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Fair Isle Animal Clinic

  • Sectors Large / Farm Animal , Small Animal
  • Posted Jobs 0
  • Flexible work environment Yes
  • Support for global candidates/visas Possibly
  • Remote/work from home No
  • Benefits Yes
  • Company overview

    Fair Isle is a mixed animal practice, although we primarily see dogs and cats these days. We do not currently do equine work, but we do see small flock and small holder farms.  If this seems intimidating, don’t worry.  We are very willing to train people in the care of species they are not familiar with, and we support you every step of the way. Our mission is to provide personalized compassionate care to the pets and people of Vashon.

  • Company values
    • Community
    • Communication between team members and to clients
    • Partnership with clients so they can make informed decisions about the right care for their animal
  • What makes your organization a great place to work?

    Watch back our Interview the Team with Dr. Dana Ness.

    We are a team that cares about building each other up.  We care about each other.  This means we bring up issues in a self-aware way, and in a timely fashion so there isn’t festering.  This means when someone says “I’m terrible at this, I’m not good enough,” about themselves,  we say things like, “I don’t like to hear you speak that way about someone I respect.”

    We are a team that pitches in to help each other when days are challenging.  This means if you’re struggling with a case, a colleague will always help you.  If you’re a new grad or new to our practice, you’re partnered up with someone else for on call.

    We are part of an amazing community; you won’t find clients like ours in many places.  This means that multiple times a day you’ll hear “We so appreciate your care Dr.”   When we announced we were reducing our on call hours, we got emails saying “Good job taking care of yourself.  We want you to be here for a long time.”

    We laugh and have fun together every day, even when it’s busy.  The clinic is set up so that we have a great amount of support staff, and appointments are longer so we can build relationships with clients.


    We aim for the ideal working environment where the team is functioning smoothly and efficiently. We have enough support staff and DVMs to see our clients in a timely manner and provide excellent client and patient care. We can banter and laugh while getting our work done. Although our work can be stressful and very sad at times, the team knows we make a difference for people and their pets, and we are all proud of the work we do. And during times when the wheels start to fly off of the bus, we can count on each other to pull together and support our group effort in whatever ways we can.

  • Describe an ideal employee at your organization

    Our ideal employee is:

    • kind
    • able to communicate with clients and team-mates
    • willing to ask for help
    • accepting and inclusive
    • asks for help when they need it
    • helps others when they need it

    Here’s our kinda long wish list.  

    (Don’t be intimidated; if you have some of these qualities, we’d love to hear from you. We just like to be clear so you know who we are too!)

    The ideal Fair Isle employee realizes that in our profession, it is essential to value people and animals. They are good at communicating and making connections with clients and teammates.

    They are affable and able to get along with a wide variety of people and animals. They recognize when they need a little help or advice, and they aren’t afraid to ask for it. They are equally willing to give assistance when asked. They understand that veterinary medicine is a team effort.

    The ideal Fair Isle team member is self-assured without being self-important. They have a good, and likely off-beat, sense of humor. (If you aren’t a stand up comic or known for being really humorous, don’t let that deter you!) They are able to make suggestions to help our clinic perform better and more efficiently. They are invested in the success of the team, and in the growth of the clinic.

    They are eager to discuss interesting or difficult cases and situations. Teammates find them easy to approach. They are willing to provide and discuss other points of view, and they realize there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.

    The ideal employee is excited to be part of the Vashon community, and has a life outside of veterinary medicine. They genuinely appreciate people from all walks of life. They don’t get hung up on things like economic status, tattoos, piercings, fabulous hair, gender, or sexual orientation. They make connections and friendships outside of work and take part in Vashon activities. They LOVE living on Vashon and couldn’t imagine wanting to live or work anywhere else.  No, you don’t have to be an extrovert or be part of the holiday parade, but we want you to find your people here in our community!

    A final wish list item from Dr. Ness

    If I’m really dreaming, they play D&D and want to DM a campaign that I can play in.

  • Family-friendly initiatives at this workplace

    We have many parents who work for us, and our work schedules are flexible.  We want you to have a thriving life outside our clinic (it’s what will make you a fantastic team mate) whether you’re a parent or not.

    Family-friendly looks like:

    • Schedule set a month in advance
    • Option to work 3 days a week, or 4 days a week, or some combo in between
    • When you’re off work, you’re off work
    • We try to have multiple consecutive days off (4 day weekend for example if you’re working 3 days a week).
  • Flexible work initiatives at the workplace

    We want you to have a thriving life outside our clinic (it’s what will make you a fantastic team mate) and we want you to get involved in activities in the community.

    Flexibility looks like:

    • Schedule set a month in advance
    • Option to work 3 days a week, or 4 days a week, or some combo in between
    • When you’re off work, you’re off work
    • We try to have multiple consecutive days off (4 day weekend for example if you’re working 3 days a week)
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives you have

    We are open to ALL employees.  Rural doesn’t mean small minded in Vashon.

    We have or have had queer employees, trans employees, non-binary employees, employees of different races, employees of different nationalities, neurodivergent employees. In addition to these employees at Fair Isle we all have family and friends that tick these boxes. Inclusivity is a core trait of Fair Isle and our greater community.

    In our community, nothing is more boring than being a same-sex couple with kids. Vashon High School was the first school in Washington to lobby for and get gender neutral bathrooms.

    Trans and non-binary kids are safe in our schools.

  • Structured career progression initiatives at the workplace

    WE have a mentorship program for new employees and all new graduates.  It is customized to match your skill level and how you like to learn.

    This looks like:

    • Asking you what kind of supervision you like, and how you like to be mentored
    • For new grads, someone scrubs in to surgeries with you until you are comfortable, and for more experienced vets, if they want!
    • Being on call with an experienced vet who triages calls and goes to calls with you, taking steps to let you progress with autonomy when you want
    • We are a clinic that asks each other’s opinions on cases often, so you won’t be the odd person out asking.
  • Workplace certifications or affiliations (AAHA, Blend, MCVMA, BVEDS, Pride, Flexee, Vetmums/DVMom owned BIPOC owned, LGBTIQIA2SL+ owned

    Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association

Company Description

If you imagine being a veterinarian and loving it, where you work in an accepting community, where your clients understand the value of a veterinarian in their community and are grateful for your care, and where you can grow as a professional but also have a life outside of work, then read on!

The details:

Fair Isle Animal Clinic is the only multi-doctor practice on Vashon Island. Vashon is a rural island situated in the Puget Sound between Seattle and Tacoma. Vashon Island offers a safe small town lifestyle, with big city acceptance.  It’s an eclectic, artistic place, and the call of beaches, hiking, and the woods is strong!  It’s the kind of place you’d expect a Hallmark movie to be set in, but our clinic team and community is actually way better and authentic than any movie set.

Our story:

Fair Isle Animal Clinic was founded in 1982 when Dr. Don Wolczko came out to Vashon Island for a bike ride and ended up purchasing a solo practice from a DVM who was retiring. In a similarly serendipitous fashion, Dr. Dana Ness joined Fair Isle’s 3-DVM team in late 2003, and ended up purchasing the clinic in 2013.  You might notice a theme; people come here and they want to stay!

Our vision:

Our vision is to continue to be a valued part of our island community. We want clients and pets to be well-cared for. We want our employees to benefit from being part of a community where safety and acceptance are a given. Life, particularly in veterinary medicine, can be stressful enough. Vashon is a place where you can relax and focus on living.

Office Photos

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