By Madina Toure
A longtime animal hospital in Middle Village officially unveiled its new 8,000-square-foot facility in a grand opening ceremony last weekend.
Established in 1999, Juniper Valley Animal Hospital, which previously operated on 69th Place, moved into its new space on the same block at 64-14 69th Place in January. The hospital has been undergoing a soft opening for the last six months.
Dr. Matthew McCarthy, the hospital’s owner, cut the ribbon outside the facility and attendees were invited to participate in a self-guided tour and a pet/owner photo booth.
McCarthy, who grew up in Washington Heights and now lives in Forest Hills, said his wife grew up in Middle Village, making the neighborhood a good location for the hospital.
“Sixteen years ago, we started there and some people said, ‘Not a good place to be, but we’ll try it,’” McCarthy said. “So we grew and we grew. Now we’ve really grown and I just want to say thank you.”
The hospital has about 5,000 active clients, mostly dogs and cats, though there is the occasional orphan squirrel, baby raccoon or sparrow. Currently, it has about 25 employees, up from 22 at the old space. The employees mostly hail from Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood.
The hospital received a nearly $2.5 million loan from a Small Business Administration program for the purchase and construction of the new facility, which used to be an electrical supply house.
With the new facility, the hospital was able to increase the number of doctors from two to four and the number of exam rooms from two to five, one of which is a designated comfort room. The hospital also added digital x-rays for its radiology suite and dental x-rays and now conducts ultrasounds daily.
Roughly 70 borough residents attended the ceremony, praising the work of the hospital.
Flushing resident Cathy Mitchell, 61, who has been coming to the hospital for 15 years, praised McCarthy.
“I’ve been coming here for a long time,” Mitchell said. “I had a German shepherd who adored him and he adored her.”
Middle Village resident Jenny Burger, 33, a licensed veterinary technician who has been working at the hospital for 13 years, started going to the hospital as a teenager when she brought in her hamster.
She said she came to like McCarthy when he put his nose to her hamster’s nose, just like she would do herself.
“It’s been a dream of Dr. McCarthy’s for so long,” Burger said of new space.
McCarthy said he hopes to double his workforce in the future.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour