Carrie Rengers

Wichita Dog and Cat Hospital to close after almost 80 years in business

Veterinarian Randy Whitcomb holds Pandora, a four-month-old female cat who is available for adoption at his Wichita Dog and Cat Hospital. Whitcomb is retiring and closing the business, which opened in 1936.
Veterinarian Randy Whitcomb holds Pandora, a four-month-old female cat who is available for adoption at his Wichita Dog and Cat Hospital. Whitcomb is retiring and closing the business, which opened in 1936. The Wichita Eagle

Another longtime Wichita business is closing.

The Wichita Dog and Cat Hospital, which opened in 1936, will close after business on Sept. 30.

Veterinarian Randy Whitcomb bought the business in 1980 from another veterinarian who was retiring at age 98.

Whitcomb, 65, says he doesn’t want to wait that long to stop working.

“I want to have some fun.”

Whitcomb says he tried to sell the business but couldn’t.

“The climate for … selling veterinarian practices is not good.”

He says most veterinarians are established in business or happy where they are, and “the new veterinarians coming out of school are really socked with student loans.”

Whitcomb is now trying to sell his building at 5214 W. Central. It has about 1,700 square feet on the main level and the same amount in the basement. InSite Real Estate Group listed the building this week.

Veterinarian Ron Helten and his Helten Veterinary Clinic have purchased Whitcomb’s customer list.

Whitcomb’s wife, Judy, has been at the Wichita Dog and Cat Hospital with her husband as office manager and groomer. She’s actually an RN.

“She was only going to work with me six months till I got on my feet,” Whitcomb says. “She’s an invaluable part of the place.”

The two have three golden retrievers of their own: Jaxx, a therapy dog; Jessie, who has health problems; and Fiona, a puppy.

“So I’ll have my hands full,” Whitcomb says.

Still, he says he’s going to miss the hospital and his customers.

“It’s a real social business. I’m going to miss a lot of people,” Whitcomb says. “I thank them for their loyalty. … It’s been a real, real pleasure.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

  Comments