DR. BENJAMIN PARKER
After 30 years of service to Lowcountry animals and the humans who love them, you’d think Dr. Ben Parker would be getting ready for retirement. After all, during the course of his career he’s raised three children to adulthood in the Lowcountry and helped generations of pet owners keep their furry friends happy and healthy.
“I’m going to be 58 this year, but when I think about retiring, I think I’d get bored,” he said. “And I love what I do.”
So rather than wind down and call it a career, Dr. Parker is taking the next leap forward and creating something entirely new for Bluffton. Working with several other local veterinarians, Parker has decided to augment his practice with a new 24/7 care facility.
“Right now, people are being referred to Savannah or Charleston when there is an after-hours emergency,” he said. “When you have an animal in critical condition, and an owner in distress over their pet, getting to either of those locations is not ideal.”
The plan is to begin within his own Buck Island office at Coastal Veterinary Clinic. At 6 p.m. when his clinic closes, this new 24/7/365 clinic would open to handle any and all pet-related emergencies with experience and care.
Parker and his partners are planning to break ground in 2021 with a state-of-the-art emergency clinic to handle all animal emergencies from Hilton Head, Bluffton, Okatie, Beaufort and Jasper County and eventually bring in specialists for advanced care of critically ill pets.
It’s a far sight from retirement, but for Ben Parker it represents a chance to improve pets’ lives and build on a 30-year legacy of care.