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Pismo Veterinarian Opens First 24-hour Pet Clinic in Santa Maria Area

Dr. Joel Conn's facility to handle pet emergencies is on South Bradley Road in Orcutt

Pismo Beach veterinarian Joel Conn is opening a 24-hour pet hospital in Orcutt, filling the gap in urgent care facilities for pets between Santa Barbara and Arroyo Grande. Click to view larger
Pismo Beach veterinarian Joel Conn is opening a 24-hour pet hospital in Orcutt, filling the gap in urgent care facilities for pets between Santa Barbara and Arroyo Grande. (Joe Johnston / San Luis Obispo Tribune photo)

Pismo Beach veterinarian Joel Conn opened a 24-hour pet hospital in Orcutt on Thursday, just in time for any holiday pet emergencies.

Pet Emergency Treatment Services Hospital will be the first pet emergency clinic in the Santa Maria area, located at 4854 S. Bradley Road. 

Conn, a veterinarian and co-owner of Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic, said he saw a need for a 24-hour emergency clinic since there are no urgent care facilities for pets between Santa Barbara and Arroyo Grande.

“There are about 230,000 people between there who are underserved at this moment,” he said. “We also have the opportunity to do things a little differently.”

The new clinic will offer 24/7 emergency or urgent care services, as well as specialty services that include cardiology and orthopedic surgery. In the future, Conn said he would like to add more specialties such as dermatology and CT scanning.

PETS Hospital will not offer general practice services, he said, noting he hopes the new clinic will act in conjunction with local veterinarians.

“We really want to treat them as partners,” he said. “In many cases, they’ve known their patients their entire lives. So we really want to respect their judgment.”

The clinic also will have more of a relaxed and welcoming feel than traditional emergency clinics, Conn said. Guests will be greeted with fresh-baked cookies and coffee, no matter what time they arrive. 

“Most people who end up in emergency clinics are already feeling very insecure, so we want to do our best to make them feel welcomed and safe,” he said.

PETS Hospital is separate from Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic, which will continue to be Conn’s main workplace, he said.

His role at PETS Hospital will be more administrative, he said, unless he needs to fill in for some of the staff.

The Orcutt clinic will have approximately 15 customer service representatives and technicians and five doctors.

Conn declined to disclose exactly how much he had invested into the new business, saying just that it was “a lot” because medical facilities require expensive equipment in addition to base costs such as rent and staff.

Conn was named last week as one of The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s Top 20 Under 40 award winners, which honors the accomplishments and achievements of young women and men under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in their professions and a profound commitment to community service.

Kaytlyn Leslie is a reporter with the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact her at 805.781.7928 or [email protected]​.

[Click here to read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune]

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