Bio: This hard workin’, hard lovin’ South Shore resident and dedicated environmentalist operates the Taschereau Veterinarian Hospital in Greenfield Park, arguably the most affordable vet clinic in these parts. The Wal-Mart of animal hospitals, Dr. Allan will usually get ol’ Fluffy feeling like herself again for a fraction of what it may cost elsewhere. “You can be dirt cheap, but if you do a shit job nobody is going to come to you.” His waiting room is always packed.
One thing that inspired him to start his own practice: “I used to work for a South Shore vet who charged ultra-expensive fees, and once, while I was at the grocery store, I overheard a mother tell her child, ‘There’s the man who works in that clinic who steal from us.’ So I vowed that if I ever opened my own practice, I would be fair and charge reasonable rates. Of course, you have to see more patients per hour than the guy who charges more, but I was willing to do that.”
Has he ever received death threats from other veterinarians concerned that his low, low prices might be driving down the cost of veterinary care? Yes.
One reason why he expects the cost of veterinary care to go up in the near future: Because fewer and fewer people are going into the field. “It now requires a five-year post-graduate degree and vets don’t really make that much money—compared to dentists or lawyers. And a lot of people end up hating the job. Many vets don’t even like animals. At my college reunion, out of a class of 65 graduates, there were only two of us who still liked what we were doing. The rest all reported they were miserable.”
How much a recent vet school grad can expect to earn in Quebec: About $25 an hour.
Something he’s forced to keep locked away in his personal safe because it has an uncanny way of disappearing: Ketamine, aka Special K.
Where a lot of his money goes: To sponsoring the Fauna Foundation, a benevolent organization run out of his home by his life partner that, among other things, offers refuge for discarded primates fucked up from years of medical experimentation, zoo living or doing all those nifty, unnatural tricks that they do in the circus.
One thing guaranteed to freak out a chimp who’s spent most of its life in a research lab: Seeing Dr. Allan coming at it with a syringe in his hand.
Current ambition: To create a migratory site for Canada Geese by flooding 100 acres of his South Shore property. “It’s going to be one big project. Believe me, there will be a lot of people fighting me on this. Oh boy.”
Musical preferences: Classical. “And I don’t like Céline Dion!”
Favorite alcoholic beverage: White rum.
Literary preferences: Science fiction.
Television preferences: Sci-Fi Channel.
Words of wisdom: “We’ve got to start treating the land with more respect. Global warming is out there and planting trees helps.”
Cover photo credits: Dispomed