The Pet Care Center's (citywide; www.petcarecenterinc.com) main campus has been in business since 1958, originally functioning as a clinic for the racehorses at then-neighbor Jefferson Downs racetrack. Now, the main office of the hospital for small animals sits adjacent to Lafreniere Park in Metairie, and there are satellite locations scattered throughout the New Orleans area.
"We want to reach everyone in any way that we can, and help clients in different areas," says general manager Brittany Sylvia. The Metairie hospital is the "mothership that started everything," she says, but the other locations were built to specialize in treatments suited to the unique issues of each area.
"At the main hospital, we offer typical wellness treatments and preventive care," she says. "But if your pet is suffering from heartworms, for instance, two of our locations offer discounted heartworm treatment. ... Certain locations offer low-cost spay and neuter because we try to think of how we can be the most helpful in that particular community."
The Pet Care Center offers 24-hour emergency veterinary services and luxury boarding condos. Every time a patient visits the clinic, the staff recognizes it is working with a beloved pet as well as a pet owner and considers the needs of both.
"I would bring my animal here without any (hesitation) ... because I know what goes on here and the standard that we hold ourselves to," Sylvia says.
In the seven years Sylvia has managed the Pet Care Center, she has seen the rollout of 24-hour care and the expansion from one location to five. She also had an opportunity to care for a pet herself.
"I could not have a better memory than Sophie," she says of the Doberman pinscher she adopted from a client who no longer could care for the dog, which since has died. "But that is what we do day in and day out. We constantly strive to provide the best for our clients and our patients."
The Pet Center also works with local shelters such as the Jefferson SPCA and the Louisiana SPCA by accepting animals that have been rescued or surrendered after the animal shelters are closed.
"Trying to give the best to our clients while having the best patient care ... that is absolutely what drives us every day to do what we do and become better," Sylvia says.
From her office overlooking the boarding condos, Sylvia watches the visiting animals while she works.
"The satisfaction of being able to know that I'm running a business that is helping animals and providing the best service — that is in and of itself a paycheck," she says.