Tech start-up VetChip to maneuver from Perth CBD to Freo

The director of the Fremantle Animal Hospital, Dr. Garnett Hall, has reached an agreement with the City of Fremantle to rent office space in the council’s new Walyalup Civic Center.

When Dr. Hall isn’t exactly saving the lives of animals and advocating a pet-friendly port city, he runs VetChip – a company that develops a replacement for microchips in dogs and cats.

VetChip plans to move from Perth to Fremantle after receiving approval for a three-year lease with an optional three-year extension at the council headquarters.

A city spokesman said the council’s finance, policy, operations and legislative committee had approved key rental terms for 260 square meters of office space on the third level of the civic center.

“The city will now continue negotiations with VetChip under the terms approved by the committee,” he said.

This decision was made after the city was unable to rent a café in the specially built center at the beginning of this year.

The city spokesman said there were more commercial leasing options available in the community center and the city welcomed expressions of interest from companies and organizations.

Dr. Hall told PerthNow that the new civic center was a “beautiful building” and he was delighted that the city council had approved the essential rental terms for its operation.

He said the device VetChip was tracking could revolutionize the way pet owners care for their animals and veterinarians care for their patients.

“One of its main functions is to enable early intervention and preventive care rather than traditional reactive care, which leads to better animal health outcomes,” he said.

“For veterinarians, it provides the ability to monitor patients, be they hospital or ambulatory, in a way that is impossible with current monitors for conscious ambulatory animals.

“In other uses, it will help farmers manage the health and production of their herd and herd, and trainers and competitors will ensure their horses are fit and healthy during training, racing and eventing.”

Dr. Hall said VetChip won the Science and Technology category award at the 2021 Curtinnovation Awards and received conditional approval from Curtin University’s Animal Ethics Committee for a clinical trial.

He said the Fremantle vibe was more suited to his team than Perth’s CBD.

“We want to be part of a community where creativity and passion can thrive and Freo is perfect for that,” he said.

“We have seen the fantastic support that the city of Freo has given to the ‘Pet Friendly Freo’ campaign and also to the West Tech Fest, and the combination of technology and animal welfare is at the heart of our work.”