The American Animal Hospital Association was founded in November, 1933. It started in Chicago when about 100 veterinarians attending the AVMA annual meeting in August nominated Dr. Mark Morris as chairman of a committee to plan a new association. The other members of the committee which met in Chicago in November were Drs. D.A. Eastman, A.R. Theobald, L.H. Lafond, J.F. McKenna, J.V. Lacroix, and S.W. Haigler. These seven veterinarians recognized that small animal practice was not only an important and permanent segment of the veterinary profession, but it needed the recognition and stature that only a separate national association could provide. So, on November 9–10, 1933, the AAHA was born with Dr. Morris as president; Dr. Eastman, vice president; and Dr. Theobald, secretary/treasurer.
At that time, most of the few veterinarians who treated pets offered only meager facilities. Dogs and cats were “second class citizens” as far as the profession was concerned and packing case “cages” were customary. Nursing care was nonexistent and surgery was crude.
The seven veterinarians saw the need to improve the practice of small animal medicine and recognized that the exchange of information through a fraternal association could be the genesis of improved standards and the foundation for a continuing education commitment from the profession.
Two years later, the Association was formally incorporated. On October 18, 1935, the State of Illinois granted a charter to the American Animal Hospital Association. The president was Dr. D.A. Eastman. The five directors on the Board were Drs. J.A.S. Millar ( New Jersey ), Otto Stader ( Illinois ), L.H. Lafond ( Michigan ), J.F. McKenna ( California ), and J.V. Lacroix ( Illinois ).
Since it’s beginning, the AAHA has insisted on improvement. The founders were convinced that small animal practice was important and felt that veterinarians were obligated to provide better facilities and methods than were generally available. That philosophy is still alive and well as a guiding principle of AAHA today. It has helped stimulate and maintain the growth and development not only of the Association but of the practice of small animal medicine throughout the world.
Today, AAHA is respected internationally for its dedication to professional development, hospital standards, outstanding publications, and the excellence of its education programs. This recognition and the strength of the organization is a tribute to the vision of its founders and the leadership and dedication of the many veterinarians who have sacrificed time and energy to serve the Association through the years. Their contributions are evident today in a strong, viable, and dynamic association that continues to be on the “leading edge” of the veterinary profession.
To be an accredited AAHA hospital member, our hospital must meet the Association’s high standards for quality veterinary care. Our hospital is regularly evaluated by trained AAHA professionals to ensure that we maintain the standards and provide the best veterinary care we can. The AAHA standards of excellence cover the following areas and services in our hospital:
- Pet Medical Records
- Diagnostic Services
- Nursing Care
- Medical Library
- Examination Facilities
- Housekeeping and Maintenance
- Emergency Services
We are very proud of the fact that we are an accredited AAHA hospital member. Only approximately 18% of the small animal facilities in North America can claim this distinction.
In 2011, our hospital received 2nd place in the AAHA Practice of the Year Awards, a tremendous honor!