinic at the animal ER off Baptist Road, another partnership that will pay off, “It’s been great. They’re a newer business, I’m a newer business, and we’re really able to take care of our clients,” Kocher said.

Animal hospital keeps it local and expands during the pandemic

The pandemic has created a boom in the veterinary industry, with more adoptions bringing in more patients, and people having more time and flexibility to bring their pets to the doctor.

“Some vet hospitals have a 2-4 week wait before they can even get you in, and as a new practice we don’t have that problem, so we actually have other hospitals sending pets to us,” Kocher said.

But this has been a tough year for the industry as a whole, “The vet industry is a hard industry. I mean there are a lot of mental health issues, burnout, compassion fatigue, that have definitely been harder during the pandemic,” Dr. Kocher said.

To navigate the pandemic, Fox Run has been doing curbside service for pets and their owners and they think that is one of the things they may continue to offer in the future when the pandemic is over.

“Young moms are loving this. You know- they have three kids in the car- they get to stay in the car and watch a DVD while we are taking care of their pets, versus dragging all the kids in,” Kocher said.

Animal hospital keeps it local and expands during the pandemic

Dr. Kocher said she goes out after each exam and talks with the owners in person and answers any questions they may have, no matter the weather.

The new building is also being designed with restrictions in mind, like social distancing.

“The rooms {in general} are pretty small, so when designing we did make sure our rooms are nice and big,” Kocher said, “I want to see people face to face.”

HB&A rendering of the future space.
HB&A architectural firm shows what the space will look like.

Even though pandemic-related delays have slowed down their process, the two ladies said their clients are excited too. Some pets even showed up to celebrate the groundbreaking, and they said it does take a community. They made sure to include other local mom and pops in their groundbreaking, from the food to the photography.

“When we have our own practice, we can further support other small businesses in the community and really focus on building up other people around us,” Daniels said.

They hope to encourage other young women and future entrepreneurs that they can do it all.

“I get the question a lot of- How do you do all of this? How do you own businesses and be a mother and stay on top of things? - And I would say, it’s because I don’t do it alone,” Daniels said.

These ladies excited to grow in the community with the support of fellow female entrepreneurs and keep things local because that’s how we rebound.

Depending on how the snowy Monument weather affects construction, they are aiming for an October 2021 opening date.

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