Dr. Tom Kruske is a vet on the go, with an office on wheels.
There was always something comforting about the doctor house calls of days gone by, and for many pets (and pet owners!) it’s no different. After years of practicing in a traditional brick-and-mortar office, Milwaukee-area vet Dr. Tom Kruske decided that treating pets in their familiar home environments was the best approach for him. “I did a few house calls over the years when I was working in clinics, and I really liked the more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, it was a little more like being [famed British veterinary surgeon] James Herriot,” he says with a laugh. “I grew up watching him on TV, going into houses and having tea and coming out with a few stories to tell.”
Dr. Tom giving an in-home checkup to Rosco.
I love the long-term relationships I’ve been able to establish.
Armed with a tackle box of equipment, commonly prescribed drugs and a cooler full of vaccines, Kruske spends his days zooming from patient to patient in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties in his 2014 Subaru Crosstrek – a busy job that’s put more than 118,000 miles and counting on his mobile office. “I needed a vehicle that was long-lasting and reliable,” he says. “It’s not good for business when the office is down.” The Crosstrek, he says, fits the bill. Over the last 21 years, the mobile vet has grown his practice to more than 1,400 patients, entirely by word-of-mouth referrals. It’s a client base that sends the doctor on 10-15 house calls in any given day – but, for Kruske, it’s less about volume and more about building genuine connections. “I love the long-term relationships I’ve been able to establish [with patients and their owners],” he says. “They end up feeling like family to me.”