Our pets; oh how we love them so.

Whether you have a dog that waits by the window-sill all day for you or a cat that makes you feel like he’s your master – we’d do anything for them. Like beloved members of the family, there comes a time when they might get sick or need help, a time when they might need needles or a checkup and we have to put their lives in the hands of a complete stranger. In comes Dr Danielle Greenberg, a vet in the Vet game for over 20 years now who, in her spare time, takes to the streets to look after the dogs of the homeless.

Just a couple weeks ago her dream came true when she opened up her own veterinary practice on beautiful Cleveland Sq, right next to a dog grooming and dog friendly cafe. We caught up over a cappuccino to talk cockapoo’s:

Hi Danielle, tell us a bit about you…

My name is Danielle Greenberg and I’ve been a Vet for over 20 years. Born, raised and educated here in Liverpool, I’ve always wanted to have my own clinic.

Why did you want to set up your own veterinary?

The corporatisation of veterinary practice in Liverpool. When I was growing up, Liverpool had several independent veterinary practices. There was something of a gentlemen’s agreement where each had his own area and was known by name by all his clients. There was Mr Bett, Mr Adams, Mr Randall, Mr Highet and Mr Weinberg. The next generation who took over those practices were similarly independent and known by their 1st names to all their clients: Ian Crawford, Geoff Potts, Paul Boland, Brian McVey, George Sinanan, Alan Humphries. These were the vets I learned from as a student. They all knew each other personally but each had his own patch of Liverpool to vet.

About 10 years ago, corporate veterinary practice came to Liverpool with the 1st Vets4Pets in Old Swan, since then 4 more Vets4Pets have opened here. In the last 3 years another corporate, Medivet, has bought all but two of the independent practices in Liverpool, and with that, there has been a significant amount of staff changes. Now the only paths for vet practice ownership is opening a Vets4Pets or joining Medivet as a partner, or going it alone

Starting a Veterinary practice from scratch has certainly been a challenge. First there’s finding a suitable premises in a location where the service is needed and that’s also accessible. I’ve been looking for about 2 years before Ryan at Dogone grooming introduced me to this shop. The space was already being used as a hearing aid clinic, so the layout was not far from what I needed.

The cost of converting any space into a veterinary clinic is significant, as we have a fully fitted operating theatre and x-ray suite. The fact that the layout was already set up, helped me enormously with the cost of the refurbishment and Hidden Hearing kindly left their reception table and lots of other fittings. The banks were reluctant to loan to a new business, so I’ve had to be cautious and spend carefully, whilst making sure we have everything we need.

I was helped enormously by a local builder who used every trick he knew, to get the premises ready on a very tight budget. Tragically, he died suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks before we opened. The guys he worked with amazingly, stepped up and helped me to get the project finished with only a short delay.

I also worked closely with a big veterinary supplier, Henry Schein, to source equipment that had been used for demonstration or that I could borrow and peer review for the company. We have a tiny machine that works on a cuff on a paw to monitor pets under anaesthetic for that reason which was sent to us from California. I even went up to Dumfries to Henry Schein’s head quarters to look for equipment. We have a tiny blood machine too that’s a Samsung and can run a blood sample in 3 minutes with just a single drop of blood.

What is unique about The Liverpool Vets?

But I felt that there was a gap in the market for a strongly independent and personality led clinic in town. The number of city based pet owners is ever increasing and the community around pets in town is unique and evolving. It’s a great location at the tip of the Baltic where so many people take their dogs to work and surrounded by buildings such as The Cargo and Keel which are now proudly pet friendly.

We also understand that many people have cats in flats in town, and we’ve had a bespoke cat climbing frame made for our waiting room as a starting point for talking about how you can turn your own space into a cat heaven and adventure playground whilst you’re at work.

We have partnered with Urban Farm to delivery hydroponically grown fresh veg to the city’s herbivores too. The Liverpool Vets offers a return to a small independent clinic where you always see someone you know and trust. I’ve been so lucky and honoured that the very best colleagues I’ve worked with over the years, have chosen to come and work with me here, bringing a depth of experience we feel will be hard to beat. We offer Skype appointments if you’re not sure if you need to see a vet

We will be reaching out into the local community too. I’ve already been up to Pleasant Street Primary School to talk to the children about the challenges of having a dog and being homeless ( photo) and will continue to work with local school to help educate children about safety around dogs, homelessness, being kind to pets whilst staying safe and about working as a vet or vet nurse. I have worked with Care For the Paw, a charity supporting homeless people with dogs, since 2016 and continue to do so with The Liverpool Vets. Donations of dog food, blankets and coats can always be dropped at the clinic.

Address: 11 Cleveland Sq, L1 5BE

Phone number: 0151 709 9777

Website: https://www.theliverpoolvets.co.uk/