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MSPCA-Angell opens 24-hour animal hospital in Waltham

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  February 3, 2014 02:00 PM

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Handout/MSPCA-Angell

An MSPCA-Angell worker attends to a dog at the organization's Boston location.

Boston's MSPCA-Angell opened a 24-hour Waltham branch of its animal hospital today, according to organization representatives.

The new Waltham location, officially dubbed MSPCA-Angell West, offers round-the-clock emergency care for pets, as well as internal medicine, surgery, and cardiology available immediately by appointment Monday through Friday. The organization plans to announce weekend and night hours soon.

“No matter the emergency or time of day -- whether a family dog has been struck by a car or a pet cat has ingested a poisonous substance -- the emergency room in Waltham will be open," said Dr. Ann Marie Manning, the MSPCA-Angell's chief of staff, in a statement from the organization.

The facility will also begin servicing birds and reptiles beginning in March, representatives said.

Officials from the private nonprofit said Waltham proves a prime location, noting that many veterinarians west of Boston refer cases to the MSPCA animal hospital in Jamaica Plain.

"In Waltham and its surrounding towns, there are over 200 veterinary practices that refer specialty cases to our Boston location," said Rob Halpin, MSPCA spokesman. "This will be a significant location convenience for clients already living in the area who come to us in Boston."

Halpin said the organization focuses on specialty treatment, including dermatology, ophthalmology, surgery, and neurology, to name a few.

"If a feline or canine patient comes in with a dermatological issue, for example, we try to find out if there may be an underlying allergy or an internal medicine issue," Halpin said. "Patients can stay under one roof and see specialists in multiple specialties, and we can also layer in advanced diagnostics, such as MRI imaging and CT scans. It's pretty sophisticated stuff."

The Waltham branch will not offer general medicine services. Officials said in a statement that there are already dozens of general practice veterinarians in the area.

The Waltham location will lack a permanent animal shelter, officials said, citing space limitations. However, the branch may host special events in the future where animals from other MSPCA locations are brought to Waltham to promote adoption.

The new branch will also add 35 veterinary and animal welfare-related jobs to the city, representatives said. Nearly a third of the forecasted staff, including board-certified specialty veterinarians and technicians, have already been hired, they said.

“Opening our new facility in Waltham is a win for veterinarians already in the area, for clients and -- most especially -- for animals,” said Carter Luke, president of the MSPCA-Angell, in the organization's statement. “We’re confident we can exceed the lofty expectations set out for us by investing the same energy in resources in Waltham as we have in our other locations, which are successful operations that treat and otherwise take care of tens of thousands of animals every year.”

For more information, visit the MSPCA's website.

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Handout/MSPCA-Angell

The new MSPCA-Angell animal hospital in Waltham.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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