MAPLE SHADE, NJ – Whether it's for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, local pet owners venturing south of Mercer County can now keep NorthStar VETS (NSV) more visible on their horizons.

That's because the veterinary emergency, trauma and specialty hospital, located in Robbinsville, just opened its first satellite facility in Maple Shade, in the Lowe's shopping center, at 2834 Route 73 North.

“Having a satellite facility here in the Maple Shade area to serve the south Jersey region is very important because we have a lot of clients who come from this area,” NSV Marketing Director Phil Barnes said. “Especially clients who come for recurring services, like oncology or dermatology, where they have to come every week, and being able to see the same doctor, without having to make the trip to Robbinsville every week, is a huge convenience.”

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The more southerly location also gives people from the area faster access to critical care and that can make a huge difference when it comes to emergencies, Barnes said.

According to a press release from NSV, the state-of-the-art facility brings around the clock emergency care for dogs, cats, birds, small mammals and exotics to the area, as well as specialty care, as all of the veterinary hospital's specialists will rotate through the satellite facility, in addition to seeing patients at the Robbinsville location.

Several hundred people came out to celebrate and tour the new facility from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26, during an open house that featured whimsical face painting for children, wine for adults and food for everyone.

Dog first aid kits were also available for visitors to take home.

Doctors and NSV staff gave guided tours of the new space to those interested, as children played among hay bales and pumpkins under blue skies outside.

Nora Quinlan, 31, of Robbinsville, said she works as a veterinary technician at My Pet's Veterinary Center, in Hainesport, which refers a number of its patients to NSV.

“It's very convenient for clients and, in Hainesport, we have a lot of people from this area and going to Robbinsville was too far for them, so, now that they're going to have this location, it's amazing!” she said.

Quinlan also said that the NSV brand has a “great family feel” to it.

“Some of the other places can be a little bit 'corporate,' if you will,” she said.

The new facility's look mirrors that of the Robbinsville location, from the reception area furniture and granite counter-tops to the progressive flow of the building layout, which was intentional, according to Barnes.

“We wanted people who either come here first and have to be transferred to Robbinsville, or people who are used to coming to Robbinsville (and then) come here to, when they walk through the door, we want them to feel like, 'This is NorthStar VETS. I know what to expect, I know what this is about.'”

NSV's board-certified veterinarians are available by appointment and referral from a primary care veterinarian and represent 18 different specialties, including cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, rehabilitation and surgery among others, according to the release.

No appointment is needed for emergencies.

The flagship Robbinsville hospital is located at 315 Robbinsville-Allentown Road.