Philosophy of Care

Gentle Handling and Emotional Awareness with Individual Attention for your Pet's Special Needs

Animals read mood and body language with great sensitivity. Forcible restraint, excessive restraint, and even the slightest abrupt movements or changes in tone of voice can make dogs and cats feel threatened, anxious, or angered and create more of the exact problems we are seeking to avoid: fear, stress, resistance, and defensive animals.

A veterinarian must have regard for the patient’s emotions and act intuitively to relax, comfort and reassure, before the care even begins! I will provide “Hands-On Healing” support for both your and your pet. at your home. I have a special fondness for rescued pets and senior pets as I have shared my life with many “Special Needs Pets” and I know first hand what it is like to live with a beloved animal facing physical or behavioral challenges. I will gladly share my experience and insight with you!

Respect for You and Your Animal

I believe treatment and preventative medical decisions should be made with the patient’s best interest in mind. And I do also understand that your quality of life is directly related to your pet’s quality of life. I believe that end of life decisions are among the most difficult decisions a loving caregiver will ever make and I support hospice and humane euthanasia when the time comes. I reserve euthanasia for times when an animal is suffering, or has a medically or behaviorally untreatable problem that has severely impaired quality of life. As with all other procedures, at-home euthanasia must be performed gently and in an environment where the animal and his/her person feel most comfortable and at peace.

Adequate Time

Your appointment will last as long as it takes to thoroughly and calmly examine your pet, diagnose any problem, explain wellness options, and then perform treatments and answer your questions. You can expect your first visit to last at least one hour.

Client Education and Involvement

I will not perform a procedure or give any medication unless you understand why I am doing it, how much it costs, what possible side effects may occur, and what other options may exist. I will not take your animal away from you to perform procedures – you will always be able to see what I am doing.

I will teach you how you can help maintain your animal’s physical comfort, mobility, and emotional comfort. You are an important part of your pet’s health care team- and you will be given support to help empower your pet’s body and understand their mind! Maintaining a healthy and loving relationship between yourself and your animal companion is my priority!

Proactive, Not Reactive Medicine

Just as with humans, dogs and cats tend to incur more problems in their middle-aged to older years of life. However, the precipitating causes (poor diet, lack of exercise, overmedicating, genetics) tend to be present much earlier. My goal is to prevent problems or uncover them as they start, and not wait until they’ve made your animal sick or caused a cascade of health problems. I cannot stress enough that preventative measures and screens, even in the long run, are much less expensive, less frustrating and healthier for your pet.


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"I don’t know where to start - or stop. Dr. Ilana and her team saved me from having to make the heart wrenching decision to continue to try to save my beautiful K., or not. They didn’t do this for the money, but because they really care about the animal in need. I would have paid twice as much for what they gave me. More than anything, they gave me hope in the darkest hours. I believe that she will walk again - thanks to Dr. Ilana, Dr. Laurie, dear Kimi and Ellie."