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    The Castro Animal Hospital Brings San Francisco Values to Groundbreaking Veterinary Practice

    By Jason Wake–

    All of us at The Castro Animal Hospital (TCAH) are incredibly excited to be part of the community and to get to know you and your pets. I mean, is there really any greater joy than the unconditional love we get from our furry companions? Of course not, but there’s always room for more love in the family, and I’d like to invite you and your pet(s) to become the newest members of our fur family.

    TCAH is located in what was formerly the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Magic Johnson Center, which sat vacant since its closing in 2014. This site at 100 Church Street was first identified by Dr. Sarah Inman and her husband Shane O’Mara almost 2 years ago. She knew instantly that it was the perfect spot to set up shop.

    “Until now the greater Castro District has been completely underserviced when it comes to veterinary care,” Dr. Inman told me for the San Francisco Bay Times. “We’ve already had a tremendous response from the local community since we opened and can’t wait to expand over the years to meet the growing needs of the pet owners of the city.”

    Fast-forward a year and a half—Dr. Inman was in the final stages of building planning at the same time I’d come to the decision that I needed a new career path—and as they say, the rest is history.

    Out of nowhere, here I was helping Dr. Inman to build The Castro Animal Hospital from her vision. Partnering with her on this exciting endeavor of opening a veterinary practice from the ground up was definitely more than we’d bargained for. It’s been a steep learning curve for the two of us—leaving a well establish clinic & branching out on our own—but it’s one that’s already paying off.

    We knew it was a gamble, but since we’d previously worked together at another hospital in the Sunset District, and her vision was so strong, we knew we had something special when starting this hospital together. All of the sweat, tears and hard work is all worth it when we see the love and gratitude from our patients in the form of tails wagging and wet kisses.

    When I think of the many situations that come through our doors—from a healthy puppy visit, a diabetic cat having a seizure to a Labrador retriever that ate a whole small chicken off the dinner table—there is one case that sticks out in my mind: Barney, an adorable little 5-year-old Yorkie, who was attacked by two dogs at the dog park.

    Barney came in limping on his front leg with one small bite wound on his side. We cleaned him up, took some x-rays (nothing broken), treated the bite wound, gave him some pain medications and sent him home to recover. Well, poor Barney wasn’t out of the woods yet. Unfortunately, the wound became more serious and needed surgery. After that, Barney required a full torso bandage that needed to be changed every 5 days for a month.

    Barney was such a trooper. Every time he came in with high spirits, so happy to see us. That’s why we do what we do!

    We are so excited that to share Dr. Inman’s vision with you. We offer a wide range of services that promise you and your pet the best possible care while giving you peace of mind, knowing that your pet’s needs are all being met. We’ve created a low stress, warm environment that is a one-stop shop for everything your pet needs—from routine vaccines to x-rays, ultrasound and a full on-site laboratory. That means one less errand and less time waiting for results, while enjoying more time for walks and cuddles.

    TCAH is not only the first veterinary practice to open its doors in the city in almost 20 years, but we’re also woman-owned and LGBTQ+ run. We’re currently open Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and we will be expanding our hours in the coming months.

    Jason Wake is the Manager of The Castro Animal Hospital.


    Dogfest at Duboce Park

    Photos by Rink

    The 12th Annual Dogfest, an event benefiting McKinley Elementary School, was held on Saturday, April 27, at Duboce Park. Having steadily evolved year by year, Dogfest now attracts hundreds of school supporters, neighbors from Duboce Triangle, the Castro and beyond.

    In addition to vendors offering pet-related products, food for humans and pets, a silent auction, dog care, pet adoption services, games and other activities for kids, Dogfest included a dog show and contest. Prizes were awards for Best Costume, Best Tail, Best Trick, Best Coat, Best Mutt, Best Ears, Best Lap Dog and Best in Show. A surprise performance, known as the Half Time Show, also took place at the always popular event.


    San Francisco Bay Times Team Members and Their Pets

    Many of us here at the San Francisco Bay Times share our homes with pets who are valued and much-loved family members. Some of our furry friends really should be listed on our masthead, because they provide support, inspiration, companionship and so much more that contribute to our lives and ultimately to our ability to connect with you every other week with this publication. We are proud to introduce several of them to you in this special issue.

    The personalities of our pets represent quite a range. Some, like Gaston and Alphonse in the family of food columnist David Landis and his husband Sean Dowdall, have social lives that could warrant multiple Google calendars. (We recently spotted the dogs in the front row of a recent Michael Feinstein concert, for example, having a great time.) Donna Sachet’s sweet Peanut is often in tow at events all over town as well.

    Co-Publisher Jennifer Viegas, on the other hand, is visited early each morning by not so citified Squirrelly, who knocks on her window wanting peanuts. Squirrelly now has his own dedicated feeder and “perch” (an upside down flower pot). Then there are Gary Kramer’s cats Chimera and Tsai. Chimera is known for photo bombs, as you can see here. “Tsai wouldn’t sit still enough for a pic,” Gary explained. Columnist Sister Dana Van Iquity’s cat Panther is often on the move, too, in SD’s cozy Castro digs.

    We could go on, but the San Francisco Bay Times cat Detective Dickie Lou “Buddy” Bonks told us to stop typing and get on with the photo spread, so here it is!