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Our Hope Center puts pet health first

January 3, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

For Brandi Mikolak, caring for pets is her passion. Hours after closing Our Hope Center at 1621 N. Tamiami Trail, she is usually still there on her hands and knees cleaning the floors and getting things ready for the next day.

She also puts that passion into the animals the center treats. Most of her clients aren't exactly rich, and when you walk inside it's not fancy.

But they get your pet healthy again, and that's the bottom line for Mikolak, who said the center charges about half of what other vets charge.

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Brandi Mikolak, owner of Our Hope Center at 1621 N. Tamiami Trail.


"This is not a Robb & Stucky clinic. The atmosphere is the bare minimum. Our job is to get the animals taken care of and get what they need," Mikolak said. "I don't spend a lot of money on fancy stuff because the animal doesn't care. I just want them to have a safe place to come to."

Mikolak opened the clinic in 2008 after the county closed the affordable spay-neuter program, which reopened as PAWS, which not only offered spay and neutering, but also a full-service clinic.

At first, things were crazy. The economy bottomed out and everybody needed a place to take their pets at an affordable price.

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"We were scheduled three months out before we even opened the door. We did sick visits, medications, mass removals and other things for a price they couldn't get anywhere else," Mikolak said.

Today, Our Hope Center operates as a 501 c 3 in pet rescue, but not for the clinic as PAWS. While this creates problems when it comes to doing surgeries, they are still able to care for animals through general veterinary services.

Mikolak has tried to tackle the feral cat situation by spaying them getting the local communities involved and the trap-neuter and release of these animals.

"It can be a big overpopulation problem in these communities, especially to those who don't like them and don't want to be involved," Mikolak said. "These parks have a lot of people. If they just donated a dollar to get everyone fixed, it would happen faster than they think."

Her involvement with feral cats led to the loss of one fulltime doctor, leaving her with only one vet, Mikolak said. Since many pet owners want to see the same doctor, a lot of them followed the departing doc to the new practice, she added.

Dr. Atmani is the new doctor and they do more pet surgeries now than ever. There is also an in-house lab, there is digital X-ray, and has found another lab where they can outsource their needs.

Our Hope Center also does pet grooming when time allows and pet adoptions to pre-approved homes.

Our Hope Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and every third Saturday of the month for a half day.

For more information, call 543-7387 or visit their Facebook page.



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