Our story

Our practice has a rich local history dating back to 1976 when Drs Graham Stabler and Bruce Howlett first opened their clinic from a small house in North Mackay. This clinic was attended by both small and large animals, and in those early days, was also involved in the TB and Brucellosis eradication programs managed by the Queensland government. Within 12 months the practice had outgrown its original premises, moving to rooms in Hodder Street North Mackay, which became our North Mackay base for many years.

The clinic continued to grow, and by the 1980s more space was needed. This led to the purchase of a house and stables at 31-33 Peak Downs Highway, Ooralea – the site of our current clinic. This expansion allowed us to establish vastly improved small animal surgical and hospital facilities, as well as provide accommodation and surgical facilities for horses.

Our practice soon expanded again, with two further clinics established during the 1980s – at Mirani and Bucasia. In February 1994, a monthly clinic also commenced in Glenden, a service which still operates today. Fuelled by an increasing demand for quality veterinary services, the North Mackay clinic was upgraded and relocated in 2005, to its current site at Sams Road. Our most recent upgrade occurred in 2011, when, after 3 years of planning, the old premises at Ooralea were demolished to make way for our flagship, purpose-built hospital.

The changes over the last four decades haven’t just been geographical, quite a few of the faces have changed too. In 2007, Dr Graham Stabler retired, with his share in the business being purchased by Dr Bruce Howlett II (Bruce Howlett’s nephew). Dr Bruce Howlett retired in 2014, with his share in the business being purchased by Drs Alistair and Letitia Grant.

From its humble beginnings all those years ago, our Stabler and Howlett Veterinary Surgeons team have grown from two veterinarians and one veterinary nurse to our current staff of eight veterinarians, six veterinary nurses, three customer relationship managers, three administrative staff, a practice manager and a digital marketing manager. All of us are committed to providing high-quality care to animals and pets in Mackay and the surrounding districts.

As one of Queensland’s longest established and best regarded veterinary practices, we pride ourselves on our reputation for providing a consistently high level of care to our patients, and excellent service to our clients. We’re proud of our history and look forward to building upon our success for many decades to come.

The Stabler and Howlett team
Our Ooralea clinic
The waiting room at our Ooralea clinic
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