I was excited to do this next interview. I had wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger. I met up with Dr. Heidi Tapscott. Dr. Tapscott is the owner and veterinary doctor at Best Pets Veterinary Hospital located at 2600 Main St. in Tewksbury.
Many of you may remember where this is. It is exactly on the town line between Tewksbury and Wilmington. It used to be called Silver Lake Veterinary Hospital for years. It had abruptly closed a few years ago and left many patients to seek vet care elsewhere. Dr. Tapscott bought the building in 2013 and has built up a new and very happy clientele. Their more than 120 reviews are all four and five star. I sat down with the Doc to ask her about Best Pets.
Hollie Gonzalez - So you took over in 2013, is there any relation to the former Silver Lake Vets?
Heidi Tapscott - No. I bought the building and started my own practice. We are a totally separate entity. I started fresh. I know some people were left hanging when Silver Lake closed. I have a lot of those patients and many new ones from all over. Not just Tewksbury and Wilmington, but I have patients that come from North Andover, Billerica, and most of the other surrounding towns. Anyone can come here.
HG - Tell us about your schooling.
HT - After graduating high school, I went to Cornell in New York for four years. After that I attended the University of Florida for another four years.
HG - In regards to your services, what does Best Pets offer?
HT - We offer preventative care for your pets such as vaccinations and wellness exams. We offer dental work, and some surgeries. We have reasonable prices, flexible hours and even in some cases, can make house calls. We have a very skilled staff that has over 32 plus years of medical experience.
HG - Do you ever get emergency calls?
HT - Yes, we have had a few. We have had animals hit by cars, abandoned cats and kittens that are in immediate need of care. We have had dogs that ate something that they shouldn't have and are having difficulty breathing. There have been dog fights and cat fights. We see a lot here.
HG - I know that some people have their pets licensed and some do not because of the cost. What is your advise to people?
HT - Well, It is a mandatory state law to have your pets registered. The town of Tewksbury requires you to register with the town and keep your pets up to date on their rabies shots. I tell people in regards to the cost that it is much cheaper to register your pet, than have to pay fines for getting in trouble for an unregistered pet.
HG - What advise can you give to pet owners about vaccines and shots?
HT - Again, I think a lot of people are concerned about the cost. Like I mentioned before, being preventative from the beginning is much more cost effective then not. For example, If you think about how much the cost of treating a nasty tick infection is versus the cost of the basic prevention of it, it far less outweighs the long course of treatment and medicine.
HG - What about spaying and neutering?
HT - We do it all here. Those two procedures can save your pets life in the long run. It can help prevent some kinds of cancers and life threatening infections. Plus it helps control the pet population.
HG - What is it like to work in Tewksbury?
HT - I love it. We are really fortunate to work here. This town has really welcomed me. The firefighters and police officers are all great. All of our neighbors have been so kind and the clients are amazing. But what surprised me the most was how nice the other two Vet clinics here in town have been to me.
HG - Are there ever any high school volunteer opportunities here?
HT - We are the only clinic around to actually offer that. Just come in and apply. We just did a career day at Wilmington High School. It was great to see all the kids interested in this field.
HG - What would you tell families looking to get their first pet?
HT - Remember what your working hours are. Pets get lonely and need to be cared for. People forget that keeping an animal alone for over 6 hours is not good for the animal. Think about trying to plan to have your pet walked during the day or maybe put in a daycare. People should consider their life style before getting a pet. Another good thing is to visit your local MSPCA for adoption. The one in Methuen has rooms where you can actually visit with the animals and see if the fit is right for you and your families. And remember to think about Micro-chipping them too.
HG - With the all of the holidays coming up, what holiday hazards can you point out?
HT - Good Question. Definitely coffee and chocolate, they can increase the heart rate and cause anxiety. Christmas tree water is another dangerous thing. It is not ok for you pets to drink the water in the bottom of the tree preserve. It can be toxic and cause vomiting. Ribbon, tinsel and ornaments if ingested can cause gastrointestinal blockages. Some other foods that can have harmful effects on pets are onions, garlic, chives, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins. Poultry bones can also be dangerous because they splinter easily. Outside, ice melt and antifreeze are very dangerous. Antifreeze is life threatening even in small amounts.
HG - What do you think Tewksbury could improve on?
HT - Absolutely road maintenance. I know they have been working on it and they have gotten better. But some of the roads are just awful. I have to give credit to the DPW and the plow drivers this past winter though. They did an amazing job clearing the roads during all the storms. Especially being situated here on Main Street. All of my patients and staff were able to get in and out of this parking lot without any problems.
HG - What is you best message to all of the pet owners not just here in Tewksbury, but all over?
HT - Get good medical and preventative care. I like this saying. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
I thought that was a good note to end this on. Dr. Heidi Tapscott is very concerned about your pets. From dogs to cats and everything in between. She is very passionate about her clinic and the care it gives. She really emits deep feelings when talking about animals and what you should do for them. She looks to try to save people money from the beginning versus paying a ton in the long run. Best Pets was clean and neat and the staff was friendly and caring. If you have a pet and are in need of care, give Best Pets a call. They are a wealth of knowledge on all things preventative and can offer some good advise on the care for your animals. Stop in and say hi, and bring your furry friend by for a visit.
Quick 5 - Dr. Heidi Tapscott
Favorite Animal - ( I had to ask...) Giraffe
Skittles or Starburst - Skittles
Last Vacation Destination - California
I would love to be a ______ for a day - Astronaut
Build a sandcastle or build a snowman - Definitely a sandcastle
(Hollie Gonzalez lives in Tewksbury with her husband and two children. She is very passionate about her town.)
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