Dr. Damian Giancola, Westerville Veterinary Clinic owner, vowed that when he owned a veterinary practice, he would serve his clients and their pets fairly and compassionately. This mindset helped him build Westerville Veterinary Clinic into a thriving, client-centered practice that he and his team are proud to call home.
The human-animal bond
Dr. Giancola’s understanding of people’s daily struggles, partnered with their unfailing love for their pets, gives him a unique perspective of the human–animal bond. “We’re all in this thing called life together, and we all have our day-to-day struggles,” he says. Dr. Giancola’s early years in emergency medicine helped him understand the difficulties some clients face when needing to provide health care for their beloved pets.
Dr. Giancola knows that only an owner fully understands the depth of the bond shared with a pet. His own family’s dog, Banjo, is a perfect example. Banjo is not a good boy, he says. He’s not a dog most people would bond with. But, Dr. Giancola’s daughter formed a priceless bond with Banjo when both were working to overcome health issues.
The human–animal bond is the center of Westerville Veterinary Clinic’s business model and the motivation to offer fairly priced services and products. As an emergency veterinarian, Dr. Giancola met owners who had to make difficult decisions because they could not afford medical care. Our clinic offers many payment options so no pet has to be euthanized due to financial limitations, such as:
- iCare Financial, a financing company we pay to provide financing options to clients unable to pay for medical costs, regardless of past credit history
- Care Credit, a financing company that issues credit card-like loans to clients for veterinary care
- Our own clinic’s health membership plan: While we do not directly finance clients ourselves, we offer the Platinum Health Plan to help clients plan ahead for important health care and emergency services for their pets. The plan needs to be activated before the need occurs, but once activated, a monthly fee covers all regular and emergency care and reduces the cost of our clinic’s other products by 20 percent.
We perform nail trims at no cost to show clients how much we value their business and appreciate their bond with their pets. This service costs us only a small amount of time that we happily donate to demonstrate our devotion to the pets we serve. Clients also can stop in for a happy visit and free nail trim whenever they are out and about with their pets. We offer pet food, medications, and parasite preventives at pricing similar to pet stores, grocery stores, and warehouse stores, and we help our clients make safe medication and food choices for their pets.
When a pet requires costly medical care, we want clients to take comfort in the tremendous value they receive for our services. We believe that Westerville Veterinary Clinic should charge based on our team’s training, experience, expertise, and dedication, which is the true value of our services.
“It does not mean it is inexpensive, or cheaper than what others may charge, but you cannot put a price on the compassion and dedication that our entire staff exhibits,” says Dr. Giancola. “We have had hospitalized cases where staff members have lost sleep hoping that these patients pull through.”
Put simply, Westerville Veterinary Clinic’s mission is to treat our clients as we want to be treated—with fairness, compassion, and dedication.
A symbol of understanding
Around Dr. Giancola’s neck hangs a one-of-a-kind necklace made of two special items, a constant reminder of the struggles pets and their owners endure. One item is a small piece of plastic taken from a brace his 12-year-old daughter used to overcome a back issue that started at the age of 9. The other is a large canine tooth Dr. Giancola plucked from the mouth of a 40-pound dog who had been attacked by a 110-pound dog. In his struggle to survive, the small dog completely dislodged a canine tooth, which is no easy feat. Canine teeth are even difficult to remove surgically, but this dog wanted to live so badly that he cleanly dislodged one when he bit his attacker.
“It’s about dedication and going up against something. That dog faced it in a short burst of time, and my daughter faced it over two years, and both are much stronger because of it,” Dr. Giancola says. Not only is his daughter stronger, she’s also turned herself into an athletic honor student.
“She is beautiful. But, other than how beautiful she is, she physically looks like any other kid her age,” explains Dr. Giancola. “The real difference between her and those kids is that she faced adversity for several years and found a way to overcome. It changed her in a great way, and it changed me as a person as well.”
Although Dr. Giancola doesn’t wear the necklace every day—“It is, after all, a curved tooth and it digs into my chest when an excited Labrador jumps up onto me!”—he says it illustrates the commonness that we have with our pets and shows the depth of the human-animal bond. “There are days, though, when I need that extra reminder of the bond we share with our patients, and I will wear it,” he says.
We hope this post helps you get to know the Westerville Veterinary Clinic team and our philosophy. We’d love to get to know you. Stop by our clinic or call us at 614-882-2332 for an appointment.