At a time when many people have left the Golden State for better economic opportunities, veterinarian Dr. Randall Bondurant has moved his family here and opened a business in Laguna Beach.
Economics had nothing to do with it — his kids' fondness for the University of Southern California did. His oldest daughter graduated from USC in 2009; his second daughter is now at the university, and his two youngest children — another daughter and a son — want to follow suit.
His son, in fact, plays football and has a burning desire to be a Trojan and wear the red and gold.
"Our kids made us decide to relocate," Bondurant said. "We couldn't have ended up in a better place."
The soft-spoken Alabama native says he had a successful three-doctor practice in Atlanta for 23 years before pulling up stakes and following his children to Southern California. After hunting around for a veterinary practice to acquire, he hit upon a small practice on Laguna Canyon Road that happened to have a state-of-the-art surgical suite, a perfect fit for a veterinarian who specializes in difficult surgeries.
Since taking over the Orange County Animal Medical Center in August, he has been able to develop the practice, which had "a handful" of clients left over from the previous owner, he said.
"We have a full surgical suite, a mini-hospital with all the latest and greatest equipment," he said, including digital X-rays for general and dental purposes and laser surgery.
The building at 1855 Laguna Canyon Road, across from the ACT V parking lot, appears small from the street, but contains not only the hospital but boarding facilities with kennels for dogs and "kitty condos" for cats. Indoor dog runs help keep pooches fit.
"Word of mouth is our best advertisement," he said. "It's going well."
Bondurant is a certified laser fellow and specializes in orthopedic surgery, as well as dermatology. He also performs all the standard pet treatments such as vaccinations, neutering and spaying.
"My clinic has an attitude of service and compassion," he said. "People should know that they and their pets will be treated very well."
The clinic is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Bondurant is on site for six of those days.
He and his family, including three dogs, live in Laguna Niguel.
To contact the animal hospital, call (949) 464-1000. For more information, visit http://www.OCAnimalMedicalCenter.com.