New emergency animal hospital opens in Williamsburg
A new emergency animal hospital centered on the idea of transparency and customer service opened this week at 87 Kent Ave.
The reason Williamsburg in particular was chosen as the latest VEG location is due, at least in part, to the increased number of pandemic pets and the pet friendliness of the neighborhood in general.
“Many people [in North Brooklyn] have pets, so we just wanted to provide them with a resource. There are many general practices, but there is really nothing like us; we are a 24-hour emergency facility. The only thing we do is emergency, which kind of sets us apart from other types of hospitals,” explained Dr. Wasi Ashraf, Medical Director of the Williamsburg Institution.
While the neighborhood is home to a handful of veterinary practices, many of the closest veterinary hospitals are over an hour away by public transit and feature long wait times. By serving as an emergency-only hospital, VEG also hopes to provide some relief to overwhelmed facilities and providers.
“There are specialized hospitals, but they are actually quite far away. And these hospitals are specialized and they do emergencies, but it’s not a 100% emergency like we are. We therefore occupy a very specific niche. We want to create a space here where we can help people and their pets when they need it most,” Dr Ashraf said. “The general veterinary community, many emergency hospitals and medical practices have been overwhelmed due to huge surges and pet ownership. We therefore have a model that we do not refuse to anyone. We are trying to find a way to say yes, so we are filling this emergency niche, but we are also there to support our general practitioners.
What sets VEG apart from other practices in the area — and veterinary hospitals in general — is their dedication to keeping families and animals together throughout emergency appointments and stays. The 24/7 facility allows pet owners to speak to licensed veterinarians immediately and avoid paperwork or wait times in the event of an emergency. The hospital also offers open floor plans allowing freedom of movement that allows pet parents to stay with their animals during all phases of treatment, which also means more communication between doctors and visitors. .
“We’ve kind of revolutionized the way emergency medicine is practiced, because in the past, historically, a lot of people had to be separated from their pets at those really critical times. So pets are stressed, people are stressed and they just don’t know what’s going on,” Dr Ashraf described. “We don’t want to separate pets from their people; another thing we’re really passionate about is keeping families together. This is the main reason why we allow everyone to be in the treatment area and have full transparency.
Overall, VEG’s mission is simple: give both animals and their humans receive quality emergency care when they need it most.
“Part of VEG’s vision is to treat pets and people the way we would like to be treated. We often say we treat pets like people and people like human beings,” Dr Ashraf said.