Veterinary Visitors

voyaging vet service comes right to pet owners' doors

Tom Giffey


When pet owners need to get shots or other medical treatments for Fido or Fluffy, their options are usually limited to squeezing angry, anxious furballs into carriers and listening to them howl and yowl all the way to the veterinary office and back. The experience can be unpleasant for animals and humans alike. But what if – like the fabled M.D.s of old – small-animal vets made house calls?

One local veterinary business does just that. If you live within a 40-mile radius of Chippewa Falls, Voyaging Vet and Tech Services will come to your door to treat your dog or cat. The business is the brainchild of Patrice Anderson, who got the idea when she began attending Eau Claire’s Globe University in 2008 to become a certified veterinary technician.

“The part that I love the most about it is watching the animal-human bond every day.” – Patrice Anderson, Voyaging Vet and Tech Service

“Can you come over and look at this? What do you think about this?” friends with pets would ask her when they learned she was studying to be a vet tech. These pet owners’ desire to have someone listen to them and give their critters personalized attention piqued Anderson’s interest. She graduated from Globe in December 2011, studied for and passed her board exams, and opened the business in June 2012.

Meanwhile, one of Anderson’s former instructors, Dr. Erin Weiss, learned of her business plans and came aboard, putting the “vet” in Voyaging Vet and Tech.
“It’s not like we reinvented the wheel. Lots of bigger cities have mobile practices,” explains Anderson, although she notes the closest such practice other than hers is based in La Crosse. “What we do is offer a much more personalized service, and from the conversations I had with a lot of people I decided there was a calling for that.”

Although they have no physical location – just a paw-emblazoned van – Voyaging Vet and Tech offers most of the same services as a traditional brick-and-mortar vet clinic, including wellness exams, vaccinations, internal medicine tests, and end-of-life care. However, they aren’t equipped to do surgical procedures (including spaying and neutering) or to treat immediate emergencies.

So what’s the advantage of a vet service that makes house calls? Convenience, for one thing, Anderson says. “Everybody’s so busy,” she says. “So many people have multiple pets.” For many customers, having veterinary care come to them makes life less complicated.

Furthermore, a traveling vet service means less stress for the animals. Anderson notes that vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure can spike when anxious animals go to a veterinary clinic. By contrast, animals are calmer – and their readings are more accurate – when they are in their home environment.

Amy Mewhorter of Chippewa Falls appreciates both of these aspects of being a client of Voyaging Vet and Tech. “They’re in their home setting,” she says of the animal patients, including her German shorthair pointer, Molly. “They think it’s a friend coming in. There’s not that sterile smell of the clinic. They don’t have to get up on the metal table.”

Anderson says she’s pleased to be able to bring personalized service to her human and animal clients. “I just enjoy working with the public, and the part that I love the most about it is watching the animal-human bond every day,” she says. “ Yes, these are people’s pets to put it simply, but they are children, they are family.”

Voyaging Vet and Tech Service • serves clients within a 40-mile radius of Chippewa Falls • (715) 861-4676 •