The Animal Emergency Clinic of Springfield is preparing to move to a significantly larger space to accommodate a growing case load.

“I’ve been the AEC manager since 2017,” said Dr. Tom Antonini. “At that time, we had 4,000 cases a year, and our case load has gone up tremendously since then. Now it’s closer to 9,000.”

In addition to a boom in pet ownership, Antonini noted that “a lot of area vets don’t do emergency work anymore. The outlying communities used to have local vets that would take calls, and now we get cases referred to us all the way from Macomb.”

The AEC has been at its current location, 1333 W. Wabash Ave., since 1992. Antonini said the company is now working with Joyner Construction on a renovation-to-suit for the former Rapps Engineering building at 821 S. Durkin Dr.

Once renovated, the facility will include six exam rooms, a surgical suite and large treatment area. Antonini said at 5,200 square feet, it will be twice as large as the space the AEC currently occupies, plus it will allow room for future growth.

“Hopefully at some point, we will have the ability to have two veterinarians working there at all times,” he said. The AEC is operational when most veterinary clinics are closed, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weeknights, plus 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays.

Antonini said the goal is to be open in the new location by late summer or early fall. “We’re really looking forward to being able to better serve the community and taking our standard of care to the next level,” he said.