There are a few stories that remind Dr. Patrick Choyce, owner of All Pets Animal Hospital in Katy, of the special bond between humans and animals and why he became a veterinarian.
"Once a man who loved his 9-foot boa constrictor came in very worried because his snake had swallowed a teddy bear whole," Choyce said. "I examined the snake and sure enough, he had a large bulge around his middle. We did surgery on him, sewed him back up and sent him home with his owner."
For more than 30 years, Choyce has practiced veterinary medicine—26 of those in the Katy area. In April 2011, Choyce and his team moved to a new building at 24221 Kingsland Blvd. and began offering care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The clinic sees dogs, cats and exotic pets—including 9-foot boa constrictors—birds and pet pigs. They also treat FFA livestock.
"I think one thing that sets us apart is the fact that we are staffed around the clock," Choyce said. "Previously, there was a veterinarian and a nurse on call, but this is one of the only Katy locations that is ready and available all the time for anything that might happen with animals."
On average, the practice sees between 50–70 animals per day, including animals boarding at the facility. In addition to around the clock care, the practice offers pet rehabilitation, grooming, house calls and special informational events for pet owners.
The facility is still a work in progress with room to grow, Choyce said. It has taken several years to recruit additional veterinarians and build the hospital's resources. The staff can now use a variety of advanced equipment for diagnostics, including ultrasound machines. There is also a collection of specialized rehabilitation equipment at the facility, including a water-filled treadmill about the size of a small hot tub.
Choyce said the clinic is accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association, which only about 14 percent of practices have. This accreditation sets the highest small animal veterinary hospital standards in the world, he said. The accreditation is only a reflection of the staff's knowledge and passion, he said.
"A lot of veterinarians won't see pet pigs or exotic animals because it takes a lot of knowledge," Choyce said. "My staff and I try to set the bar high for our practice."
The staff at the clinic also maintains a collegial relationship with the other clinics in the area so that they can be a resource in emergencies.
"There is a need for a 24/7/365 animal hospital, and we are able to provide that," Choyce said.
The practice has seen 25 percent growth in its business during the last year and an improved and enhanced training program for its staff.
But at the base of the clinic's growth is a keen passion for animals, Choyce said. That passion is evidenced by a mattress tucked away in a corner of the empty second floor above the clinic. There, in the unfinished space meant to accommodate future expansion, veterinarians spend their nights on call, waiting to be awoken in the case of an emergency.
Choyce, who began his career working at a veterinary clinic in high school, sees this life as his calling—the 24-hour clinic and the ability to educate pet owners are the products of that calling.
"I am really passionate about seeing people have great relationships with their pets. Through a thorough and advanced animal hospital, I can play a part in that," Choyce said.
All Pets Animal Hospital
24221 Kingsland Blvd.
Katy (281) 579-7083