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Dear PoP – Veterinarians?

by Prince Of Petworth May 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm 88 Comments

“Dear PoP,

I’m in search of a quality vet with reasonable prices for routine check-ups and shots for my cat. So far all I’ve been able to gather from Yelp is that every vet within city limits will empty my wallet for no other benefit other than convenience. If you haven’t already indulged this subject, can you ask the masses where they bring their pets for routine checkups, preferably within sensible driving distance from Park View?”

I’ve heard great things about the Petworth Animal Hospital at 4012 Georgia Ave NW. I don’t have personal pet experience here but a friend of mine told me they are very reasonably priced and good with pets (though he did say they can be a bit abrupt in the customer service aspect). Though I’m not sure if they are used for regular check ups or just when there is a problem. There are mixed but mostly good reviews here.

Who do you guys recommend?

  • award

    Yes, for regular checkups, shots and such, Petworth Animal hospital is the way to go. They’re probably the cheapest option in the city

    • award

      For more serious visits I would suggest Union Vet. ll, but if you just need the yearly shots and nothing else you will pay about half the amount at Petworth.

    • i go to Petworth Animal Hospital for my cats for shots and such too.
      once for surgery. it was very affordable.

  • Anonymous

    City Paws. They might be a little more expensive, but if your time is worth something, its probably worth it.

  • Cait B

    We switched from City Paws to Friendship Hospital after a late night scare and pretty significant surgery a few years ago. I’ve had no regrets. Friendship has awesome customer service and great doctors at comparable prices to City Paws, plus super flexible and emergency scheduling.

    • WDC

      We did the same– switched when City Paws (where we’d been going since they opened) refused to see my bleeding cat without an appointment. Now, though, I’m looking for a new place to go, because Friendship is all about the over-treatment. I hate that they try to guilt and bully me into top-level diagnostic tests when I know exactly what the problem is and how to treat it. They hear hoofbeats and insist on expensive tests for zebras.

      • Nikki

        Agree with your assessment of Friendship, they try to see you on way too many tests and meds, and the quality of care definitely does not reflect the price. Good to keep in mind as an emergency vet though if you aren’t willing to leave the city.

  • anonymous

    friendship has fantastic service, but you’re definitely paying for the 24 hour availability.

    i’m a big fan on Union Vet near union station, which i found via referral from friends. their staff is attentive, astute, and caring. they’re open late also, which works out nicely.

    • ET

      I use Union Vet as well. They have a sister location in Dupont Circle – Dupont Vet which I used as well.

      They do have boarding which I like – if I need it.

    • Also a big fan of Union Vet.

  • Ragged Dog

    You don’t have to choose between City Paws and Friendship. Friendship, to me, first and foremost is an ER center for animals. City paws is a vet first and foremost.

    Like dentists, with vets you get what you pay for. There aren’t any free lunches. City paws isn’t cheap, but I trust them.

  • PetworthRes

    Uh, I just love that cat in the photo, love him!!!
    I go to Dupont Veterinary Clinic – they are great but admittedly expensive and hard to get to…I have to lug my cats for a block or two in their carriers. But since they’re nice I keep going back.

    • jamison

      I’m the original poster and that’s my cat! (He probably loves you too.)

      • JW

        He looks like he could use a belly rub.

  • Anonymous

    I go to Dupont Vet clininc because I used to live within walking distance (now that I live in CH I have to drive). Staff and Drs there are super nice and always remember all the details about my two dogs’ various ailments over the years, but they are SUPER expensive. I think I will check out the petworth vet for the future.

  • Michelle

    Union Vet Clinic has been great for us, our dog has had a few significant health problems, and I’ve never felt they have overcharged us or tried to get us to pay for extraneous medical procedures. Plus they have slightly longer hours than most vets which is super helpful.

  • hat

    City Paws for friendly one-on-one routine. Friendship for emergencies.

    City Paws:
    I recommend Dr. Bowman or Dr. Hamilton. Don’t go for Tische, he didn’t call in a compounded prescription for us until several phone calls between Center Pharmacy and City Paws wondering why we hadn’t received anything. Then Center Pharmacy sent the prescription to a similarly named record in South Carolina instead of me – thanks Snowpocalypse.

  • Zone 2

    VCA MacArthur. I know it’s a bit far, but they’re great.

    • Karen

      Ack, I actually switched from them after taking my then-kitten there six years ago and the vet was very rough with him. Grabbing him by his scruff and yanking his head back, etc., and my poor cat hissed and cried the whole time. I actually asked the vet to please be careful because it looked like he was hurting my cat and he snapped at me that the cat was fine.

      I switched immediately to Friendship, which I love, and the vets have only ever been very gentle and caring about the animals and my cat never fusses there. I moved out of the city to the NOVA area two years ago, but I still drive all the way into the city for any of my cat’s vet needs cause I love them there.

  • cbr

    Well, my vet is wonderful, but in Springfield, Va. Dr. Lemke of Companion Animal Hospital, in case anyone’s interested. But honestly, don’t get a pet at all if you can’t afford decent medical care. Pet insurance can help (check out VPI — can’t vouch for it, but my vet and others say good things).

    And really…Yelp is not the place to go for these things.

    • Caroline

      VPI is worthless– my dog needed $3000 in eye treatments and they would not pay a cent. Some kind of typical loophole…

      Anyway, Consumer Reports found that pet insurance is generally not worth it (it’s better to put the money in a savings account for pet emergencies):

  • Agree with previous posters who recommend City Paws for routine care and Friendship for emergencies. Dr Bowman is great.

  • K St.

    Alpine Vet on MacArthur Blvd in Cabin John, MD is great. Their prices are way lower than Union Vet which is right down the street from me and the staff is SO unbelievably friendly and caring that its well worth the drive for us.

    Captcha: sadness of

  • Anonymous

    For years we took our pets to friendship and finally got tired of paying more for LESS service (customer service specifically but had some issues with their medical practice as well). Now we would only go there for emergencies or to see a specialist. After looking around and trying a few vets, we switched to Union Vet and we LOVE it, especially Dr. Gross.
    Instead of the impersonal, busy, bus station-like service at friendship – Union Vet is quiet (good for scared pets), they recognize you and your pet, greet you politely, you’re seen in a timely manner and quickly checked out with good instructions and follow up. I like the feeling that someone knows me and my pet and cares about our wellbeing.

  • J

    My vote is definitely for Union Vet. Moved from Capitol Hill to NW and still take my dog there even though the drive is now an additional 20 minutes. Charges are very reasonable and they are nothing but attentive and caring.

  • dullshick

    We’ve been happy with Dr. Ashley at the Animal Clinic of Anacostia for basic shots and check-up visits for our cat.

    • Nikki

      Agree! Dr. Ashley is wonderful and the prices are very reasonable.

  • I am at Dupont, but moving to Petworth (Park Place, via this blog!) in June. I have two cats, one goes to Friendship and one to Dupont. The older one was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and the folks at Dupont have been splendid. I don’t think they are super expensive. It is good to hear good things about Petworth. I also recommend Union Vet — its an offshoot of Dupont. I recently sent my cousin there with a sick puppy and he was pleased with them.

    Can anyone recommend a good cat sitter who will come and give insulin twice a day? I will need one in September.

    • Kalorini

      Sit-a-pet is a decent service–I’ve used them before!

    • dreas

      Talk to the front desk staff at Dupont Vet about cat sitting. I believe one person lives in Columbia Heights and the other is in Petworth.

      • saf

        And one of their techs used to kitty-sit my VERY cranky diabetic kitty.

    • me

      FurPals is awesome. Owned by a couple, Ken and Yvette, they will come over to chat about what you need before you will need them to petsit. Then they will leave a little written report about what the pets did while they were sitting (I have 2 cats, and the notes would tell us about their moods, how much they ate, if output was consistent with input, the type of interaction they had with the cats, and so on) and they just really put a personal touch on everything. They will even make sure that they know things about your house, such as where the water shut-off valve is, in case there are any emergencies. Nicest people ever, and very qualified.

  • Kalorini

    I love Friendship Hospital–they have a few parking spots under the building, 24-hour urgent care, and are really nice people! They even have an online Pet Portal to track appointments, medications and whatnots!

  • PW neighbor

    We used to use DuPont vet, after a serious medical condition with a foster dog we switched to City Paws (I was not happy with the tests the vet ran, many were for diseases of which the dog had no symptoms). I love love City Paws, very friendly, and they do not push unnecessary medical care. I have also heard only great things about Union Vet. I wanted to try Petworth vet, but they won’t give appointments, and I can’t chance sitting at the vet waiting to be seen for 2 hours!

    Suburban vets will be much cheaper. The rescue I voluteer with uses Caring hands in both Arlington and Centreville, they’ve taken care of the many many resuce dogs well. Also, I’ve had fosters at the Burke Vet, also very competent people, though not as friendly.

  • K

    I have used Friendship, and I like them–though they are expensive, it is nice to have a vet with the 24-hr availability who also knows your dog’s history.

    Having said that, I moved, and its so far now! Anyone have recommendations for vets in the NE (near Eastern Market?)

    I don’t know if it was just me, but I would not recommend WARL, which provided initial vet services for my rescued dog, and which I think offers limited services. My dog tested positive for worms when I adopted him, but they forgot to read the test results–and then wanted to charge me for the treatment, even though it was pre-existing and should have been treated while he was in there care. Also, they kept referring to him as a girl when I picked him up from his NEUTERING. This did not inspire a lot of confidence.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Lots of folks like Union Vet on 2nd St. NE

    • I volunteer at WARL. You cannot believe the volume of animals that come through that facility. Not only do they treat the public, but many cats / dogs that are too sick or injured to be treated by other metro shelters (including PG County and WHS) get transferred to WARL. I would highly recommend them for their cheap shot clinic ($10 a pop) or sometimes free microchip clinic, but unless you qualify for their low-income rates, I’d use one of the other private practice clinics mentioned here.

      • I have to second the recommendation of WARL for shots. They’re not our normal vet (we used to go to Dupont, but the owner has proved to be someone I’m not interested in patronizing, so that takes Dupont, Union and Palisades out of the running. We currently go to City Paws.) but for vaccinations, that’s where I take the pup. Rabies, Bordetella and Distemper are 10/ea – so $30. No vet in the city can match that. For other check up type stuff, she goes elsewhere, but her shots will always be done at WARL.

      • K

        Thanks for the response–and I’m not knocking WARL. Generally, I think its a great place with great values. However, I spent some serious money, had a series of bad experience throughout my adoption and with the vet, and could never get anyone on the phone to return my calls. It was just disappointing, and I wanted to share that.

  • Anonymous

    Friendship is definitely expensive, but saved my kitty’s life after she injested something toxic so I’m forever grateful!

    Slightly off-topic, but Dianne in DC asked and I agree with previous poster: Sit-A-Pet is great! I have used them for years and they are very professional and responsible.

    • I’ve used sit-a-pet before for a long long time. The question is, will they reliably come every 12 hours to give my cat his subq insulin?

  • h to g

    the cat posted in this photo is licking himself with glee in the afternoon sun. he thanks you for your input and looks forward to getting a checkup!

  • Anonymous

    I use Friendship as my routine vet and think their service is great. I have a regular vet there who always remembers us and has done a great job managing my cat’s health, but we can also drop in on an emergency basis if needed. I have always been seen promptly — with or without an appointment.

    However, if I had a healthier pet it probably would not be worth the expense and the long drive and the sometimes impersonal feel to the place.

    I use a vet tech from Friendship for catsitting, since my cat requires several medications daily. I asked at the front desk during a visit and the receptionist offered to send an email with my catsitter request around to all the staff. I got several responses from interested vet techs and front desk staff. We’ve been using the same woman for a couple years now and she does a great job.

    • Laurie

      +1 for the *regular* vet at Friendship giving great service, for the emergency services (awesome during an emergency we had a few months ago), and for probably not going there for a healthier pet (mostly because of the cost and tendency to over-treat).

      I also tried finding a cat-sitter through an email to the techs at Friendship, but didn’t get any replies.

  • houseintherear

    If you have a car, I’d recommend Dr. Jeffrey Whall at Fairland Animal Hospital. It’s a hike up 29, but it’s beyond worth it. The “hospital” is a small family-run business, and Dr. Whall is like a Normal Rockwell painting. He speaks dog (sometimes literally). I started going there because he’s one of the only rabbit specialists in the DC area, and continue to lug my dog up to north Silver Spring years later. LOVE him.

  • ktw

    I tried City Paws when they first opened and they really dropped the ball on my dog’s injury, said they were consulting with specialists but weren’t. Bottom line ended up being that she needed surgery ASAP. After frittering away over $500 with City Paws I then had to drop almost $2000 with a specialist. Pup came out fine, but it left me with the impression that City Paws either doesn’t care about giving good treatment or doesn’t have the experience to know when something is out of their league. I now go to Dupont Vet and think they are great!

    • Ragged Dog

      Do you know who the vet was? They fired a vet a while back that lots of people were complaining about. She was horrific.

      • Anonymous

        That is interesting……we loved the vet at City Paws they said left because she was having a baby. I cannot remember her name, but wondering if that was the one that was actually fired? If/when I get another dog I was going to look and see if she was back in business somewhere, so if anyone can remember the vets name that was fired I would appreciate it as I might think twice!!!

        • I believe it was Dr Knight who left to have a baby – she was great with my dog and I was hoping she’d come back to City Paws. (She’s still listed as staff on the City Paws website).

  • kt

    i really like the chair in that photo.

  • Anonymous

    When we first got our cats, we took them to Alpine in Cabin John. We had no problems, but the drive got to be too much when we moved to Capitol Hill. Now we use Union and have had no problems.

    We had to take one cat to Friendship for an emergency. Never again. You could see the dollar signs in their eyes, and we found out from a second opinion that they unnecessarily kept our cat in the hospital about two days too long, costing us hundreds of dollars. Now we go to Alexandria Animal Hospital for emergencies. They’re much cheaper, and don’t tackily give such a hard sell on pet health care.

  • DC_Chica

    I got a rec once for a vet who made house calls (in DC) but I can’t remember the guy’s name anymore – does anyone know who I’m talking about or have experience with this vet?

    • sb

      I use At Home Animal Care http://www.athomeanimalcare.com/
      Dr. Marohn is really nice, and it wasn’t out of line with what the other places I looked (Capitol Hill and Union Vet) charged for a checkup. My cat is blind so not having to freak her out by taking her someplace is a huge advantage.

      The only problem is that you need a backup vet for more serious issues or things that can’t be done at home. For example, my cat needs her teeth cleaned…I’m looking at Union Vet for that, based on good reviews here and elsewhere.

      • FH

        I use Dr. Marohn too and she is THE BEST.

    • saf


      Dan Teich is one my very favorite vets – my other very favorite vet is Larissa Kats at Union.

      Both of them were great with my difficult and elderly cats, and are also great with my new, young, half-feral brats.

      • UStreet

        I use DCHomeVet for my 2 cats as well. Dr. Teich is awesome since he comes to you and will make evening appointments after work.

  • ihaveacat

    Kindness Animal Hospital in Wheaton is my vet of choice. A bit of a drive, but much less expensive than Friendship, with better service & care.

    The vets are very open and honest about which tests, meds, etc. that you need… which you dont.. and how much it all costs. I always felt like the Vets at Friendship were much less considerate with my money.

  • Cat

    First and foremost Do NOT take your kitty to the vet clinic in Adams Morgan – they were awful! We use City Paws and have since they opened – they have been very kind and understanding since my cat is really afraid of the vet and freaks out everytime we carry her there. I love that they have later hours on some days. When we first moved here we used a cats only clinic in VA but the drive with a yelling cat is way too much to handle. The cats only thing is a much preferred way to go but there aren’t any close enough in the city. City Paws for me is the next best thing.

    • Local Girl

      Second the do-not-use for Adams Morgan vet clinic. Dirty facility, and they gave my cat $800 worth of tests to determine the reason she was losing weight was…a broken tooth.

      • FH

        I agree. They convinced me to pay for $500 worth of tests that I learned later were unnecessary.

  • Katherine

    vets are tough to vet out as far as reviews – just look at yelp. my husband and i use friendship, although we are considering switching to city paws for routine examinations.

    for all the bad things i’ve heard about friendship (high cost, high vet turnover, etc) i’ve never had a bad experience with them. in fact when our pup began showing signs of a chronic GI problem, the vet at friendship started her on a limited ingredient diet rather than try to perform an expensive colonoscopy out of the gate. luckily the diet was the answer to our problems.

    to the poster who mentioned insurance – we had VPI for a year and then dropped it. insurance is good for emergencies but NOT for chronic conditions (there’s a max payout per diagnosis) and the riders for routine care barely cover the actual expenses.

  • MMS

    After a bad experience at the Adams Morgan Animal Hospital, I’ve switched to the Capitol Cat Clinic and have never looked back. They have been great to my middle aged furball during a recent bout with bladder stones, as well as for a routine dental cleaning and shots. While outside city limits, in Arlington, it’s not that far away. The prices are less than what I paid at Friendship and Adams Morgan, and the service is fantastic. They really love cats there–the practice is exclusively feline-focused. I don’t have a car, so I either borrow, Zipcar, or call a cab. It’s worth the trip.

  • RobA

    I’ve been using City Paws for my two dogs since they opened and think the world of Dr. Bowman and her staff. I used to take my older dog to Capital Hill Vet (formerly Janes) on 8th Street SE, but he was afraid to go in the place. He has no issues with City Paws … he walks right in with no fear at all and loves the attention he gets. I use Friendship for after hour emergnecies but for me, City Paws is the vet of choice. Plus …. it’s right up the street from Dogs By Day so if anything happens – the vet is just a half block away.

  • My kitty cat goes to City Paws next door to the Black Cat and I highly recommend it!

  • Dirty McPop

    would anyone else that’s used Petworth Animal Hospital please weigh in? Just got a pup, and have to bring her in for a check-up, and eventually to be spayed.

    the only unanimous opinion seems to be that the vet and his wife are dicks. but how is he as an actual vet? given the lower prices, is it worth using for regular nuts-and-bolts vet visits?

    • wunderGirl

      Petworth Animal Hospital provides sufficient care, but no frills, no friendliness, no appointments, lots of waiting. I advise to get there 20 minutes before opening and then you’ll be the first seen. Otherwise make sure you have the day off and pack a lunch.

      • PetworthRes

        I agree with Petworth Animal Clinic as bare-bones service. It’s an OK place to save $ on routine service (like getting vaccinations). I probably wouldn’t take a pet there for a serious issue.

    • Kelly

      Please take your dog elsewhere to have surgery. I was so alarmed by their lack of professionalism just from one phone call that I immediately wrote them off for good.

  • flieswithhoney

    I take my dog to City Paws and her annual checkup ran $250 for the appointment and vaccinations. I find the prices to be high, esp. the exam fee, but the convenience factor outweighs the cost. The vets always treat her like she is special though the front desk assistants can be rude and immature. One thing that bugs me is despite being named City Paws Animal Hospital, I have seen them refuse to treat pets with unscheduled emergencies during business hours on more than one occasion.

  • Anon

    I would second the recommendation of Caring Hands in Arlington if you are willing to make the drive out of DC. My cat had multiple health issues and finally passed due to cancer. Dr. Miller was especially helpful during her last few months with cancer.

  • For routine shots, vaccinations, and chipping, just use the Washington Humane Society’s walk-in clinic. I’ve gone to the one in southwest several times during their Thursday hours and had almost no wait, and the price is far lower than any vet would charge you (like $10 or $20). Really friendly folks too.

    • Caroline

      On that note, the DC Department of Health has been giving out free vaccinations– their next session is on June 5th:

      I took my dogs last weekend and it was a great experience– I was expecting a line, but they were well-staffed and I was in and out within minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Not in the District, but there are some good choices in Silver Spring/Wheaton/Bethesda area, which really isn’t that far from Park View by car. We’ve been pleased with Silver Spring Animal Hospital just off Georgia before you hit the Beltway.

    If you really want to stay within the District, we used to use DuPont Veterinary Clinic. My impressions were always favorable in terms of the quality/thoroughness of care. It was relatively expensive, but let’s be honest … having a pet ain’t cheap in any case. As an added bonus, as far as I could tell, they only hired young, attractive women vets. [Insert “give a dog a bone” joke here.]

  • Thought

    If your cat is purely and indoor cat I’m fairly certain he/she doesn’t need any vaccines. In fact, I’ve heard they can do more harm than good. Check up on it.

    Regarding the Petworth vet, I’ve heard he doesn’t allow patients to travel back with their animals. This alone doesn’t seem right, as I’ve always heard you should be with your pet at the vet, even up to the day that you may need to put him/her down. The visit may be hard for you to watch, but it is even harder on them if you aren’t there.

    • dog

      That isn’t true – and important to speak with a VET about pet care. Even indoor cats need rabies, absolutely. Distemper is slightly up for debate but not really. And indoor cats can get out by accident so you want them to be protected.

  • Steve

    Dr Knight at City Paws is great. She is co owener of the practice with Dr. Bowman. She is on her second maternity, but will be back. She is fantastic with cats.

  • Fellow Petworthian

    We have two cats and have used both Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington and A Cat Practice in Silver Spring. We have been happy with both facilities and appreciate the cat-only environment. My kitties get pretty stressed going to the vet in the first place and it helps that there are no dogs there. Nothing against dogs, I love them, but my cats don’t. On a side note, A Cat Practice helped us put one of our kitties to sleep and they were incredibly nice and understanding.

    • PetworthRes

      Wow, had no idea there are cat-only vets around here. This is great to know… will check out the place in Silver Spring.

      I’m still in love with Mr. Fuzzy at the top of the page. I scrolled up twice to coo over him while writing this comment!

  • Anon on Monroe

    FWIW, I was a fan of City Paws despite the expense until my kitty was near the end of her life. They pushed liquid prescriptions instead of pills (which I said my cat would NOT take), and when I had to exchange them for pills (because she would NOT take the liquid), I found out the liquid cost twice as much.

    When it was my cat’s time, it was a Sunday and I took her to Friendship. They could not have been nicer. I even got condolence cards from the staff and the vet herself.

    I called City Paws to see if they knew a place where I could donate leftover prescriptions and food and they said they’d ask and call back. I’m still waiting. Since November.

    • You can always donate meds to WARL. Rx or not, eg glucosamine. They have their clinic, as well as a food /toy/ stuff bank for the neighbors.

      • Anon on Monroe

        Thanks, that’s what I was looking for!

  • Ms. Pac-Man

    We use Takoma Park Animal Clinic for our small dog (only for a routine exam/shots so far). It is a no-frills place, but we found the staff to be professional and very kind and gentle with our pup.

  • dog

    I’ve done rescue for years and have been to most vets in DC/MD/VA. And have dealt with everything medical related under the sea!

    Petworth Vet functions as a bare-bones, rescue-esque vet though they don’t do rescue work. If you are confident in your animal’s healthy, they do great low cost shots, etc. They are also probably fine for a neuter. I would not use them for diagnostics, problem-solving or spay. But, I love my animals. I wish they were better as they are close. : >

    Alpine Vet in Cabin John is very good for intuative care and if you want to learn about animal health and behavior. Dr. Tom, especially, treats owners like care-takers and explains EVERYTHING. They don’t have access to do many in-house tests and therefore, for advanced diagnostics or major problem-solving, they may not be the best.

    Palisades Vet Clinic in DC is run by Dr. Elliot, a defector of Dupont Vet Clinic. She is great for one on one care and has a modern space. She has a varied background and is a decent problem solver. She also admits when something is out of her league and has a great crew of consultants. I’d recommend her for west of the park people.

    East of the Park people, Dupont and City Paws seem hand in hand for level of care and cost of care. Like in people, its all about finding an actual doctor you mesh with and trust. That comes in time.
    Frienship is for emergencies and specialists. It is a waste of money to do your day to day care there.

    Sadly, Dupont and City Paws are not rescue friendly and don’t offered discount service to local groups…though the others I mentioned do.

    I wish there was an amazing secret vet I didn’t know about…but, I don’t think that is the case.

    And, remember – ADOPT – from rescue or shelters. These animals need you.

  • EDiP

    I used City Paws for over a year b/c I’m located directly behind them. Unfortunately had an severe emergency urinary blockage and they wouldn’t even consider looking at my little guy, even though we were in dire straits and a block away. Didn’t have a car at the time, it was raining, and it took at least 5 cabs before someone would take me to Friendship.
    Now I just go to them regularly for the peace of mind and consistency. I understand City Paws’ position, but tough to be literally around the corner from your vet and in need of care and be turned away.

  • Nikki

    For routine stuff, Dr. Ashley at the Anacostia Animal Clinic is great, and you can actually find parking. For emergencies, Friendship is good, but South Paws in Fairfax is better if you are willing to make the drive. South Paws is also better if you need a specialist, as we did with our last dog. Friendship is kind of lame, it’s hella expensive but it seems like you’re paying for the amenities and not exceptional care.

  • Kindness Animal Hospital is a NIGHTMARE. They gave my beloved cat a massive insulin overdose, resulting in massive brain damage. This occurred when they left all of their patients in the care of an unlicensed, unsupervised family member of the vet who had no formal veterinary education — an unqualified person. The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners found the head vet at the time, Marc Katz, had violated state requirements to supervise staff and fined him. They also received a letter of warning from the American Animal Hospital Association and the vet, Marc Katz, was asked to surrender his license in Pennsylvania over this incident. I can back up everything I am saying. Visit my website, the state disciplinary document is there. What they did to my pet was also profiled on MSNBC.com in a story called “When Vets Make Mistakes, Pets Pay the Price.”

    The only vet hospital in DC I have heard consistently good things about is City Paws, but that’s from several friends, I have no first hand experience. My own bad experience with that vet leads me to believe that no matter where you go, you need to really be proactive in overseeing what the vet is up to. write the state board and ask if the vet has a disciplinary record. Check review sites like Yelp. Never leave your pet overnight somewhere they don’t have LICENSED staff on duty overnight — and ASK about this. Most “hospitals” have no one there from closing till opening the next day, and they WON’T tell you this unless you ask. A sick pet should never be left unmonitored.

    Good luck, but whatever you do, my advice is keep your pet as you can away from Kindness Animal Hospital.

  • re: Friendship and other options.

    I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that I have a pretty negative impression of Friendship based on things I’ve heard, some of them from one of the vets who worked there. For ER care, I would definitely recommend that you take the time to go to SouthPaws.

    As for me, the practice in the area I think is best for regular vet care is Alexandria Animal Hospital. It would be about a 20 minute drive from DC but two things I like about them are:

    1. They have 24 hour supervision of admitted patients.
    2. They use licensed veterinary technicians.

    Most people don’t realize that the “veterinary technicians” you see when you go to most vets do NOT have formal education OR licenses. In some cases they have minimal on the job experience. A vet does not have to tell you that a person with little experience will be providing “nursing” care to your pet. Veterinarian John Robb issued a press release about the dangers of using unlicensed staff. Many vets hire the cheapest people they can find, and then let them perform duties they are not qualified or adequately trained to do.

    So use of licensed technicians has become VERY important to me.

  • OP

    Hey all,

    A late reply from the original poster of this question:

    I ended up going to Union Vet (next to Union Station) and it was a GREAT experience. I wasn’t shaken down for cash, had really friendly service and got some great advice on general care from Dr. Katz. I will absolutely be returning there for all my future vet visits!

    Thanks to everyone for their help.



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