Clarendon Street Veterinary Surgery
28, Clarendon Street, Cambridge, CB1 1JX
Taking a poorly pet to the vets can be an anxiety-inducing experience both for the owner and their furry friend. Practices can be cold and clinical, a far cry from James Herriot’s charmingly nostalgic depiction in All Creatures Great and Small. That’s not the case, however, at Clarendon Street Veterinary Surgery, which feels immediately welcoming, from the bowl of dog biscuits perched invitingly on the windowsill and contented cat Calypsa snoozing in the reception in-tray, to the cards of thanks from grateful owners and the friendly staff buzzing around.
The small community practice in the centre of Cambridge has been run by Patrick Von Heimendahl for the past 20 years, providing services including vaccinations, neutering, surgery, microchipping and home visits, caring for cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and the occasional chicken!
Growing up on a farm in Germany, tackling everything from ‘mucking out to plucking’, it’s hardly surprising Patrick became a vet. However, after two decades as solo practice vet, Patrick has brought his niece – fellow vet Harriet O’Riordan – on-board, both to help with the workload and ensure the family business remains independent.
With a national trend, which has seen around 70 per cent of veterinary surgeries snapped up by corporates, he’s keen for the practice to retain its traditional, friendly feel.
Having worked in busy London clinics previously, Harriet is enjoying building a rapport with customers and says she often gets three generations of clients in the consulting room. Alongside Patrick and Harriet work Sue, Anna, Nancy and Jordanne plus surgery cat Zamba, a rescued stray (mum to Calypsa) who spends her time happily lounging around in the warmest, sunniest spots. They say cats are very intuitive – and clearly Zamba has fallen on her feet/paws to snare this fine surgery as her forever home!