Celebrations of #AAHADay 2021 used social media contests to build excitement all week long, culminating with in-person treats, decorations, and prizes on July 22, 2021.


Courtesy of Arizona Animal Wellness Center


#AAHADay 2021: Social media contests drove week-long celebrations 

Celebrations of #AAHADay 2021 used social media contests to build excitement all week long, culminating with in-person treats, decorations, and prizes on July 22, 2021. AAHA-accredited hospitals throughout the US and Canada wore red or custom-made gear and used the creativity of their teams to raise awareness about the value of AAHA accreditation.  

AAHA awarded four cash prizes to hospitals who won a Facebook group contest by posting on social media about their festivities. 

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Courtesy of North Shore Animal Hospital

The first-place award went to North Shore Animal Hospital in Racine, Wisconsin. Chris Kuras planned the celebration and said she had to double-check that their hospital was really the winner. “And it was!” Kuras said.

Opened in 1970, North Shore celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The practice first became AAHA accredited in 1979. Kuras said they try to celebrate AAHA-accredited Hospital Day every year, although last year they had to tone things down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuras and her team went all-out in 2021 with a different Facebook contest each day of the week leading up to #AAHADay.  

“Clients love it,” Kuras said. 

North Shore’s nearly 1,500 Facebook followers are used to interacting with the practice online. For their 50th anniversary, Kuras posted Facebook contests every week for the whole year, giving away raffle tickets both online and at the clinic. For #AAHADay, she continued with many of those tactics. 

The practice gets the best response when they encourage client interaction by posing questions such as, “If your pet was in the Olympics, what would they win a gold medal for?” 

“A lot of people send pictures and funny stories,” Kuras said.  

Around #AAHADay, Kuras posted links to facts about AAHA accreditation. “Our clients have even more faith in us because of the accreditation. A lot of them congratulated us for being accredited since 1979,” she said, “and having AAHA-accredited Hospital Day brought a lot of attention to what it means that we follow these guidelines, whereas a veterinary hospital that isn’t accredited does not.” 

Like so many others, North Shore is “unbelievably busy,” Kuras said, but the team took time out to give away goodie bags to clients and pets in the practice. 

There was a separate raffle for staff to win a gift card, and all were given a special #AAHADay t-shirt. The t-shirts would normally be the priciest part of the celebration, but a North Shore client who owns a print shop helped out. In addition to leaning on team members and community connections to make the #AAHADay celebration a success, Kuras recommends giving yourself time to plan ahead—and looking at AAHA’s Publicity Toolbox to gather ideas. 

“I saw that someone used AAHA bandanas as banners around their table, I thought that was great!” she said. “Coming up with the ideas is the hardest part! Executing the ideas is laborious, but thinking of the ideas is more stressful.”

Always held on July 22, AAHA-accredited Hospital Day is celebrated each year to show appreciation for veterinary teams who do the hard work to uphold the highest standards in medicine, patient care, and practice management. AAHA-accredited members can  download free social media posts at aaha.org/publicity. 

Here’s a look at some other #AAHADay celebrations in 2021!



Courtesy of Arizona Animal Wellness Center

Second-place winner Arizona Animal Wellness Center in Gilbert, Arizona also posted on their Facebook account all week leading up to AAHA Day, and included quotes from the veterinary team. Dr. Paige Cooper, AWWC, DVM, said: 

“For me, being part of an AAHA-accredited hospital means being surrounded by a group of people who want to be held to the highest standard of care for the patient, the hospital, equipment, and medical procedures. It allows us to establish a level of trust between our pet owners that value that their fur babies will always have the best possible provided care. As a pet owner myself, I would expect nothing less than the standards required to meet the accreditation to be an AAHA hospital. With AAHA I know that in return I can provide the utmost care for the patients and clients of Arizona Animal Wellness Center.”


Courtesy of Panorama Village Animal Hospital

Panorama Village Animal Hospital, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada was one of two practices who tied for third place in the AAHA Day contest. In addition to a raffle, t-shirts, and cookies, they also posted to their Facebook with interactive questions for clients, such as “What’s your favorite memory of your furry friend?” 


Courtesy of Community Animal Clinic, Inc.

The other hospital tied for third place was Community Animal Clinic Inc., in Wytheville, Virginia, where they had free shaved ice, custom tie-dye t-shirts, prizes, and giveaways. 

Elsewhere on #AAHADay . . . 



Courtesy of Moorpark Veterinary Hospital

It was a family affair for April Heitkamp, who works as a practice manager at Moorpark Veterinary Hospital in Moorpark, California, who posted: “When my daughter now works with me, our dog is in for wellness and it’s AAHA day. #AAHADay.” 

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Courtesy of Bellalago Veterinary Hospital

Jim Young of Bellalago Veterinary Hospital in Kissimmee, Florida, shared pics of his team dressed in costumes, saying it was “A fun day with an amazing team and some fabulous clients! #AAHADay 


Courtesy of Charleston Animal Hospital

Charleston Animal Hospital posted a video of their team in action with the message: “We had the best day ever! Over 50 spays and neuters, a chihuahua with broken teeth, (radiographs and dental), several TVAR cats (Trap, Vaccinate, Alter and Return), ear tips, a hernia, and much more. We never slow down at Charleston Animal Society! Happy #AAHADay” 


Courtesy of Dundee Animal Hospital

Dundee Animal Hospital in Dundee, Illinois posted: “Dundee Animal Hospital is proudly celebrating being an AAHA-accredited practice since 1975 with some sweets, treats, and fun today! Happy AAHA Day, fellow accredited practices!!! #AAHADay 


Courtesy of Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital

Maranda Ellis James, a veterinary assistant at Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital in Gibraltar, Michigan, posted: “Gibraltar Veterinary Hospital celebrated national AAHA Day today with a bang!! It was a fun day for everyone! We will be raffling baskets off for clients and staff!” 


Courtesy of Greene Animal Hospital

Brittney Stoner-Meadows, practice administrator at Greene Animal Hospital in Memphis, said: “We are proud to celebrate AAHA day, today and every day!” 


Courtesy of Rock Road Animal Hospital

Rock Road Animal Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, has been accredited since 1978 and they celebrated by letting clients spin a prize wheel for treats and toys. 


Courtesy of TimberCreek Veterinary Hospital

TimberCreek Veterinary Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas, got a food truck in honor of their practice’s third AAHA Day. 


Courtesy of Twin Peaks Veterinary Center

Twin Peaks Veterinary Center in Tucson, Arizona, wore red and celebrated their accreditation as a team accomplishment, tagging their post #TwinPeaksFamily. 


Courtesy of Valencia Animal Clinic

Denise Jaramillo, practice manager at Valencia Animal Clinic in Belen, New Mexico, posted that they gave away a bandana to every pet as well as red-themed goodies for their owners. 


Courtesy of West Ridge Animal Hospital

West Ridge Animal Hospital in Greeley, Colorado, snapped photo booth-style photos around the hospital. 


Courtesy of Woodlake Animal Hospital

Woodlake Animal Hospital in Midlothian, Virginia, gave away free ice cream to clients and the team. They also held a fundraiser for local dog park. Owner Leslie Ann Jones, DVM, posted, “SO excited to be offering Free Ice Cream to my team and our clients this afternoon! It’s great to be back to being able to give back…and tonight’s fund-raiser is for our local Dog Park so they can purchase some sun-shades for their fields! #givingback2021 #kindcompassionateandcompletecare #AAHADay”.

Always held on July 22, AAHA-Accredited Hospital Day is celebrated each year to show appreciation for veterinary teams who do the hard work to uphold the highest standards in medicine, patient care, and practice management. AAHA-accredited members can download free social media posts at aaha.org/publicity. 


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