We are quickly approaching The VCC’s second year of being open in our new building! It has been a very exciting ride, with lots of amazing advances and many opportunities still being pursued.
This time of year always brings back memories of the construction phase of the hospital, when we had to ask ourselves a lot of important questions. Some of the more interesting ones where: What is the local impact of our veterinary center on the community? How long would it take from planning to operation to launch our new hospital? What do we think the future holds for veterinary oncology in general?
These are all good questions and I feel compelled to share the answers with you because they helped to shape not only the physical presence of the building, but they have become the guiding principles by which The VCC operates.
What is the local impact of our veterinary center on the community?
Interestingly enough the impact on the local community involves not only Norwalk, but all of Fairfield County - if not the entire state of Connecticut and Westchester County in New York. The VCC is after all, the largest standalone veterinary cancer center in the World! Since all we do is oncology, all of our focus and all of our resources go towards finding better and more effective ways to both diagnose and treat cancer in animals. We now have so many more radiation therapy options-- Strontium-90 superficial probe, stereotactic radiation, IMRT, and full and half body radiation.. We also have access to the latest cutting edge clinical trials. This means there is now a truly comprehensive cancer center to the pet owners and veterinarians of the surrounding area. ()
How long did it take from planning to operation to launch your new hospital?
Anyone that has had any type of construction knows that nothing ever goes as planned. We started looking for the appropriate space back in 2007. Since our needs are very particular this process proved to be far more difficult than we had thought. It was not until December 31, 2011 that we had a signed lease and began creating a floor plan. The upside is that this gave us plenty of time to refine our plan into something that fit our needs perfectly. It was on February 15th 2012 that all of our planning and hard work bore fruit- we created something truly special in the veterinary oncology world – a facility that is truly world class.
What do you think the future holds for veterinary oncology?
I think the future is now; what we have built will revolutionize the industry, from our cutting edge technology to our new and innovated branding. I think the biggest change in veterinary oncology will come from partnerships like the ones we have with Animal Cancer Foundation, The Riedel & Cody Fund, and Animal Clinical Investigation. We believe this will facilitate a collaborative approach among pharmaceutical companies, cancer researchers, human oncologists and veterinary oncologists. This collaborative approach is the cornerstone of Comparative Oncology – studying spontaneous cances in cats and dogs as a model for cancers in people. Comparative oncology will likely yield amazing results for both pets and people over the next 5 to 10 years. Cancers in dogs and cats are similar in both biology and type to cancers in people. Remember, dogs and cats share the same environment as people: they breathe the same air, drink the same water, and in some cases eat the same food. This new comparative oncology approach will not only bring new and exciting changes to the veterinary community, but to the human medical field as well.