Long-time Blaine veterinarian opens at Birch Bay Square
By Tara Nelson
Dr. Joann Timmerman has a way with animals. As a girl growing up on her parents’ 240-acre beef cattle farm, she always took care of the sick animals. Now a veterinarian at the Northwest Veterinarian Clinic (formerly Northwest Small Animal Clinic), Timmerman helps animals of a much smaller size from performing tumor surgery on pet rats to routine vaccinations for dogs and cats.
The clinic recently opened in its new location at Birch Bay Square (formerly Peace Arch Outlet Mall). Blaine area residents might recall Timmerman’s former office on Giles Road, which she operated out of her home along with her veterinarian house-call business.
the house call service primarily until 1984, when I opened
my home practice,” she said. “That
was how I started out in Blaine.”
Timmerman said she wanted the new office to provide that same level of comfort, and hired Stephanie Klien, a Seattle-based interior designer, to create a soothing atmosphere using muted shades of yellow and green.
“I wanted it to feel homey for our clients and patients,” she said. “We want to keep our practice happy and friendly so people remain comfortable.”
Timmerman said she grew up in Adrian, Oregon, a small community on the banks of the Snake River in Oregon and earned her degree from Colorado State University’s school of veterinary medicine in 1977. After finishing college, she moved to upstate New York, practicing in a veterinarian clinic near the border where she met her husband, John Holstein.
Later that year, the couple moved to Blaine when Holstein had an opportunity to be transferred for his job with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Now, one of only a few veterinarians in the Blaine and Birch Bay area, she said she wants to focus her efforts on educating pet owners about proper care of their animals.
“There are lots of things often over-looked with pets,” she said. “My number one pet peeve is people who don’t spay their pets because they want their animal to have the experience. In reality, they’re just helping to contribute to a population of unwanted animals.”
Another often over-looked issue, she said, is diet and regular check-ups, which Timmerman said can help prevent more serious problems.
“We often see three or four-year-old animals with infected gums, gingivitis, or other dental problems that may require extractions,” she said. “That’s all preventable with regular dental cleanings - even just once a year. People visit their doctor on a regular basis and pets need those check-ups, too.”
She’s also hired Dr. Kristen Reiter, of Oak Harbor, who works in the office on Monday and Tuesday.
Reiter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin school of veterinary medicine.
Timmerman said she has scheduled an open house for the clinic’s grand opening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 16.
The event will include door prizes, gift bags, freebies, educational stations and complimentary Hempler’s sausages and soda.
Veterinarians and assistants will also be present to answer questions.
Door prizes include certificates for free exams, bags of Science Diet pet food, flea medications and a free spay or neuter.
One of each prize will be given for both a dog and cat. Pets are welcome.
Veterinarian house calls are still available on Wednesdays by appointment by calling 332-4030.
Northwest Veterinary Clinic is located at Birch Bay Square, I-5 exit 270, on Birch Bay-Lynden Road. They can be reached at 360/366-5434.