Shop Local Focus: Philly Pet Health Center

Interview with Mike of Philly Pet Health Veterinary Clinic


What is your shop all about? What do you offer, what's your favorite thing that you do?


The Pet Health Center is all about the unconditional love our pets show us, and how we can return the favor by providing them with excellent health care at an affordable price. Some hospitals focus on treating pets and their people, we focus on taking care of people who have pets. Meaning that our patients don’t just walk in off the street and say “hey doc my leg hurts”, they have pet parents that need to feel comfortable bringing them to us. So we can’t just focus on the pets, we have to also provide our clients with great customer service and an experience that leaves them feeling better educated on what we believe proper health care is. We are here to help be your partner in your pet’s health.

 We love what we do because we get to make a difference, not just in the health of our patients but in the lives of their owners. Our clients love their pets, in fact for the majority of them they are more of a family member than an animal. We take pride in knowing that we can help them achieve their goals in keeping their pets happy and healthy for years to come. Plus working with super cute puppies and kittens isn’t so bad either.



Why did you open your shop where you did? How did your shop come about?

 My father and I purchased the Pet Health Center from Dr. Rude about 2 years ago, although this building has been used as a veterinary hospital since the early 1900’s. In 2005 Dr. Rude had to leave practice due to health conditions. Rather than sell it or shut the hospital down he decided to leave it in the hands of his practice manager and her mother to run. Unfortunately many circumstances caused the hospital to deteriorate and in 2012 was going to go bankrupt. Being a family friend Dr. Rude reached out to my father to see if we would be interested in either helping him find a buyer, or simply buying the hospital ourselves. Efforts to find someone else to purchase the practice proved unsuccessful as many people unfamiliar with the growth and economic resurgence of the RiverWard communities didn’t believe they could practice the quality of medicine contemporary with today’s standards.

My father and I saw something else, we saw a” diamond in the rough.” So, either after a few too many beers or just the right amount (depending on how this ends) we decided to purchase the practice and see if we could turn it around keeping it in the community that so desperately needed a quality veterinary hospital. We are happy to say that 2 years later, with the wonderful support of this community things are going great. We still have some mountains to climb as we are always looking to improve, but it feels great to prove the naysayers wrong.


What is your hope for this area? What changes have you seen in the neighborhood that get you excited?

 Our hope for this area is that the social and economic growth continues to happen. That the RiverWard neighborhoods continue to attract people that have pride in where they live and want the best for their families, both two and four legged. Dr. Rude always told us that he had some of the nicest, down to earth clientele you could ask for and the community has done an amazing job in proving him right. Not only do they support the quality of medicine that their pets need, but they are so appreciative of the help we offer.

 The changes that have occurred in the past two years have been pretty remarkable. The new real estate developments, the increases in job opportunities and the overall resurgence of Philly pride have given us the confidence that we made the right decision in taking on this project. Not that there isn’t a lot of work left to be done, but the progress made so far is very very encouraging.


Why did you become a Shop Local Partner? Why do you think the Co-op is important?

It is important for us to be a part of the Co-Op and the shop local program because our goals are the same… To help our community. None of us can do it alone so the more support we can generate the better all of us will be. We understand that our client’s heartstrings may not always be in line with their pocket strings so if there is a way we can help them afford the care they need we are all for it. Our belief is, “if you focus on the money you lose the client, if you focus on your clients than the money will follow.” Not that we can help everyone who needs it, but we do our best.



What's the product/item you most hope to see at the KCFC when we open the doors?

Not really sure about this one, perhaps a directory of all the businesses and support groups that are working to turn the RiverWard neighborhoods around.



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