Dr. Marina Alpeza of the Copper Road Veterinary Clinic is fed up with what she is describing as intimidation and harassment.
The clinic was vandalized sometime after 8 p.m. Monday, she told the Star Tuesday.
Alperza said a front window on the business was smashed with a rock, and the rock was left on the window sill.
Her truck parked outside had the door mirror on the driver’s side damaged and windows on the truck were scarred by strikes from rocks, she said.
“We have been harassed for years, and it’s one of the reasons we are moving,” Alpeza said in an interview Tuesday. “This needs to stop, and the public needs to know about it.”
She said for the first 15 years after opening the clinic in 1994, it was good.
But in the last 10 years, there has been an increase in harassment directed at her staff and herself.
Alpeza said she and her colleague will continue to offer consultation and prescription refills through the winter by phone and online, but she’s closing the clinic and intends to open again at another location after the winter.
The veteran vet of 37 years believes the growing level of harassment is aimed particularly at women who operate their own businesses, and she knows female vets in other jurisdictions are experiencing the same sort of thing.
The clinic had already made the decision to close down the current location before Monday’s vandalism, but the incident is a reflection of what they’ve been putting up with, Alpeza explained.
The vet said the same truck was vandalized a couple of years ago when she was living in Copper Ridge.
The vandals had gained entry into her locked vehicle, took everything inside and threw it all over the place, but didn’t take any of the money that was inside.
The same thing happened to the wife of her fellow veterinarian, who was running her own business at the time and was living just down the street.
They didn’t take anything from her vehicle but they did throw her business cards all over the front lawn, she said.
Alpeza said the last four or five receptionists have been brought to tears by dealing with unruly telephone calls with people who just keep complaining about one thing or another.
She mentioned one woman who had spent a total of $89 at the clinic, but had made 37 phone calls to the business.
It wasn’t about the damage Monday night but the harassment she is concerned about, Alpeza said.
Her fellow veterinarian at the clinic, Dr. Greg Pottie, noted how the rock presumably used to scar up the truck windows was left perched on the door handle.
“It was as if to say, ‘look at this, what we did to your car,’” he said.
The RCMP investigated the vandalism Monday night and indicated by email this morning the investigation is continuing.