Compassionate Care Center: Stay Overnight with your Sick Pet
Come inside the world's first veterinary hospital that allows owners to stay overnight with their pets. It's a revolutionary idea and benefits both pets and people. Read on to learn more and see a video of the center.When Greg Gruosso's beloved poodle-terrier mix, Luna, was rushed to an emergency and referral veterinary center near his home on Long Island, New York, he wanted to stay by her side that night.
The request may seem unusual. But Gruosso went to The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care in Westbury, New York -- the first, and perhaps only, facility in the country offering overnight accommodations for pet parents.
"Not only was it comforting for my pet, but for my own peace of mind," he says of the experience.
Since opening five years ago, hundreds of owners like Gruosso, have stayed in a special section of the animal hospital known as the Compassionate Care Center, where fully furnished rooms make the stay as comfortable as possible for the pets' owner.
Each of the seven rooms includes a thick mat for pets to lie on, reclining chairs for humans to snooze, as well as a sink, television and workstation with Internet access and a telephone. Just steps away are a kitchen and bathroom with shower.
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Owners can stay with their hospitalized pets anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
The hospital's director, Diane Levitan, VMD, says clients had long asked her if they could stay overnight with their sick animals. But it wasn't until she spent time with her hospitalized infant son, who was battling pneumonia that she began to empathize more with worried pet parents, and decided to include the unique space in her veterinary hospital.
The accommodations do much more, though, than provide a place for owners to stay.
"We know that by people being with their pet it makes them happier, and it makes the animals happier," says Levitan.
In addition to lifting spirits, hospitalized pets recover faster, she says, and need less pain and anxiety medication when their human family members are nearby providing love and comfort.
While there owners can help care for their furry kids by administering medication or monitoring equipment. If there's a concern or question, a central nurses' station is located nearby.
Rhodi Cohen-Hart is grateful the home-like accommodations were available when her once feral kitty, named Ben, landed in the intensive care unit for two weeks.
The grey and white feline wasn't being given the correct treatment for his diabetes by his regular veterinarian, says Cohen-Hart. Consequently his weight plummeted from 18 to 11 pounds. His health quickly followed, deteriorating to the point where she had to rush him on a cold, rainy day to the Specialized Veterinary Care's 24-hour emergency room.
"They didn't even know if they could save him," she recalls.
Ben was put into the critical care unit, and Cohen-Hart, a psychotherapist, faithfully visited him every night, after putting in long hours at the office.
"It really saved Ben's life," she says of having access to the private rooms. "It calmed him down. And it calmed me down too, being able to spend time with him and take care of him."
To learn more about the The Center for Specialized Veterinary Care and the Compassionate Care Center, visit their website: www.vetspecialist.com
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