Pokeno opens first veterinary surgery
Pokeno’s fast-growing population now has another reason to call the area home—the recent opening of the town’s first veterinary surgery.
CareVets Pokeno Ltd opened for business little more than a month ago and newly-installed veterinarian, Emma Hill, says the response from the community so far has been ‘really positive.’
“We’ve been out and about letting people know that we are open for business; everyone seems really pleased to have a vet right here. It’s seen as a real plus for an area that is growing this fast,” she said a week before Christmas.
Heading the move to open the Pokeno clinic was CareVets director, Keith Houston. Keith, a veterinarian with more than three decades’ experience and the man who started and funded the national CareVets group more than 15 years ago, principally to make high quality pet care more accessible to communities.
Dr Houston said the new surgery staff would work closely with veterinarians at The Vet Centre Pukekohe, The Vet Centre Waiuku, and Byerley Park horse centre near Karaka, allowing Pokeno’s animal-owners to tap into an impressive network of knowledge and skills.
“The new clinic has been established to act as an extension of our services to the entire area,” he explained. “The housing growth in Pokeno has been the impetus to provide a local pet service, as well as our rural veterinary servicing of dairy, equine and small block holders. Our team members enjoy sharing their knowledge and supporting each other.”
The Waikato District Council has developed a structure plan to help manage Pokeno’s unprecedented growth, and to support its increasing population through the provision of appropriate amenities and services. Council statistics already show a rapid increase in the number of registered dogs in the area, with some 360 more dogs registered during 2016 than in 2013. Similar increases are likely in number of other pets and lifestyle animals.
Having local veterinary skills close to hand is being viewed as an important step in providing for that growing population.
CareVets Pokeno veterinarian Dr Hill brings six years of widespread experience to the role, working most recently out of the Waiuku Veterinary Surgery.
“Much of the work I did in my first three years as a vet was with small animals,” she said.  “Since then, I have added in a mix of equine and farm animals, which means I am very familiar with animals of all sizes—pretty much ready for anything.
“The local clinic is equipped to handle standard veterinary consultations and minor surgery such as de-sexing and the like.  Anything more complicated than minor surgery would be done in Pukekohe, which is just 15 minutes away.”
Dr Hill will be supported at CareVets Pokeno by a veterinary nurse Jacqui Langley, who will also take care of front of office.

CareVets Pokeno veterinarian Emma Hill, left, with vet nurse and clinic receptionist, Jacqui Langley.