By Denise Dick
Scarlet, a 12-week-old St. Bernard mix pup, flits from person to person in her township home, her tail wagging the whole time.
She yelps and squirms for just a few seconds as Dr. Margee O’Donnell of BARK Mobile Pet Vet administers Scarlet’s latest round of puppy shots.
O’Donnell provides house calls for furry friends.
They travel throughout parts of Mahoning and Trumbull counties with plans to expand into Columbiana County next summer.
A few months ago, Robert Lackey and Kathie Carlile called BARK about 10 p.m., asking for her help for their Great Dane, Bailey, 9.
“I could hear Bailey breathing over the phone,” O’Donnell said.
She doesn’t usually do emergency visits but responded because of concerns about the dog, which was suffering from pneumonia. She had to put the dog to sleep.
About four weeks ago, Lackey, Carlile and grandsons, Bryce, 11, and Drew Lindeman, 7, went to the Mahoning County Dog Pound and brought Scarlet home. She’s named for Ohio State University’s scarlet and gray colors.
“Margee treated Bailey with such care we wanted to use her for our next puppy, which happened a lot sooner than I thought,” Lackey said. By the end of her life, Bailey was mostly immobile, making transporting her to a vet’s office difficult.
“I’m happy to see you going with this new baby,” O’Donnell told the family.
Scarlet tipped the scales at 12.5 pounds on her latest visit, up about 3 pounds from the last visit.
“She checks out really well today,” O’Donnell said.
She started the business last January because she saw a need.
“So many people have a hard time getting their pets to the veterinary hospital,” O’Donnell said.
Some dogs are scared and act out at clinic staff. Some cats fight getting into a carrier for transport to the vet.
“One of our first clients we had was a dog that had been banned from two clinics,” O’Donnell said. “When we got there, he just wanted to play.”
O’Donnell was able to provide the care the dog needed.
The cost is $55 for the house call plus the fees for the services provided. There’s usually a coupon for $10 off available and discounts are offered for multiple pets.
BARK may be reached at 234-567-MEOW (6369) or by email at email@example.com.
O’Donnell and her office manager/sister, Erin O’Donnell, see pets by appointment in the owners’ living rooms, bedrooms and even backyards. It’s less stressful for the pet and the owner.
BARK Mobile Pet Vet provides vaccinations, hospice care, check-ups, blood work, nutrition information, diagnostic testing and euthanasia in people’s homes. They use an area lab for blood work and diagnostic testing.
If the pet needs additional care or services that O’Donnell can’t provide them at home, she refers them to a veterinary hospital.
She has good relationships with Crago Veterinary Clinic on West Boulevard, Dr. David Allen and Ebert Animal Hospital, all in Boardman.
O’Donnell plans to attend a conference in October on animal hospice care, which can include pain management and other strategies to keep an animal comfortable.
“I’m very interested in geriatric medicine and hospice care,” O’Donnell said.