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Where dogs and cats get well

n Cherie Connolly does things her way at new animal clinic

STAFF PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE  - Cherie Connolly gets ready to greet a patient at the Compass Veterinary Clinic in Oswego Towne Square. She provides peace of mind to dogs and cats.

When you walk into Compass Veterinary Clinic don’t be surprised if you find Dr. Cherie Connolly down on the floor with one of her dog patients.

“Why should I put a dog on a table if it doesn’t like it?” Connolly said. “Dogs hate tables.”

In fact, Connolly cares so much about the peace of mind of dogs and cats that she often treats them right in the laps of their owners. Sometimes she unscrews the lids of a pet carrier so the pet doesn’t get spooked by the unfamiliar surroundings of a veterinary clinic. In the cages where dogs stay while awaiting treatment, Connolly makes sure they don’t face each other, because dogs become upset when they make eye-to-eye contact.

Connolly can do what she likes because she is in her own private practice. She doesn’t have to adjust to the demands of a large corporation. She had the chance to do this after working for 20 years in a pet clinic in Hillsboro but decided she could only practice veterinary medicine the way she wanted on her own terms.

“Lake Oswego is the first place we found where we could give the type of care we wanted,” Connolly said. “I didn’t want to work for a corporation, and I’d been looking for my own place for a long time. This will be a great place to be.”

“Her motive for our clinic was to establish the quality of medicine she wanted to practice, where profit is not the sole motive,” said Tom Connolly, Cherie’s husband and manager of the practice.

Connolly has had such a vision for her career ever since she decided she wanted to become a veterinarian at the age of 6.

“That’s when I found out people get paid to take care of animals,” she said.

While Connolly has some old-fashioned virtues, the technology at Compass Veterinary Clinic is strictly modern. In fact, it is eye-opening for people who haven’t been in a veterinary clinic for a while. It seems that a human being could undergo surgery there and not have any loss of quality. Connolly can take a digital X-ray and in six seconds have it before the eyes of a pet owner.

“It can get phenomenal images,” Connolly said. “You can catch cancer that you could not have caught in the old days.”

Two other qualities make Connolly’s practice unique.

“Our prices are affordable but we still offer high quality,” Tom Connolly said.

“We can get people and pets out of the door for a couple hundred dollars less,” Connolly said. “We only put in an IV catheter when it is needed.”

Sustainability is also high on the list of qualities the Connollys stress for their clinic. They were thinking “green” when renovating the clinic, using items like doors and chairs that had plenty of use left in them instead of filling up landfills. Green thinking also applies to their recording keeping, which is paperless. Compass Clinic makes both pets and the environment better.

There are plenty of good vibes left over from the previous tenant of the space at Oswego Towne Square, Parkway Veterinary Hospital, which established a sterling reputation there for over 29 years before moving to its new location on Boones Ferry. The Connollys believe they will establish their own high reputation as they follow the golden rule for pet medicine: Do unto dogs and cats as you would do to a human.

Compass Veterinary Clinic is located at 3 Monroe Parkway, Suite Y, between Starbucks and New Seasons at Oswego Towne Square.

For more information, go to the website compassvet.com or call 503-850-2444.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The renovation of Compass Veterinary Clinic was done with keeping green in mind. The Connollys made sure they made use of perfectly good things like doors instead of throwing them in a landfill.