NORTH SMITHFIELD – An experienced veterinarian who has long worked at an animal hospital in West Greenwich is ready to ditch her commute, and to bring compassionate and thorough care to pets in northern Rhode Island.
Suzanne Scott will open Slatersville Veterinary Clinic in the space once occupied by Mastery Martial Arts in Slatersville Plaza. The 3,200 square-foot space is currently under renovation, and will feature a reception area, four exams rooms, radiology, office space and more.
Scott, who obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia before attending Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in New York, comes to North Smithfield following a 15-year stint at West Greenwich Animal Hospital.
The decision to go solo, she said, was prompted in part by the commute and late hours – a tough juggle for the busy mother of three.
“I always sort of wanted to operate my own practice and the hour drive is getting to be a bit much,” Scott told NRI NOW this week. “I was missing chorus concerts.”
With her former practice so far south, the move will mark something of a restart for the experienced pet doctor.
“There are some people who really want to follow me, but most aren’t going to drive an hour with their pets,” she said.
Fortunately for Scott, it’s a service currently in high demand. Many veterinary businesses aren’t currently taking new patients.
“There’s very few,” she said of those accepting clients.
It also can’t hurt that Scott’s new space will be situated right next to Fairy Tails, a dog grooming business opened by Burrillville resident Karen McCreadie in 2020. McCreadie, Scott notes, is a longtime client whose whole family would cross the state to bring their pets to, “Doctor Suzanne,” in West Greenwich.
“It wasn’t planned,” Scott said of the complimentary businesses soon-to-be neighboring status. “I was looking for space, and I didn’t know Mastery Martial Arts was leaving.”
Scott herself lives in Slatersville, and enjoys providing routine and preventative veterinary care, along with internal medicine, dermatology and treatment for ear problems. She’ll also be equipped to offer routine surgeries, X-rays, blood work, dentistry and more.
She’s hired a staff of four, and is still interviewing for more help with the new endeavor. Scott is also building with an eye toward the future, noting at some point, she will need another doctor.
“Eventually, I would like it to be more than just me,” she said.
With the mirrored walls and floor mats from the former karate studio still in place, the space wasn’t exactly suited to the needs of a veterinary clinic when she first signed on. Scott hired professionals for a total rebuild, gutting the space and installing dividing walls.
“I’ve gotten most of the big stuff done,” she said this week.
The work has taken longer than initially hoped. The veterinarian had originally planned to open the business by the start of 2022, but supply chain slowdowns have led to delays, and she is still awaiting arrival of some floor tiles. She’s hoping for an April opening, but notes it may not happen until early May.
For now, Scott says she’s keeping a list of future clients who she’ll call for appointments for once the date is more clear. What they’ll get, she says, is a veterinarian who takes time with each pet, and provides clients with a variety of treatment options.
“I think the people that will follow me like the fact that I’m fairly thorough, compassionate and I offer options,” Scott said. “I really like to spend time with people.”
Right now, she’ still working in West Greenwich while juggling family life, renovation work and preparation for her next phase. But she still has time to note just how much she’ll miss some of her old four-legged patients and their parents.
“I really liked a lot of them,” Scott said. “After 15 years, you get to know people personally, along with their pets.”
Those who would like to add their name to the waiting list for the soon-to-launch Slatersville Veterinary Clinic at 900 Victory Highway can call Scott at (401) 363-0500.