Dr. Renee Ferguson checked out a Jack Russell terrier. (Langley Advance Times files)

Dr. Renee Ferguson checked out a Jack Russell terrier. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley vet earns high industry praise

Mountain View team given national accolades as best practice of the year

It’s been a big year for Dr. Renee Ferguson and her team at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital.

The clinic relocated in the midst of COVID and at the same time they learned they were heralded the country’s best veterinary practice.

Mountain View was named the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA’s) practice of the year for 2021, an award that took Ferguson by surprise.

It was supposed to be announced at the CVMA annual convention later this month, but word leaked early that they were receiving one of the industry’s highest accolades.

Ferguson was humbled and quick to credit the entire team.

This award recognizes a veterinary practice for outstanding achievement within its community, and fellow business owner Angie Quaale of Well Seasoned said she was honoured to nominate Ferguson and her team.

The nomination package included supporting letters from a number of local organizations and individuals, including comments from Shelly Roche from TinyKittens Society.

This isn’t the first time Ferguson has been recognized in the national arena. Five years ago she received a similar award out of Ontario.

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Since opening in 2013, Dr. Ferguson and the team have worked to make their community better in many different ways, Roche said.

“They inspire compassion and kindness, and they do it with joy, grace, and incredible skill,” she said.

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“It’s because of Mountain View that TinyKittens has been able to show the world that even the most broken, different, elderly, terminally ill cat has value.”

It’s not just the work they do with TinyKittens or Langley Animal Protection Society – much of the time and expertise donated or severely discounted – that makes them worthy of high distinction. It’s the team’s effort to do so much more than just one-on-one animal care, Roche added.

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For instance, Mountain View outfitted local fire trucks with pet oxygen masks, donates time with the LAPS annual community vet clinics, and leads community education programs such as emergency preparedness for pets and their ‘Keep pets cool’ campaigns.

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They also help multiple families every year through the Langley Christmas Bureau, as well as fundraise to help wildfire victims both in B.C. and Alberta.

“Above all… I love how the team approaches every challenging situation with the question, ‘how can we help?’ Then they throw their hearts, souls, and talent into making it happen,” Roche said.

They are always thinking about ways to support and provide help to causes, people, and pets in the community, said former LAPS executive director Jayne Nelson.

“There is no doubt this clinic and Dr Ferguson are a true community gem,” she said.

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“Dr. Ferguson and her team routinely go above and beyond to provide care for the animals that come to LAPS in need of help. Dr Ferguson, herself, volunteers many hours of her own time consulting on cases with sick and injured animals. On many occasions both she and other members of the MVVH team have volunteered time to provide lifesaving, intensive care to sick or injured foster animals in their own homes (at no cost to LAPS). This team’s commitment to providing the highest quality of care to shelter animals is extraordinary,” Nelson said.

Mountain View also plays a key role in providing free animal care clinics for homeless or low-income Langley residents with pets.

Steve McLay, director of the Township of Langley Firefighters Charitable Society, echoed his gratitude to Mountain View for its ongoing support of the firefighters and of Langley.

“The TLFCS feels that [Mountain View] has always gone above and beyond when it comes to looking out for our furry (and human) members of our community,” McLay added.

He specifically lauded the donation of oxygen masks for every local fire engine.

“The masks ensured that when we respond to a fire, we are able to properly provide care for family pets,” McLay said, noting they have been used several times at house fires.

“One incident that stands out happened a few years ago when one of our members was resuscitating badly injured kittens and the images captured went viral on social media (Google “Langley Fire Kittens”). What many don’t know is that after the incident, the Mountain View doctors took in the injured cats to their personal homes to ensure they got 24/7 treatment, and then found a loving homes for them once they were healthy.

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“They are very deserving of this award,” McLay said.

In addition to letters from organizations in town, the nomination package included letters of thanks and support from staff and clients.

“Throughout the years, I’ve grown to appreciate her tenacity for working hard to improve the wellbeing of those animals under her care,” Linda Matuska said of Ferguson, in a lengthy letter of recommendation.

“…she is quite simply, awesome.”

The team at Mountain View is exactly that, said registered vet technician Taylor Mackie, a staffer there for a few years.

“Everyone, including our doctors, pitches in to clean kennels, brings in appointments, or answers a ringing phone. We value each other, and work hard to make sure that while we are saving animal lives, it does not come at the price of our mental health,” Mackie said, noting a number of health care initiatives undertaken at the clinic include workshops and various therapy programs.

“I am constantly motivated and encouraged by the brilliant women I am surrounded by. We learn from one another, and lift each other up when times are difficult,” Mackie said.

In fact, Mountain View was also crowned employer of the year in 2020, during the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Earlier this summer, Mountain View moved into new and larger digs a few blocks south of their Willowbrook Drive location, at 60th Avenue and 196th Street, with the latest technology.

But, Ferguson is quick to point out that “our real strength is our people.”

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