Residents of Chadron have a new place to take their small pets when they’re not feeling well, with the opening of the Chadron Companion Animal Clinic at 224 Main Street.
Though the clinic may be new, Dr. Regina Rankin’s name and face will likely be familiar to several clients, as she has had the Crawford Companion Animal Clinic since 2012. This new clinic, she said, was established to help make things easier for clients who were driving back and forth between here and Crawford. It also provides a spot for them to pick up food and medication.
“I was already coming over here [to Chadron] on Wednesdays any way,” Rankin said, “but I was not able to take care of everybody in that amount of time. This way I can see more patients.”
As for her interest in veterinary medicine, Rankin was raised on a ranch outside Spaldling, Neb., the oldest of seven kids, and has always loved being around animals. “I just always knew that’s what I wanted to do, is be a veterinarian. I just like being around animals. They’re easier to deal with.”
She did her undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska — Lincoln and Omaha — earning a degree in biology with a chemistry minor, and attended veterinary school at Kansas State University.
Though she initially went to vet school to work with large animals, Rankin said she got hurt several times and had to switch gears to small animals. “I have a lot of steel in me,” she said of her injuries, though she still does work on horses and small ruminants such as sheep and goats, as well as some exotics.
Among the big differences between the Chadron and Crawford locations is the lack of an x-ray machine at Chadron. Hospitalizations and critical care, as well as advanced surgeries, are also exclusive to Crawford. Rankin plans to provide blood work services available at both clinics.
Chadron also does not have boarding or grooming facilities like the Crawford clinic, Rankin added.
As for clients, Rankin said the clinic has over 1,200 in this zip code, and while there have been a few new people come in the door since she opened this month most of them are regulars.
There are currently two exam rooms in the building, a surgery room, a kitchen and a nook that will eventually become laboratory space. It’s a long building, Rankin said, with plenty or space.
Between both clinics, there are 12 staff members. Even when not in the buildings, she has to keep people on staff to answer phones and help people who walk in, as well as caring for animals. “You’ve got to keep it pretty well staffed to take care of that many people.”
Regular hours for the clinic are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, though Rankin will only be at the building on Wednesdays.