New animal hospital on Dempster Street to open next summer pending city approval

Margaux MacColl, Reporter

A new animal hospital on Dempster Street will open next summer pending approval by the City Council.

The hospital, which will be headed by veterinarian Gail Henry, would be located at 516 Dempster St. It is tentatively being called the Evanston Animal Hospital, Henry said.

Mark Muenzer, director of community development of Evanston, said the hospital is currently in the process of obtaining the necessary permits, most recently appearing before the Design and Project Review Committee. It is currently scheduled to be heard before the Zoning Board of Appeals, and then it will to go to the City Council for approval.

Henry graduated from the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London in 2010 and has been working as an associate veterinarian in Chicago for the past five years. She said having an animal hospital would be crucial for the neighborhood.

“There’s a couple clinics in the Evanston area, but overall it’s really an underserved market,” she said.

Although there are a total of seven animal hospitals in Evanston, there are only a few near Dempster Street, which include Bramer Animal Hospital, at 1021 Davis St., and Home Veterinary Care, at 1417 Lee St.

Muenzer echoed Henry’s sentiment that the hospital would be important in the area, noting the hospital would bring more foot traffic to the street.

“Animal hospitals attract quite a number of visitors,” Muenzer said. “That brings them to the area possibly for the first time.”

Ald. Don Wilson (4th) said the particular spot on Dempster Street was ideal. He pointed out that the pet store, Thee Fish Bowl, is located down the same street. Additionally, since there are few clinics in that area, the location would be convenient for the many residents who live nearby.

“I’m sure people will appreciate that there’s something close by that you don’t have to drive to,” Wilson said. “It’s going to be really great for some people to have something that’s right in the neighborhood.”

This is Henry’s first independent business venture, and she is very optimistic about the project.

“In my career I’m ready to start branching out on my own and run my own practice,” she said. “So I really wanted to find a location that would fit with the way I want to practice and the neighborhood that I wanted to be in.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @margauxmaccoll