Best of Waupaca winners announced in this week’s County Post
A dark gray and black Manx named Bob meanders out from behind the counter and into the lobby to greet visitors to Countryside Animal Hospital.
The clinic’s mascot was left there as a kitten about five years ago. He adds to the charming comfort of this year’s No. 1 veterinarian in the Best of Waupaca Survey.
Karen Hayes, DVM. and her husband Philip Hayes, who is the business manager, opened Countryside Animal Hospital in Waupaca in 1993.
The clinic cares for 50 to 60 dogs and about 40 cats per week.
“We do a few pocket pets, like guinea pigs and hamsters, but we draw the line at lizards and snakes,” Dr. Hayes said.
Hayes said the clinic provides routine preventative care, mends broken legs and injuries, offers dental care and baths, neuter and spade. They also provide boarding for cats and dogs.
Prior to moving to Waupaca, Hayes worked for four years in Charleston, Illinois.
“My folks lived up hear. Ever since I was a baby, we vacationed here in Waupaca,” Hayes said.
In addition to Hayes, Countryside has two other veterinarians, Gloria Suehs and Heidi Gareau.
A total 10 people are on the staff.
“I had my mind set on being a veterinarian since I was a kid,” Hayes said. “Animals always held an interest for me.”
Due to her love of animals, Hayes has four dogs and four cats of her own, as well as two horses, two goats and two parakeets.
“We also have two sugar gliders – they look like flying chipmunks – and my son has a bearded dragon, which is a desert-type of lizard,” Hayes said. “Everyone here has ended up with cats that came through the doors. Some have adopted dogs.”
After 22 years, Hayes has cared for some of her patients through their entire lifespans, from puppies and kittens to the end of their lives.
“I like interacting with the animals a lot,” Hayes said. “We’re in one of the few professions where our patients can give us kisses.”
Countryside Animal Hospital is located at E2691 Larson Road, off of State Highway 49, north of Waupaca. They can be reached at 715-258-2200.