Wednesday, July 09, 2014
(Editor’s Note: WestportNow today inaugurates a new occasional series, WN Spotlight, featuring people and places that make our town special.)
By Larissa Lieberson
From the moment your paws step into Poster Animal Hospital at 1677 Post Road East, you can sense the joy only animal lovers know. Dogs wag their tails excitedly, and employees and pet owners mingle like old friends.
This kindred feeling of community is one of the main reasons this mom and pop practice has been in town so long. The animal hospital is currently celebrating 30 years in Westport.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” says Bette Demartini, a client of 20 years.
Animal lover Joan Poster, who earned her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, first opened Poster Animal Hospital in 1984.
The Poster family lives on a farm in Fairfield where they have close to 200 animals, and Poster is also an active member of Save Our Strays and offers free services to Westport and Fairfield police for their K-9 corps.
She currently treats more than 500 pets ranging from dogs, to birds, to backyard chickens.
Although large corporations now own many veterinary practices, Poster wishes to remain independent and run the business her own way.
“We don’t worry about the competition,” said Poster. “We plan to keep our customers simply by practicing good medicine.”
There have been a lot of shifts in veterinary medicine. A big change is that many emergency hospitals have board certified specialists. Therefore, Poster believes it may be better for an animal to stay at an emergency hospital overnight.
“We still do emergencies, but some calls are referred to either Cornell University veterinary specialists in Stamford or Newtown veterinary specialists,” she said. “However, if it sounds like we can handle the issue ourselves, such as diarrhea or limping, we will come in.”
One of Poster’s toughest emergencies was when she had to take care of a Newfoundland, which was twice her size, which had a back injury.
She said that perseverance and an unconditional love for animals are what have kept her going to the point that Poster has never even considered retiring.
“Saving a life is one of the best feelings out there,” said Poster.
She remembers a time when a dog came in with no heartbeat and not breathing. Poster pushed acupuncture needle in the middle of the dog’s nose, and it revived.
“Poster has a real homey feel,” said Jasmine Scales, hospital secretary. “Everybody’s main goal is to keep the animals healthy and the customers happy.”
Posted 07/09/14 at 10:30 AM
Congratulations and most of all thanks to Dr. Poster for running such a wonderful office and hospital for all these years!
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