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“Petworth Animal Hospital has closed”


4012 Georgia Ave, NW via loopnet

Thanks to textdoc for sending:

“The voicemail greeting was a long and somewhat emotional one — worth calling and giving it a listen. (202) 723-7142

It didn’t specifically say why Dr. Thornburgh was retiring, but he was getting up in years and I think had been planning to retire at some point anyway. My guess is that the pandemic probably accelerated that decision.

A veterinarian friend of mine from high school caught COVID-19 at work — fortunately, he recovered fully. I suppose that’s a good reminder that it’s a frontline occupation.

Petworth Animal Hospital didn’t take appointments (at least pre-pandemic — not sure if they started taking appointments during the pandemic). They had a very small waiting room and no dedicated parking, so it might’ve been harder for them than for bigger operations to adjust to a pandemic model where the owner hands off the animal to a vet tech curbside or in a parking lot or whatever. (And I’m not sure they always had a vet tech on duty — I think I saw another employee there once, but the operation was mainly Mrs. Thornburgh serving as receptionist and admin person and Dr. Thornburgh examining the animals.)

D.C. has several veterinary places that seem to serve mainly well-off people, but I think this was perhaps the last operation serving mainly not-so-well-off people at prices they could afford. I think Dr. Thornburgh recognized this; I remember him saying something to the effect that after he retired, he didn’t know where those folks would go.”

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