North Haven Gains Emergency Room—for Pets

Work is well underway on the new New Haven Center Hospital for Veterinary Medicine at 6 Devine Street.
Work is well underway on the new New Haven Center Hospital for Veterinary Medicine at 6 Devine Street. Photo by Jack Kramer/The Courier

There's been lots of buzz about the new Quinnipiac University Medical School and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Center, but did you know that one of the largest hospitals for veterinary medicine in the state is about to open in the Crosswoods Medical Center?

The New Haven Center Hospital for Veterinary Medicine is planning to be in its new, 20,000-square-foot home sometime in November. This nearly triples the size of the hospital's current, one-story brick building on State Street in New Haven. The hospital will be open and fully staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing round-the-clock emergency and urgent care.

The new hospital, according to Hospital Administrator Ken Aldrich, will allow "the group to expand its service to pets and their owners.

"We want our clients, from the minute they get to our parking lot, to feel welcomed, comfortable, and cared for," he said.

Aldrich said the construction "is going exceedingly well," and the staff is eager to open in the expanded facility.

Aldrich's father, Dr. Robert Aldrich, was one of the veterinarians who started New Haven Central Hospital in the 1970s. Ken Aldrich has worked in many capacities at the hospital, from kennel worker to veterinary technician. He managed several other area practices before returning to Central in 2004. He is a founding member of the New Haven County Veterinary Medical Association and consults nationally on veterinary practice management.

The new facility is located just off exit 10 on I-91, and Aldrich expects existing and new clients will find the new location easier to reach than the New Haven location.

The larger building will have 12 exam rooms, six operating rooms, an intensive care unit, and more. Aldrich said the additional space also allows the vets to take advantage of modern medical innovations, such as an underwater dog therapy pool in which dogs recovering from surgery can exercise.

Aldrich said that about 95 percent of the hospital's patients are dogs and cats, "though we do take in the occasional reptile, or bird, or other sorts of animals in need of care."

The additional space, he said, will allow the hospital's vets to increase the number of dogs and animals they care for on a daily basis.

The current in-house staff includes 10 doctors supported by a hospital team of nurses, technicians, handlers, and administrators. Central Hospital is also supported by 10 associated member doctor clinics in the greater New Haven area.

The exact date of the move has not yet been pinned down, so starting in November Aldrich urges pet owners to call the hospital at 203-865-0878 before bringing in a pet to double-check whether the move to North Haven has been made, or the New Haven facility is still in operation.

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