100 years later, hospital leads the way in veterinary medicine

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New York Women's League for Animals in 1910
In 1910, the Women's Auxiliary to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opened a temporary clinic on the Lower East Side of New York City for pet owners unable to pay for veterinary care. Several veterinarians volunteered their services, and the clinic treated more than 6,000 animals its first year. A century later, the clinic—now the Animal Medical Center—sees over 40,000 patient cases annually.

Although much has changed at the Animal Medical Center since its doors opened in 1910, the veterinary hospital located today on New York City's Upper East Side is just as committed to providing patients with compassionate care and preserving the human-animal bond as it was a century ago.

The veterinary clinic started by the Women's Auxiliary to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and its founder, Ellin Prince Speyer, is reportedly the world's largest companion animal hospital, employing 80 veterinarians who treat approximately 40,000 patients and handle some 18,000 emergency cases annually.

As a leading center for veterinary research and clinical advances, the AMC has pushed the boundaries of veterinary medicine. The hospital was the first to establish a cardiac service dedicated to dogs and cats, and a decade later, the AMC had a fully staffed intensive care unit, likely the first in the country.

The center offers 13 veterinary specialties and has 32 board-certified veterinarians on staff, six of whom hold dual board certifications.

"The AMC harnessed the strengths of its large specialist staff and its diverse caseload into training opportunities for young veterinarians by starting one of the first companion animal internships in veterinary medicine," said Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, spokeswoman for the AMC. "Out of this program grew AMC's residency training programs. Over a thousand individuals have matriculated through internship and residency programs at AMC and are practicing veterinarians all around the world."

Interventional radiology
Interventional radiology brings "human-level" care to veterinary medicine by allowing chemotherapy to be delivered in the fastest, most precise manner possible.

Housed in the eight-story building are also a pathology department, rehabilitation and fitness center, interventional radiology and endoscopy programs, and a renal medicine team treating pets with acute or chronic kidney disease.

A nonprofit institution, the AMC oversees several programs and services assisting in the health care of pets, guide dogs, and police dogs in the New York community.

For a glimpse of the day-to-day life at one of the world's premier veterinary hospitals, visit the JAVMA News online photo gallery here.

Please note: the online version of this document contains a correction.