There’s no place like home when it comes to caring for pets


Dr. Julie Fell-Ogram is the newest addition to the North Waterloo Veterinary Clinic in Elmira. She has joined the team full time and is bringing fresh ideas and energy to the established practice. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
With an aim of injecting some new ideas into their expanding practice, the North Waterloo Veterinary Hospital has welcomed a new doctor.

Dr. Julie Fell-Ogram is a new face at the Dunke Street animal hospital in Elmira. She joined the practice full time earlier this month, and is already settling in nicely.

“The people are just really nice, as well. I can’t complain there. And with Dr. (Linda) Hirzer, she really cares about her patients. I have never seen anyone care so much about her clients and her patients and the team here. We all have that kind of mentality. It was an easy transition for me. Those are things that are important to me as well,” she said.

Fell lives in Elmira, and after working at a clinic in Kitchener, she says it is great to be back home and connecting with clients on a different level.

“It has just been phenomenal. It isn’t just about the closeness to where I live, but I really do love the idea of practicing in the community that I love. I really hope to contribute to the community, not only through veterinary work, but with things like education,” she said. “It is great to have my patients close by as well. It is great to be able to connect with clients about things that are going on locally like the maple syrup festival, and other things that are going on. It is just about having that relationship with clients and their pets.”

The rest of the staff at the hospital are delighted to have Fell on the team, having graduated from veterinary college in 2011, she has some fresh ideas.

“She is into the start of her veterinary career,  and I am well into my vet career, so it is nice to have someone that has recently been through the program, knows some of the newer treatments, and protocols and bring that here,” said Dr. Hirzer. “We do everything we can to stay up to date, but she brings that youthful approach to veterinary medicine. She has lots of energy, she is eager to learn new things, and the local presence, we really like.

“It is great to have someone local here. You can tell that she loves working within her community, so that is a huge positive. She has that enthusiasm.”

The North Waterloo Veterinary Hospital specializes in treating cats and dogs, and has recently upgraded their cat care facilities.

“The clinic has recently been certified cat-friendly, so we are focusing a little bit more on our feline patients and trying to adapt the clinic to be more welcoming to our feline patients. We see dogs and cats and that is our specialty,” said Fell. “We do wellness exams, vaccination programs. We do surgeries, dental procedures, x-rays, blood work and all that.”

The animal hospital has been updated in recent months, with new technology and more. Fell says the addition of digital x-rays and blood testing machines to the clinic add to the quality of care.

“We’re in the digital world now, so x-rays are digital. We can easily send them to a radiologist, they read them and get back to us in some cases, within an hour. It is just phenomenal that we can offer that to people. A lot of the times, the waiting can just delay a diagnosis, delay a treatment.”

Fell said she loves all of her patients, but there are some that stand out for her.

“I have certainly gotten to meet some new puppies and I think those kind of make a difference with me. Right off the bat, a kitten that we just spayed last week – I got to be there for her first shots, or round of vaccinations, and then we did her spay surgery and now I am going to get to see her grow throughout the years. And same with the puppies. I get to be there from the beginning,” she said.

Liz Bevan
Liz Bevan is a reporter and photographer for The Observer. She has written for community newspapers in western Canada and has been published in national newspapers and magazines.