Fremantle Animal Hospital director Dr Garnett Hall has struck a deal with the City of Fremantle to lease office space in the council’s new Walyalup Civic Centre.
When Dr Hall is not saving the lives of animals and campaigning for a pet friendly port city, he runs VetChip — a company that is developing a replacement for microchips in dogs and cats.
VetChip intends to move from Perth to Fremantle after receiving approval for a three-year lease with an optional three-year extension at the council headquarters.
A City spokesman said the council’s finance, policy, operations and legislation committee approved essential lease terms for a 260sqm office space on level three of the civic centre.
“The City will now continue negotiations with VetChip in line with the terms that were approved by the committee,” he said.
This decision comes after the City failed to lock in a cafe tenancy at the purpose-built centre earlier this year.
The City spokesman said other commercial leasing opportunities remained available at the civic centre and the City welcomed expressions of interest from business and organisations.
Dr Hall told PerthNow the new civic centre was a “beautiful building” and he was thrilled councillors had approved essential lease terms for his operation.
He said the device VetChip was pursuing could revolutionise how pet owners cared for their animals and veterinarians their patients.
“One of its primary functions is to allow for early intervention and preventative care, rather than traditional reactive care, leading to better animal health outcomes,” he said.
“For veterinarians it provides the means to continuously monitor patients, whether in a hospital setting or as outpatients, in ways that are impossible with current monitoring equipment for conscious, ambulatory animals.
“In other applications, it will help farmers manage their herd and flock health and production and trainers and competitors ensure their horses are fit and healthy throughout training, racing and eventing activities.”
Dr Hall said VetChip won the science and engineering category prize at the 2021 Curtinnovation Awards and received conditional approval from the Curtin University Animal Ethics Committee for a clinical trial.
He said Fremantle’s vibe was more suitable than the Perth CBD for his team.
“We want to be part of a community where creativity and passion can flourish and Freo is perfect for this,” he said.
“We’ve witnessed the fantastic support that the City of Freo provided to the ‘Pet Friendly Freo’ campaign and also to West Tech Fest and the combination of technology and animal welfare is at the core of what we do.”