Saint Francis Veterinary Center in Woolwich Township, New Jersey, is the 2019 AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year. The staff of the practice surprised the founder, Mark Magazu, DVM, by applying for the award and keeping the nomination a secret until Connexity by AAHA in Indianapolis, Indiana. This article explores Magazu’s vision and the legacy he inspired, featuring interviews with two of his children, members of the staff, and a loyal client of more than 30 years.
- Founded by seven leaders of the veterinary profession in 1933, AAHA has been recognized for years as a leader for the veterinary industry and profession.
- AAHA accredits small-animal hospitals throughout both the United States and Canada.
- Unlike human hospitals, accreditation is not required for veterinary hospitals.
- Nearly 60% of pet owners believe that their pet’s veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not.
- Requirements for accreditation often surpass those required by states. State regulations for veterinary hospitals vary widely—some state examiners will never inspect a veterinary practice unless a complaint is filed.
- Veterinary practices that choose to be AAHA accredited are evaluated regularly on approximately 900 standards of care.
- There are more than 3,500 AAHA-accredited hospitals in the United States and Canada.
- AAHA also accredits veterinary practices within animal shelters and humane societies. As of 2015, there were 18 accredited humane societies.
- In addition to accrediting companion-animal hospitals, AAHA also develops veterinary guidelines and position statements, publishes educational resources, and offers world-class continuing education for veterinary professionals.
- AAHA is committed to helping lost pets get back to their owners. The AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup tool helps pet owners and shelters determine which microchip company a chip is registered with.
- Pet owners can find an accredited veterinary practice by looking for the red AAHA logo, and by searching AAHA’s hospital search tool online.