Veterinary clinic proposed for Savin Hill Avenue

A small family-run veterinary hospital could be coming to Savin Hill Avenue, according to a proposal brought to the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association this week.

Dr. Olga Iglikova, who has worked in veterinary services for 20 years, and her daughter appeared before the civic group’s planning committee at their monthly meeting Tuesday. The building where they have operated for the past 15 years as the South Boston Cat and Dog Clinic— at 526 Dorchester Ave.— is being sold, pushing them to find a new location.

“We have a lot of unhappy clients and pets that we have a strong connection [to],” Iglikova said. Given their proximity to Dorchester, a number of their clients already came to them from the neighborhood, she said.

Now a physical therapy and chiropractic office, the proposed site at 99 Savin Hill Ave. would need no serious renovations, Iglikova said, just a paint job and refinished floors. It already has two exams rooms, and they would not have any animals staying for overnight care.

The shop abuts the Snippers pet grooming salon on the corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Midland Street. Snippers relocated to that site earlier this year, having been South Boston Cat and Dog Clinic’s neighbor before then.

“I think it would be a great spot,” Iglikova said. “The groomers pick up a lot of new clients. There’s a lot of dogs walking on the street.”

As a small shop with few employees, their business model does not have much overhead. An average appointment takes about 15 minutes, Iglikova said.

They anticipate operating hours would be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, with half-day hours on Saturdays for those who could not come in during the workweek. With the exception of emergencies — serious issues would be referred elsewhere to a facility with intensive care capabilities, but small surgeries could be performed on site -- all services would be by appointment, Iglikova said.

Iglikova asked the planning committee for a letter of non-opposition for the Zoning Board of Appeal hearing on Oct. 17. Planning chair Eileen Fenton asked that they check in with additional abutters and request approval for the change of use, with the expectation being that the planning committee would send in the letter of non-opposition this coming week.