The Perry Veterinary Clinic was established in 1919 as the Clark Veterinary Clinic by Dr. F.C. Clark, a graduate of the Veterinary College at Cornell University. Two other Cornell graduates, Drs. Norman Skinner and Walter Kreutter, joined the Clinic in the 1940’s and 1950’s, respectively. Both were instrumental in continuing Dr. Clark’s work and guiding the Clinic in its formative years. Dr. Allan Chamberlain, a graduate of the New York State Veterinary College, joined the Clinic and spearheaded its modernization in the 1960’s.
In the Clinic’s early years the practice was located in Dr. Skinner’s garage on Covington Street. However, by 1971 the Clinic outgrew this site and moved to its current location on Route 246, and was renamed the Perry Veterinary Clinic.
The 1970’s brought many changes to the nature of veterinary medicine and the new facility allowed the Clinic to respond proactively. The dairy industry was growing and changing from small herds of 30–50 cows to larger herds of 100 or more. The role of the dairy veterinarian evolved with advances in record keeping, sophisticated nutrition, artificial insemination and embryo transfer programs.
With new facilities in place for its small animal practice, the Clinic met the increasing expectations of local pet owners. Small animal medicine was changing rapidly to a sophisticated science as research defined new diseases and clarified older ones. This, in turn, led to more effective techniques and treatments. The information explosion had started. To address both dairy industry growth and the needs of small animal clients the Clinic added three partners, Drs. Paul Schneible, Leslie “Butch” DeGroff and George “Tony” Wiseley.
The changes that began in the 1970’s accelerated in the 1980’s. Small animal veterinary medicine was revolutionized with the development of rapid “SNAP” tests for many communicable and deadly diseases such as parvo virus and feline leukemia. Vaccines were developed to help prevent these and other diseases. Therapeutic pet foods and discoveries in pet nutrition led to the virtual disappearance of certain eye and heart diseases.
Building on the advances begun in the early 1980’s, the veterinary industry responded by developing improved equipment and technology. Work begun in the 1980’s led to blood examinations being performed “in house” to more completely assess patient needs. Clinic facilities were updated as significant improvements were made to cardiology and EKG equipment, as well as ultrasound technology. In response to continued expansion in both the farm and small animal markets, three additional partners joined the Clinic,
Drs. Steve Stoddard, Dave Hale and Peter Hecht. The innovations in the 1980’s lay the groundwork for the rapid expansion of the 1990’s.
In March, 1990, the partnership opened the first satellite clinic, the Animal Care Facility of Livonia. The new clinic allowed the firm to better serve both the dairy clients in Livingston County and the growing suburban population’s pet needs. Later that year, Dr. Patrick Lynch merged his practice with the Perry Veterinary Clinic, making it the largest veterinary clinic in the region. In 1991, recognizing the increasing demand for small animal service, the first full-time small animal practitioner and partner was recruited, Dr. Karl Minster.
In 1996, in response to a continuing increase in demand for small animal services, as well as the need for the latest medicine and health-related products in the dairy industry, the partnership completely renovated the Perry facility. The clinic doubled in size, adding a modern treatment room, two surgical suites and full radiology capability for small animal patients. A large warehouse and retail store were added to accommodate the needs of farm clients.
In August 1997, the second satellite clinic in Yorkshire opened. This facility, like Livonia, recognized both the demand for small animal care and the expansion of the dairy industry. Three more doctors joined the practice as partners in the late 1990’s, Drs. Craig Lamb, Ted Wolf and Scott DeGroff.
During the 1990’s there were a number of advances in veterinary medicine that affected both large and small animal clients. Companion animals, previously known as “pets” became known as “patients,” and were considered by many to be a member of the family. In response, there was a shift in thinking from “giving them their shots” to providing comprehensive healthcare with greater emphasis on wellness care and advanced surgical techniques.
New equipment and technology continued to develop. There was a greater role played by the veterinarian who was dedicated to small animal medicine, more akin to a human doctor. Advances in care fostered the development of regional specialty practices in eye diseases, oncology, dermatology, and behavioral issues to which we were able to refer complex and unusual cases.
As the new century began, the Perry Veterinary Clinic and its satellite clinics were well positioned to serve the ever-changing needs of both companion animal and farm clients. The dairy industry benefited from the development of new medicines, as well as improvements in wellness and nutrition protocols. As unbelievable as it may have seemed in the 1970’s, some herds now exceeded 1,000 cows. Two additional partners, Drs. Michael Capel and Tom Wakefield, joined the practice as the Clinic stayed on the cutting edge of dairy medicine.
In 2005, Dr. Filippo Aiello, a companion animal practitioner at the Livonia facility, became a partner. Unfortunately, he died very suddenly shortly thereafter. In 2010 Dr. Paul Schneible, the senior partner, retired after a long career at Perry Vet and the Yorkshire Clinic underwent expansion and renovation.
2011 was a year of many changes. In January Dr. Leo Vranich, a large animal vet, was admitted to the partnership. The geographic reach of the LA Road Service continued to expand, serving clients in Niagara County eastward to Cayuga County. The Practice had been considering a 4th companion animal clinic, and after discussions with Dr. Ray Pray, purchased the Batavia Animal Hospital in September 2011. In December, Dr. Leslie (Butch) DeGroff, Senior Partner, semi-retired. Dr. DeGroff joined the practice in 1970 and is recognized in the dairy industry as a true veterinary leader being awarded the Excellence in Preventive Medicine Dairy Award by the American Association of Bovine Practitioners in 2004.
From 2013-2015 the Perry facility expanded – adding a 7500sf warehouse to better serve the product needs of its dairy producers. There was also extensive remodeling of the former warehouse to include offices and a conference area to accommodate the increased number of employees. The treatment room was also refurbished allowing better service to our small animal clients.
In January 2014, the practice added both a partner and a new look. Dr. Jessica Litteer, a companion animal associate at the Livonia Center location, was admitted as a partner in the firm. The practice also rebranded itself with a new company logo, consolidated the four companion animal clinics under the name Perry Pet with a corresponding new logo, and developed a new logo for the large animal service and retail portions of the business under the name Perry Vet.
In 2016 Dr. George “Tony” Wisely retired.
As the family pet takes on a new role, becoming more of a family companion, and the dairy industry continues to expand and become more sophisticated, new services are added and the number of veterinarians continues to expand. Surgical cases benefit from improved anesthetics and monitoring equipment, pre-surgical blood testing, IV fluid support, and pain management programs. New medications are being developed. In addition, the Clinic has added an endoscope and ultrasound machines to improve companion and farm animal services. The veterinarians regularly attend continuing education programs and do self-study to stay abreast of these rapid changes.