The big, inflatable dalmatian on S.R. 56, less than a mile east of I-75, stands guard over the Pet & Fit Center plaza that is home to Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel.

Earlier this month, St. Petersburg resident Diane Grey was driving home from north Florida with her dog, a 108-pound Rhodesian ridgeback named Morocco. She was getting close to Pasco County when she says Morocco began showing signs of illness. She got off the interstate and pulled into a gas station.

“I saw he was in distress, so I called my vet in St. Pete,” she says. Morocco was anxious because of all the travel and was suffering from heat exhaustion. Diane was told not to wait until she got home, but to seek help for Morocco immediately.

She searched the internet and found Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel, which had only recently opened one exit away.

“I was so worked up and emotional,” she says. “When I saw the Pet Urgent Care sign, it was the best thing I ever saw. They were really friendly and took care of Morocco immediately.”

It is the kind of important emergency services for your pet management had in mind when Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel opened on April 15, making it the first urgent care clinic for pets in the Wesley Chapel/New Tampa area.

Pet Urgent Care shares a building with Dr. Sree Reddy’s Seven Oaks Pet Hospital, which first opened in 2007, and moved to its current location on S.R. 56, just east of I-75, in the plaza called the Pet & Fit Center, in 2016.

Medical director Dr. Gina Ushi is one of three experienced pet emergency veterinarians you’ll find at Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel.

The Pet & Fit Center is now a place where pet owners can visit their veterinarian, stop by the nearby retail store for pet products, such as food, toys, treats, beds and much more. The retail store is Pet Depot, and it occupies 3,000 square feet next door to the pet hospitals.

Seven Oaks Pet Hospital treat dogs, cats and exotic pets. When the pet hospital closes, the urgent care center opens.

Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel is open seven days a week until 11 p.m. (see full hours at the end of this story).

Making Pet Urgent Care Closer & More Convenient

Gina Ushi, DVM, is the medical director for Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel. Prior to joining the pet hospital, Dr. Ushi worked at an emergency clinic in Tampa.

Dr. Ushi earned her DVM degree in 2009 from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She had previously earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA, in 2003.

“If people have an emergency with a pet in this area, we want them to know they don’t have to drive down to Tampa,” she says. “When I worked in Tampa, we would often get calls from Wesley Chapel where people would ask, ‘is there anything closer?’”

Now, she says, there finally is a closer option for pets with all kinds of urgent medical needs, such as bite wounds or lacerations, not eating or drinking, or toxin ingestion.

“We see pets with allergic reactions, ear and eye infections, vomiting and/or diarrhea,” Dr. Ushi explains, “or minor traumas, such as they jumped off the bed and now they’re limping.”

There are no scheduled appointments, so all patients are seen on a walk-in basis. Dr. Ushi says pet owners can call ahead so the staff is prepared for you when you get there, but even that isn’t necessary.

Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel is fully staffed with veterinarians who are all experienced in emergency medicine. Dr. Ushi is joined by Dr. Megan Niedens, who was Dr. Ushi’s classmate and also received her DVM degree from UF in 2009, and Dr. Michele Lentovich, who received her DVM degree from UF in 2005. Each of the three doctors has more than 10 years of experience in emergency medicine for animals.

Dr. Ushi says their experience is critical when it comes to being able to save the life of a pet, because a doctor experienced in caring for animals is not the same as one experienced in handling emergencies. “When you visit our urgent care, you will see a doctor who has been in emergency medicine for at least 10 years,” Dr. Ushi explains. “You can rest assured you’re seeing a highly trained, highly experienced doctor.”

Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel sees dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets. The doctors will sometimes see other exotic animals and birds, but that’s at the doctor’s discretion. Not every doctor is comfortable with every animal, so it will depend upon which doctor is available.

Dr. Ushi advises that anyone who has birds or small exotic animals should call before walking in to determine whether or not they can be seen at the urgent care facility. Most exotics can be scheduled at the regular hospital by appointment.

“We are a bridge between your family veterinarian and an overnight emergency facility,” explains Dr. Ushi. Sometimes, she says, a pet’s illness is so critical that they must be sent somewhere else for overnight care but, in most cases, they are able to be treated and sent home.

In fact, Dr. Ushi says, many of the cases they see are minor issues where a pet owner simply can’t get to their own vet during regular office hours.

Whether a pet is regularly seen at Seven Oaks Pet Hospital, or any other veterinarian, they are still welcome to come to Pet Urgent Care, if needed.

Diane and Morocco will forever be grateful. She says the doctors at Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel were able to stabilize Morocco so he could travel the rest of the way home.

“When you’re so stressed like that, it was a wonderful feeling that everyone had great customer service,” Diane says, “from the receptionist to the vet who treated him. The facility was clean and easy to navigate. They saved my dog’s life.”

She says that Morocco is doing much better now. She also took her paperwork from the visit to her vet back home and asked if the services that were recommended, such as blood work, were necessary, and if what she was charged was reasonable.

Her veterinarian confirmed that he agreed with the recommendations of Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel. “So, they have integrity, too,” says Diane.

Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel is located at 27027 S.R. 56 (look for the big, inflatable dalmatian). Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel is currently offering a special of 10-percent off the regular exam fee for all new clients. It is open Monday-Friday, 6 p.m.–11 p.m., 2 p.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call (813) 279-6500 or visit

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment