History of the Ballarat Veterinary Practice

History of Ballarat Veterinary Practice
Dr Charles Pope established what was later to become the Ballarat Veterinary Practice in 1945. After returning from the Second World War in 1944, he initially worked for the Department of Agriculture, blood testing cattle during a pleuropneumonia outbreak.
The region he was responsible for extended to the South Australian border, the Murray River in the north and the ocean in the South. He left the department in 1945 and established a veterinary clinic from his home on Wendouree Parade. He then moved to a house on the current Sturt Street site and soon built a small veterinary clinic there.
From 1953 until the mid-1970s, the clinic was known as Pope and Fulton (named after Dr Pope and Dr Len Fulton). The clinic was one of only two in Ballarat at the time, and serviced all animals large and small. In 1970, Dr Kim McKellar and Dr Peter Everist joined the practice, at which time it became known as the Ballarat Veterinary Practice. Dr Bruce Sidebottom joined in 1975.
BVP played an integral role with Brucellosis eradication through strain 19 vaccine use in the 1970s.

The current Sturt Street reception and consulting room building was built in 1978, around the time that Dr Charles Pope retired. In the early 1980s, as the clinic grew, the Howitt Street clinic was opened two doors down from its current location and the Miners Rest facility was established. Whilst large and small animal work continued from the Sturt Street premises, the Howitt Street facility was only for small animals and was moved to the current site in 1987. In 1991 the surgery and kennels section of Sturt Street was built.

History of Ballarat Veterinary Practice
In the 1980s, the Miners Rest facility consisted of a large under cover area, with a large animal operating theatre with three loose boxes. Horses were anesthetised outside and brought inside on the overhead crane with Dr’s Fulton, McKellar and Sidebottom operating. The Miners Rest clinic continued to grow and be developed and was fully staffed from around 2000 with large animal consultations and bookings no longer being run from Sturt Street. 2013 saw the practice cease servicing production animals and focus solely on Equine at Miners Rest. In 2017, after many years of providing veterinary service to the Warrnambool area, BVP established Southwest Equine as a joint venture with Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic (APIAM).
History of Ballarat Veterinary Practice
Dr Len Fulton passed away in 1989, after which time Dr Ian Fulton (Len Fulton’s son), and Dr Richard Lawrence became partners of the clinic in the early 1990s. After Drs McKellar, Everist and Sidebottom retired during the years of 2002 – 2009, Dr Brian Anderson became a partner in 2003, Dr Stewart Greedy in 2006 and Dr Andrew Cust in 2010. Following Dr Richard Lawrence’s semi-retirement in July 2014, Dr Aaron Luttrell joined the partnership.

In 2015 Ballarat Veterinary Practice merged with Eureka Vet Hospital, another long established practice servicing Ballarat. This saw Dr Robert Page join the partnership and the addition of the Creswick Road and Mt Clear practices to the group. Paul Dempsey joined the partnership in 2018. The current Directors are Paul Dempsey and Dr’s Greedy, Anderson, Cust, Luttrell and Page.

In 2017, a new purpose built small animal clinic was established in Lucas to provide additional service to the rapidly growing Ballarat area. There are currently six clinics, four branded as BVP and two as Eureka. Under the BVP brand, the Sturt Street, Howitt Street and Lucas Clinics are small animal clinics and the Miners Rest Equine facility exclusively services horses. The Eureka brand has sites at Creswick Rd and Geelong Rd which are both small animal practices.

BVP is the largest veterinary clinic in the Ballarat area and surrounds. The clinics see a busy primary caseload, but also receive referrals from other clinics in the areas of medicine and surgery, advanced diagnostic imaging, bone scan work-ups, radioactive iodine treatments for cats, oncology, advanced dentistry, Baer ear testing of dogs, orthopaedic surgery and consultations for behaviour issues. The equine clinic at Miners Rest houses the only standing MRI machine in the state of Victoria. Our surgical services in the Equine Industry including orthopaedic surgery for fracture repairs, angular limb deformities and arthroscopy surgery to explore, evaluate and treat joint disorders. A range of soft tissue surgeries for colic, soft tissue trauma and respiratory tract surgery services are provided.

Ballarat Veterinary Practice was recognised as an industry leader receiving the commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Award in 2018. In 2022, we became the first practice in Australia to be recognised by the Australian Veterinary Association as a certified Employer of Choice.