30 years for veterinary clinic

Todd Quinn and Dr. Mike Isenhart at the Brewster Veterinary Clinic’s 30 year celebration on Sept. 23. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Brewster Veterinary Clinic celebrated 30 years of animal care service to Brewster and surrounding areas Sept. 23.

A steady flow of people came by the clinic for a barbecue and to congratulate Dr. Mike Isenhart and his staff for taking care of animals in Okanogan and Douglas counties.

Isenhart, who followed his father Bob Isenhart’s footsteps to become a veterinarian, graduated from the veterinary medicine program at Washington State University. Isenhart began his practice in Brewster in a small building next to Shull’s Towing. Tara Brownlee, Isenhart’s receptionist-assistant for the past 28 years, remembers a relaxed atmosphere at the clinic in the early days. Brownlee said mornings generally began with coffee over at Shull’s Towing. “It would be around 10 a.m. before we saw our first patient,” she said.

Times change and over the years as Isenhart’s practice grew, expansion was needed. The old Brewster Railroad Depot provided just the right place for a country vet to modernize and grow his practice. The new facility provides modern technology for basic pet care and for addressing the medical needs of animals from the two counties.

Over the past 30 years, Isenhart has welcomed new technology, techniques and innovations. New vaccinations, the spaying and neutering of pets, the advancement of antibiotics and penicillin, digital X-ray equipment, MRIs and ultrasound scanners have all dramatically changed the way a modern veterinarian takes care of his animal patients.

“The new technology makes my job much easier, and the animals in my practice benefit greatly because of its introduction,” Isenhart said.

Observing a proper vaccination schedule has improved the lives of countless companion animals. Vaccinations protect pets from a wide range of preventable diseases and help keep the general pet population healthier and living longer.

Spaying and neutering pets has also became a more popular practice among pet owners and their veterinarians in the past 30 years.

The use of antibiotics and penicillin have greatly helped pets and their owners, producing positive results unheard of in earlier times. And in the old days, X-rays were developed in stainless steel tanks using chemicals that produced a grainy image. Digital technology now replaces old X-ray equipment, producing a clear image in seconds for a quicker diagnoses and better treatment.

The cornerstones of Isenhart’s practice are compassion and genuine concern for pets and their owners, and he has become affectionately known as “Dr. Mike.”

“I work at the kindest place ever. It’s been my dream job — it probably is every girl’s dream job to work with companion animals and their owners. I can truly say I love my job. Dr. Mike’s a great guy to work for,” Brownlee said.

“Dr. Mike’s a great guy and a hard worker. He takes such good care of our animals,” Clint Andrews said.

Dr. Jamie Hemmer, who joined Isenhart’s practice two years ago, said, “I’ve worked with Dr. Mike for the past two years and he is an amazing vet. I am so lucky to have this opportunity to work with him. He is compassionate with our clients and he genuinely cares about the animals he treats and takes care of.”

Sabrina O’Connell, a longtime client of the clinic, remembers bringing the family pets to Isenhart’s practice when she was a child. O’Connell said, “Dr. Mike’s been our vet as long as I can remember. I used to come here when I was a kid with our pets. We all just appreciate his compassionate treatment of our animals. He treats us like family and he treats our pets as if they were his own.”

“Dr. Mike is wonderful with our animals. He’s a very special vet,” said Mansfield resident Nancy Glessner, a longtime client.

Brewster Veterinary Clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. some Saturdays. They may be reached at 689-2616.