Customers flock to mobile pet clinic

Some fear ordinance that would limit mobile businesses in Clay County

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - Customers flocked to the "Pet Shots Affordable Pet Clinic" on Saturday in Middleburg, despite the proposed Clay County ordinance that would limit mobile businesses in the county.

The proposed ordinance says it would limit businesses like the mobile pet clinic, which is significantly less expensive than a traditional visit to the veterinarian. The ordinance would limit the amount of hours a business could operate to only four hours a day, four days a year.

Traditional veterinarian offices argue mobile business are unfair competition because they do not have to pay property taxes like the brick and mortar clinics.

Customer Randall Houston waited in line to have his dogs treated, because he is afraid the ordinance will be passed.

"I'm not happy with that," said Houston. "That's why we definitely came today this might be our last chance to get this done."

Houston said he believes the mobile clinic is the only way he can afford to keep his dogs Caleesee and Rouge healthy.

"We probably wouldn't have the dogs, the overhead you pay at the vet's, I mean they charge you just for walking in," said Houston. "It's very expensive."

Some first time clients, like Alexa Curyk, said they see the value and convenience of the mobile clinics.

"She needs her shots, and I can get them done by a licensed veterinarian at a discount so it helps with the budget," said Curyk.

Pet Shots owner David Watkins said continuing to operate with the proposed ordinance on the table has been challenging, but it hasn't stopped him from doing the work he feels is necessary.

"It's upsetting to us because I do feel the animals won't be serviced if we are not here," said Watkins. "Many of the customers are on fixed incomes, some are unemployed, so where else would they go?"

The issue is still up for debate until the Clay County Commission votes on the ordinance on Feb. 12.

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