Whangaparaoa Veterinary Centre opened its doors originally in 1979 by Richard Dean in the old Whangaparaoa shopping centre. The building that had formerly been a wine shop and then butchery was stiflingly hot in summer and bitterly cold in winter. A southeasterly wind always blew rain under the corrugated iron roof and sent drips through the ceiling in the most unfortunate of places.
The single examination room had a bench attached to the concrete brick wall. Medicines were kept on shelves in the treatment room. The Clinic had three plywood dog cages and five cat cages of dubious construction. Developing Xrays involved running out the back door (not good in the rain) and into a clay floored basement darkroom. An immersion heater was dropped into the Xray developer, which was sometimes forgotten, resulting in a two hour wait for the developer to cool down from near boiling point!
Richard Dean developed a strong following among the horse owning public from the North Shore trotting fraternity of Dairy Flat and Pony Clubs of North Harbour, Albany, Redvale and Coatesville. His untimely death in a tractor accident in 1987 was a shock to many clients and friends. A bronze plaque in his memory is placed outside the front door of our Clinic.
Jim Grayson and Neil Twentyman bought the Practice from Richard Dean and moved it to the current, purpose built premises, in 1993. With the development of Gulf Harbour and the loss of the last grazing area on the Peninsula, Neil Twentyman moved his horse practice to Dairy Flat in 1995, where he continues to practice today.
Jim Grayson decided to retire and chose to leave the Practice, in good hands, by selling to Steve Gordon in 2007. Steve also owns East Coast Bays Veterinary Clinic on the North Shore and brings a wealth of experience to the Practice. Jim continues to maintain the building and grounds and is an active member of the community.
In 2009 Doctors Emma Gerber and Shanti Scott both Veterinarians at the Clinic became partners in the Practice.
Veterinary medicine has evolved dramatically from the early days and Whangaparaoa Veterinary Centre has evolved with it. Xrays are now developed "inside" in an automatic processor, blood tests are run in our own laboratory, anaesthetics are monitored with high tech gadgets, trained Nurses tend to patients every needs and so much more.
Looking ahead we have great plans and dreams for the Practice to be the best it can be, offering the best service in the region to both the animals and their owners.