‘We are as full as full gets’: Valley couple offers low-cost pet surgeries

A Valley couple offers cheaper medical surgeries to pets and is now seeing an influx of appointments.

PHOENIX — Owning a pet is expensive. Owners plan for food, grooming, travel, and boarding. But it’s the unexpected that can especially be stressful. That is, until now.

“What we specialize in is affordable surgical care,” said Doug Patriquin. 

In 2016, Patriquin and his wife created Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit, a Valley clinic specializing in surgeries. However, their practice is different because their services are low-cost, at least when compared with most veterinarian-type places.

“The cost of owning a pet is multi-fold,” he said.

“You have to get them vaccinated, food, and, then there are things that pop up that you don’t really think about. People love their animals, but sometimes they can’t afford the price tag that comes with one.”

The clinic specializes in everything from spaying or neutering to teeth cleaning and major surgeries like an amputation. In addition to two brick-and-mortar locations in the Valley, they have two mobile units that go around helping people in different parts of town. 

The clinics are not your typical veterinarian as they focus specifically on surgeries. This, however, is what helps keep costs low, so instead of thousands of dollars for a procedure, you may end up paying a couple hundred.

“You go shop around to different vets, and those can get into the four digits very fast,” he said. “We have very few estimates that run into the four-digit numbers.”

Patriquin compares their model to traditional human medical care, like a specialist in comparison to a primary doctor.

“The trade-off is that we’re not your (general) wellness practice. We’re not doing routine six-month bloodwork, urinalysis, ear infections,” he said. “For us, the high-value health intensive services are the trade-off of doing everything.”

Unlike most veterinary practices, Dr. Kelly’s offers surgical care at affordable prices.

The company’s goal is to allow owners to receive the treatments they want without having to make the considerable financial sacrifices requested by many traditional veterinarian offices — which is timely considering pet ownership’s costliness and increasing popularity due to people working from home.

“The vast majority of the clients we see take good care of their animals, but they bristle at big numbers, is what it comes down to,” Patriquin said.

In comparison to a traditional full-service vet, Dr. Kelly’s offers surgical care at a third to a half of the typical price.

According to Rover, a dog owner can spend anywhere from $1,050 to $4,480 for the first year and up to nearly $3,500 for each following year. And with the cost of living high, Patriquin said they’ve never been busier.

“It says peoples’ pocketbooks are being pinched,” he said. “Dozens from different cities and states: San Diego, California, Yuma, Colorado, Nevada looking for a place they can afford.”

“He’s a baby,” said Xiomara Bojorquez. “We found him in the street, and we just love him.”

Borjorquez and her husband drove from Yuma specifically to get their dog fixed.

“Because in Yuma, there’s a handful of vets, and their appointments are far out,” she said.

She also said it would’ve cost them three times more than they’re paying at Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit.

The couple said every cent counts, so making the drive to the Valley is worth every penny.

“It’s really good,” she said. “We just have to pay for the tank of gas, and it was still less than half of what they would charge there. It’s a huge difference. This is the right thing to do, so we’re happy we could get in, and it was more affordable. We’re feeling relief.”

Patriquin also said they accept donations that help cover some or all (depending on the case) of surgical costs for owners. If you’d like more information, you can visit their website here.

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