By James Miranda
The first steps a customer takes inside of Roosevelt Veterinary Center in Brewster are met with a large photo of a white French Bulldog engulfed by a green landscape and smiling.
The French Bulldog, Wilbur, belongs to Roosevelt’s founder and main veterinarian Allison Glassman and it was taken by one of her patients who happened to be a photographer. But the photo represents the sense of community that Glassman wants to create at Roosevelt.
Glassman, who also owns a Bassett/Beagle mix named Blue along with Wilbur, opened the center in October 2005 in Route 22’s Lakeview Plaza and remained there until they established their new location in June 2018, also on Route 22.
“Me and my husband moved up here, there was an opening at [Lakeview Plaza], and I just called up and asked how much it was,” said Glassman, who graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. “We were really limited in our space [at the old location]. Here we have a full boarding kennel, room for daycare, and a lot more room for the hospital. It was a big expansion.”
Roosevelt specializes in cats and dogs. Like most animal hospitals, their services range from general and emergency care, dentistry, bathing, a daycare program, and surgeries like spays and neuters including laparoscopic spays—a relatively new and less painful variation that allows a quicker recovery time.
Glassman, however, doesn’t want to be seen as just another animal hospital.
“When I drop [my dog] off it’s not just ‘Oh, we’re going to take him for the day,’” said Carla Churyk, a 10-month customer who adopted her Shih Tzu/Bichon mix Bailey under Roosevelt’s recommendation. “They send me pictures, they post some things that I gave them permission to post online, and the actually engage with him.”
Many animal hospitals have a corporate approach with customer care and tend to be more expensive than privately-owned practices, according to Glassman.
Conditions like periodontal disease, cancer, or joint injuries are common amongst cats and dogs and tend to require a procedure of some sort to be corrected. Procedures for the aforementioned can be lucrative, however, with prices ranging from $600 to $3000, according to CBS News, which is why Roosevelt offers low-cost spays and neuters amongst other cheaper services.
“Along with the cost of a spay and neuter is not the drugs or the equipment, it’s the doctor’s fee for doing the procedure,” said Glassman, who named the center after her mother’s deceased dog Roosevelt. “Not only has our program gotten a lot of animals spayed and neutered, but it’s gotten us a lot of new clients.”
This all plays into their “family doctor” approach and is what they claim is their best service. Knowing clients and their families by first name, staying up to date with their lives, or compromising with clients if they can’t afford the more expensive procedures are all a part of Glassman’s goal to create a family atmosphere and a community.
“You definitely have the sense that these are people that care what they’re doing and they’re very committed,” said Michele Gasparre, a six-month customer who owns two dogs. “I think [Glassman] is just very engaged in what she’s doing, which is nice because I haven’t had that experience with some of the other vets I’ve been to.”
All it took for Glassman to decide to attend veterinarian school was a phone call and that’s all it takes for her patients to become a part of their family.
Roosevelt Veterinary Center is located at 2001 Route 22 in Brewster, NY. It’s open from Monday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 845-279-6578 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.