Construction starts on new veterinary surgical center



Work has begun on a new veterinary surgical facility on the Huntington site formerly occupied by Fort Hill Nursery. 

Dr. Margaret Puccio and her sister Theresa Puccio are developing the two-story, 10,000-square-foot Veterinary Surgical Center of Long Island on the 1.2-acre property at 188 East Main St. 

The Puccio sisters acquired the Huntington property in early 2022. The development site was sold to them by the family that owned Fort Hill Nursery, which closed in Nov. 2019. 

Dr. Margaret Puccio is a board-certified veterinary surgeon who graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. Over the last 28 years, Puccio has worked at veterinary surgical hospitals in New York City and Long Island and has trained surgical residents and surgical interns throughout her career.  

Theresa Puccio is a certified treasury professional and a certified financial risk manager with an MBA in finance. Currently the treasurer at the New York City Housing Authority, she has more than 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors, specializing in cash management, budgeting, and investing in fixed-income instruments and equities. 

VSCLI will be a veterinary specialty surgical hospital where specialized surgery will be performed on small animals. The facility is a referral-based surgical specialty hospital, where a pet’s primary-care veterinarian needs to refer the animal to VSCLI’s team of surgeons. In addition, the surgical center, which will be staffed by about 50 people, will be providing 24-hour emergency care, so pet owners can bring their pets to the center at all hours seven days a week. 

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“We are thrilled that we have acquired the old Fort Hill Nursery, which was a family-run business for over 50 years. Like our predecessors, our hospital will be a family business,” said Theresa Puccio. “For now, Margaret and I, along with my twin sister, Judith, an ultrasound technologist, will be working together at VSCLI. In the coming years, I am hoping that my son and future generations of Puccios will work at the beautiful hospital that we are building.”  

The new hospital was designed and is being built by Willmar, Minn.-based TerWisscha Construction, a design/build firm that specializes in animal care facilities. Huntington-based North Fork Construction will also be working on the project. 

The Puccio sisters grew up in Dix Hills and Dr. Margaret Puccio lives in Halesite, minutes from the surgical center location. 

“We are excited about building our hospital in Huntington and bringing excellent veterinary care to our beloved furry family members,” the Puccios said. “In addition, as new business owners, we feel proud to be generating both new employment opportunities in our community, as well as new commerce that will be generated in our town every day by our clients and our staff of 50 employees.” 

The VSCLI is expected to open in Jan. 2024. 


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