Puyallup, Wash. - The Farris Veterinary Clinic is back in operation following a break-in and suspicious fire that shuttered the facility in one night.
PUYALLUP, WASH. — The Farris Veterinary Clinic is back in operation following a break-in and suspicious fire that shuttered the facility in one night.
Dr. Rich Farris, who has owned the Puyallup clinic for 20 years, is running a temporary clinic out of a pole barn on the property behind the destroyed century-old home that housed his practice. He started seeing patients Nov. 11.
No one was injured in the late-October blaze, and no animals were inside the clinic at the time of the fire. Animals housed outside were unharmed.
Arson is suspected, police say. An arson-sniffing dog was brought in from Seattle to determine if accelerant was used, but it could be months before a determination is made.
It appears the burglar gained access through an unsecured window and took cash and checks, but no veterinary medicine or other supplies, according to police.
The blaze may have started at the base of the stairs on the first floor, fire officials say. Most of the damage was on the second floor, a storage area where a collection of more than 100 antique veterinary books and old surgical instruments were kept. All were destroyed.
Farris, who salvaged most of his equipment and plans to rebuild, received an outpouring of support from family, friends and the community.
Donations are being accepted at any Washington Mutual Bank branch or by using PayPal at www.farrisvet.com.
Farris urges practitioners to check their insurance policies to make sure they are not underinsured, as he was.
"It's not what the building is worth, but what it's going to cost to put it back together," he cautions.