Family Pet Health Center looking to expand in River Park

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After River Park Furniture closed its doors, neighbors started describing that area of Mishawaka Avenue as one big, empty hole.

After Monday’s South Bend Common Council meeting though, a small step was made to bring to life that part of the major business corridor.

“There were a number of us that were really concerned because they had an enormous footprint on Mishawaka Avenue,” says South Bend Common Council Member Valerie Schey.

Family Pet Health Center has been in their location on Mishawaka Avenue since the 1930s. They say they’ve outgrown their space and now they have their eyes on the old River Park Furniture spot which is conveniently right across the street.

“It would give us lots of extra space, and keep us right here in the neighborhood,” says Dr. Stephanie Rensberger, co-owner of Family Pet Health Center.

Dr. Rensberger says they wouldn’t want to leave the River Park neighborhood because of the deep roots they have to it.

“People know us here, we know the people, people can walk their dogs to us," said Dr. Rensberger.

Council Member Schey says she was delighted to be a part of the unanimous decision on Monday night to approve the veterinarian clinic’s application to rezone the vacant building, making it appropriate for their future facility.

Schey says it not only provides necessary health care for animals, but it will bring a new life to a place she says so desperately needs it.

“It’s a huge win for everybody,” says Schey.

The development of Family Pet Health Center’s expansion into the old furniture store is still in the very beginning of stages but they say they hope to be in their new facility within the next two years.

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