Tango (on the left) with Marco (Emily's puppy) on the right.
So who is this french bulldog wandering round Milford Animal Hospital? Tango has been my sidekick for 10 years now. He is one of my many pets and possibly the best dog I've ever owned. He loves to come to work with me and greet people at the door. He will be present most of the time that the hospital is open as he rarely wants to be left at home. In many ways he has become the mascot of Milford Animal Hospital.
Things you should know about Tango:
Welcome to the new Milford Animal Hospital website. You'll notice some changes. A new hospital logo, a new chief veterinarian and a new commitment to modern communications at the hospital. Dr. Heller built a wonderful practice here and has overseen the care of numerous pets for the last 39 years and I am honored that he chose me to carry on his legacy. At 74 he is still working today although he is cutting back his hours and only working a few afternoons per week at this point. I only hope that I will have his stamina and dedication when I reach his age. And I hope that we will continue to have his wisdom and experience to draw upon for a long time to come.
So, who am I? My name is Jonathan Augusto, DVM. I graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. I spent my first year out of veterinary school working in a mixed large and small animal practice in Seekonk, MA. I did one year of Pathology residency at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. I then went on to work as a relief veterinarian until 2004 when I bought a Banfield Pet Hospital franchise in Millbury, MA. I started that hospital with myself and 3 veterinary technicians working 60 hours per week providing medical care and advice to all comers from the back of that PetSmart store. I dedicated 10 years of my life to building that hospital up to a thriving 4 doctor practice and employer of nearly 20 veterinary technicians. I also aided in the training of numerous Becker College veterinary technician students during their externships at my hospital. And I also hosted numerous veterinary students as they came to my hospital for clinical rotations and summer job programs. After the 10 year franchise agreement expired, the Banfield corporation took over my practice, and I became an employee of the corporation. I continued to lead the hospital in Millbury but I knew I needed to strike out for myself again as soon as possible.
Way back in 1999, when I was doing relief work, I did some work at Milford Animal Hospital for Dr. Heller and I told him back then that when he was ready to retire he should keep me in mind because I loved everything about his hospital. Here we are, nearly 18 years from our first meeting and Dr. Heller chose me to succeed him as owner and chief of staff at Milford Animal Hospital. In many ways it feels familiar. I'm back to working 60+ hours a week again and working with a staff of three wonderful technicians. But it also feels like a brand new world with open possibilities and freedoms that I could never enjoy as a franchise owner. I also feel a great responsibility to live up to legacy and reputation that Dr. Heller has built here.
So what has changed here besides having me as the main doctor? Well, we have a new logo and new web presence and a new Facebook page. We've installed a hot beverage nook so clients can have refreshment while they wait for lab results from our new in-house laboratory. We've updated much of the hospital equipment to more modern amenities so we will have better laboratory instruments, anesthetic monitoring, surgical, and dental tools. We are converting from paper records to computerized records to allow us to provide more consistency and the legibility of typed rather than hand written medical notes. (No one should be forced to read my handwriting and Dr. Heller's is not much better!) The new computerized records will mean I can access patient info even when I'm away from the office. If a client needs veterinary advice after hours, they need only email me and as long as I'm awake I'll respond within a few minutes to hours and be able to access their pet's info and give the best possible advice.
What is staying the same? The wonderful staff that supported Dr. Heller is still here. Lisa, Allissa and Emily are fixtures here at the hospital. I can't imagine a better group of people to work with and I hope they weather all the changes and continue to offer me the same expert assistance that they gave to Dr. Heller. We are keeping the same hours. We will have the same commitment to compassionate care and client education and community support that Milford Animal Hospital has always been about.
I hope you will find that we are keeping the commitment to tradition even as we move to modernize. We are open to client feedback so if you have questions, requests or ideas for things you'd like to see as we move forward, please feel free to share them. I am truly honored to be here at Milford Animal Hospital and very excited about its future. I look forward to meeting new faces and welcoming familiar clients who come seeking me out. Thank you to Dr. Heller for giving me this opportunity. I promise to strive to live up to, and hopefully one day exceed, your high standards.