AAHA-accredited practices stand out from the crowd—in more ways than one!

In addition to being accredited for over 30 years, Anderson Mill Animal Clinic in Austin, Texas, proudly cares for the dogs of Austin Dog Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals through various therapy programs that focus on the human-animal bond. (The organization was also selected as the local charity for AAHA Austin 2016.)

At AAHA, we like to say our accredited hospitals are “Champions for Excellent Care,” and we urge them to publicize their accreditation using both the tools we’ve developed (aaha.org/publicity) and creative ideas of their own.

For Anderson Mill Animal Clinic, AAHA’s standards for excellent care extend beyond the veterinary hospital. Learn how they are leveraging their accreditation to make a difference for their clients and community.

Trends: How do you make accreditation meaningful to your clients and the community?

Anderson Mill Animal Clinic: One or twice a year, we host benefits on behalf of local animal welfare organizations, such as Austin Pets Alive! and Texas Humane Heroes. During these events, any banners or other marketing materials feature our AAHA-accredited status. Hospital tours are a regular part of these benefits and our staff is eager to discuss AAHA and the level of excellence our clients can expect as a result of our 32 years of accreditation. The plaques recognizing our long history with AAHA are displayed proudly throughout our lobby, so they are one of the first things our clients see when they walk in our door!

Trends: How long have you been working with Austin Dog Alliance? How do your organizations benefit each other?

AMAC: We have been working with Austin Dog Alliance since 2009, when our hospital owner, Allen Codding, DVM, joined the board of directors. Both of our organizations recognize the powerful bond that exists between people and their dogs, and we are proud to be a part of their mission to improve the lives of both through Austin Dog Alliance’s therapeutic programs. In addition to providing medical care for the dogs, we recently began participating in some programs that reach out directly to individuals with special needs. Anderson Mill Animal Clinic has had the pleasure of hosting Austin Dog Alliance students as they begin to develop the skills to enter dog-related careers. Our work with Austin Dog Alliance provides us with a sense of accomplishment and pride in giving back to our community.

Trends: Why is it important for shelters and other animal organizations to recognize AAHA accreditation and seek care from accredited practices?

AMAC: We feel that AAHA accreditation should be particularly important to shelters and animal welfare organizations as they often work with animals who have been in situations that negatively impacted their health or well-being. As an AAHA-accredited hospital, we voluntarily offer a higher level of care that is vital to helping these animals recover and go on to lead happy, healthy lives. We strive to provide the best care possible to these often under-served animals and we appreciate that AAHA supports us in maintaining these high standards.

Trends: Why is it important for accredited practices to support these organizations?

AMAC: Showing support for rescue organizations in a local community is a valuable way for clinics to demonstrate the values that AAHA endorses in its accreditation process. AAHA is an organization that recognizes those with a passion for excellence in veterinary medicine and it is important to share that passion with groups that share the common purpose of improving the lives of all pets.

Trends: Which AAHA tools or resources have you found to be most helpful in promoting your accreditation?

AMAC: We display our accreditation plaques throughout the clinic and have used a number of the online resources available through the Publicity Toolbox to promote our accreditation through social media. We have also found that the staff training videos are an important part of educating our staff.

Trends: What one new thing do you plan on doing in your practice in the next year to improve how you celebrate your accreditation?

AMAC: We plan to continue to educate both clients and staff on how being AAHA accredited allows us to stand out among other practices in our community. We would like to develop our social media presence by adding AAHA videos to our Facebook page and website, and are excited at the possibility of starting our own Youtube channel!

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Red is your guide to everything AAHA. Whether you’re looking for association news, updates on our educational offerings, the latest books from AAHA Press, deals from our Preferred Providers, or fun reads from various AAHA staff and AAHA-member veterinary professionals, this is where you’ll find it.

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