It's no secret Yukoners adore their animals. One can see it everywhere-- exhausted Yukon Quest mushers massaging their team's frozen paws at checkpoints, dinner-party hosts taking care to add “dogs welcome” to their invitations, and advertisements on message boards from folks who’ll gladly turn over their home to a stranger for a month just so their cat doesn't get lonely while they're on vacation. It's a pet- friendly place, to be sure, so it's no surprise there's high demand for quality veterinary care.
Dr. Candace Stuart has performed veterinary medicine at various animal hospitals in the North for over 10 years. The Labrador native struck out on her own in fall 2010 with All Paws Veterinary Clinic, located at the top of Robert Service Road in Whitehorse. In just one busy year, All Paws has won a legion of dedicated clients happy to give rave reviews for Stuart's “family doctor” approach, as well as her understanding of the unique health needs of Yukon animals.
“I graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College, in Prince Edward Island, in 2000, but I grew up in Labrador, so I always wanted to return to the North to work. Initially I went to work in Alaska, but I visited a friend of mine in Whitehorse, and I just kind of fell in love with the town,” recalls Stuart. “I kept working until a job became available here in 2004, which was with Yukon Vet. I worked there for a year, and then moved to Alpine Vet, in 2005, when they opened and Yukon Vet closed.”
Stuart's five years at Alpine Vet were spent getting to know the community and the challenges of practising in a remote setting. While she enjoyed the fast-paced environment, she longed for a chance to realize her own vision for veterinary care.
“I was looking for something that was a little more homey, less like a hospital,” she says, “and I also wanted to look more into alternative therapies.... I worked in big, multi-doctor practices with up to seven doctors, and early on in my career I really enjoyed the adrenaline rush of that, but I've found as I've gotten older I'm learning that what I