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Inland Empire’s first emergency animal clinic finds new home after 43 years

By in Press Enterprise on November 24, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Soon after Terry McDuffee graduated from veterinary school more than 40 years ago, he saw a handful of intrepid doctors begin opening up after-hours animal clinics in Southern California.

“Back then, if you had an emergency you had to wait until the next day or if it happened over the weekend, you would wait until the following Monday,” he said.

After working at some of the first emergency clinics, including one in El Monte which is still in operation today, McDuffee decided to open one of his own.

“I felt it was an idea whose time has come,” said McDuffee during a recent interview.

After checking his options, he settled on a location in Grand Terrace, and on July 3, 1974, McDuffee and his partner, Dr. Terry Maltz, opened the Animal Emergency Clinic at 12022 La Crosse Avenue.

“At that time, we were the only one in the area,” he said. “We had emergencies coming from Hemet and Riverside, Rialto and even as far as Barstow.”

For 43 years, the clinic would open its doors when traditional veterinarians would be closed. They would open at 6 p.m. and remain open until 8 a.m. the following day.

Over the years, other after-hour clinics have sprung up, but the Animal Emergency Clinic continued to serve the residents of the area.

Grand Terrace council member Bill Hussey has been bringing his family pets to the clinic for more than 30 years.

“We brought our first dalmatian here in 1990,” Hussey said. “He’s a godsend and the clinic is always open for any of our animals.”

But recently, McDuffee and his current partner, Dr. Jim Hardesty, were forced to move from their long-time location following the approval of the Barton Road Bridge widening project which was needed to accommodate the widening of the 215 Freeway.

Unable to stay at their location, McDuffee and […]    

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