West Hollywood has one of the highest percentages of pets per capita in the nation. Where there are pets, there are also vets. And West Hollywood got another vet back in May with the opening of the West Hollywood Animal Hospital
Located at 9000 Santa Monica Blvd (at La Peer Drive) in the old International Male clothing store location, West Hollywood Animal Hospital is the place not only to take your pets for shots and check-ups as well as surgeries, if needed, it’s also a place to drop your dogs off for doggie day care.
“It’s always been my dream to open an animal hospital in West Hollywood,” explained Dr. Monica Revel. “This is my home. I’m from West Hollywood; I was born at Cedars Sinai. I love West Hollywood. This is a dream come true.”
A graduate of the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Revel is likely familiar to anyone who has taken a pet to an area vet clinic in recent years. That’s because she worked shifts at virtually every veterinary office from Santa Monica to downtown, earning the money to open her own clinic.
As she worked those many shifts at so many different locations, she saw things she liked and things she didn’t like, all of which helped her formulate her ideas for what she wanted in her own clinic.
“I grew as a doctor getting all that experience, seeing so many cases, working in high volume places, working in specialty hospitals, working in busy emergency rooms, seeing dogs with gunshot wounds, having to do c-sections on pregnant dogs,” says the 37-year-old Revel. “I took my favorite thing at each place and combined them all together and made [West Hollywood Animal Hospital].”
Among the ideas she incorporated:
- Separate exam rooms for dogs and cats. The idea was that cats who are already stressed by going to the vet would a little less upset if they didn’t smell a dog in the room. But it turns out the separate exam rooms are a hit among dog owners who are allergic to cats; they don’t get itchy eyes in the dog room.
- An air exhaust system that changes the air with 100% fresh air several times an hour (depending on how much traffic a room is getting) so that stagnant smell of dogs and cats that lingers in most vet clinics have isn’t there. She also installed a separate ventilation system for the isolation ward so diseases can’t spread to other animals.
- A digital dental x-ray machine that has prompted her to do extractions of many teeth that looked fine above the gum line. Owners are reporting their pets are acting different afterward, some owners saying their dogs are acting like puppies again simply because they feel better.
- Floor covering made of environmentally friendly recycled rubber. Turns out older, arthritic dogs have an easier time walking on the rubber than tiles or concrete. And the staff’s feet hurt less too.
The doggie day care area is proving popular for people who work and don’t want to leave their dogs home to be bored. The price is in line with what a pet walker charges.
“We have some people whose dogs have separation anxiety and they don’t want to leave them at home to feel anxious all day, so they bring them here so they can be relaxed and play,” said Revel, the mother of three children, ages 4, 6 and 9. “Some people just want their dogs tuckered out while they’re at work all day, so when they come home, they don’t want to go for that three-mile run.”
Even though West Hollywood is a dense urban area, Revel considers West Hollywood Animal Hospital to be a small-town vet hospital. She likes getting to know the pets and the owners by name, understanding their history.
The fact there are two other vet clinics within a half mile of her location doesn’t bother her.
“Whenever there is selection and choice, the consumer benefits,” Revel said. “If there are people who are happy with their vet, I think that’s wonderful. I don’t have any intention of stealing people away from vets. If there are people who are unhappy with the other places, then I’m another choice.”
West Hollywood Animal Hospital is open daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and offers 24-hour on-call emergency service for established patients. Visit their website: www.wh-ah.com