Melanie Sharpe has been a veterinarian since 2001 and has spent most of that time working with shelters.
She went to Ohio State for veterinary school and then worked at the university’s shelter program upon graduation. Although Sharpe did spend a total four years in private practice, she was most recently a senior veterinarian at the in Golden Valley.
The Deephaven resident, who has a border collie of her own named Zorro, is bringing her skills back to the world of private practice, though. On Monday, she opened Mission Animal Hospital at 4338 Shady Oak Road on the Hopkins-Minnetonka border.
Sharpe isn’t starting her own practice on a whim. She doesn’t think there are many options for affordable pet care in the Twin Cities. While working for shelters, she saw many families struggling to keep their pets. Her goal is to offer critical services at a reasonable price.
“We’ll be working with shelters and rescue groups to try to maintain the human-animal bond,” she said.
Sharpe believes her experience in shelter environments allow her to achieve economies of scale that will keep her expenses down. At the Humane Society, for example, she was accustomed to doing many more spay and neuter procedures than a typical private veterinarian.
Mission Animal Hospital will then use those efficiencies to keep prices low and offer especially low-cost procedures for low-income families. It will also work with shelters and rescue groups.
Mission’s staff, which includes Sharpe and two part-time vets, is particularly well suited for such a niche. All have worked in shelter or rescue environments.
That doesn’t mean the customers will get second-tier services. The hospital has a cutting-edge digital X-ray machine, lab, surgery suite, table for dental cleanings and two exam rooms.
“I feel like our level of medicine is such that we could do anything for anybody,” Sharpe said.
Mission Animal Hospital is in the midst of a “soft opening,” when it is taking walk-ins. It will have a grand opening from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 with an open house. Regular hours begin Sept. 23. Those hours are:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mission will continue to accept both appointments and walk-ins. To make an appointment, call 952-938-1237.