June 2010 marks the 30th anniversary for Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic, Inc.
in Walsenburg. Dr. John C. Davis and his wife, Patti, have owned and operated
the clinic since 1980 when it opened in the former James Utt Ranch machine shop
building east of Walsenburg. The shed was converted to a veterinary clinic with
a reception area, examination room that doubled as a surgery suite, pharmacy, and
cage room. The "mom and pop" operation opened with Patti, Dr. John and one
part-time employee serving the agricultural base of the county. Household pets were
a small, but important, portion of the practice.
The clinic and building have evolved over the
years, along with the demographics of the area. As ranches have become ranchettes,
most services are now oriented toward family pets – dogs, cats and pleasure horses.
It also serves a variety of novelty animals such as guinea pigs, long-haired sheep,
Boer goats, and the occasional reptile, with a minority of the practice serving
production livestock such as beef cattle, equine, alpacas and llamas.
Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic offers a full range of
primary veterinary care and has a core staff of five people — Dr. Davis and Patti,
Donna Martin, long-time receptionist and counselor, Lynn Green, certified veterinary
technician, and Shannon Moore, animal-loving kennel caretaker. The practice currently
has radiographic and ultrasound imaging technologies, a complete surgical suite
with advanced vital-sign monitoring, and a well-equipped in-house clinical pathology
lab. It also offers ancillary services including limited grooming, pet daycare services,
and boarding in our "deluxe kennels."
As a community service, Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic participates
in the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Program, which assists in offering low-cost spay
and neuter services. The clinic also works toward control of the feral cat population
by trapping, spaying or neutering, and releasing.
For Dr. Davis and Patti, the last 30 years have been a labor of love. As we say,
Cows to Cockatiels —all creatures great and small fit in there somewhere.
Rio Cucharas Veterinary Clinic
22540 West U.S. Highway 160
Walsenburg, CO 81089