San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS) was established in 1997 by local internal medicine veterinary specialist Dr. Alan Stewart, along with veterinary dermatologist Dr. Carlo Vitale and holistic specialist Dr. Cheryl Schwartz. At the time, their long-term goal was to offer the best in Western and Eastern medicine, and they spearheaded the first multispecialty veterinary hospital in San Francisco.
Over the years, SFVS grew, adding new specialists, doctors and staff. The practice welcomed internal medicine specialists Dr. Craig Maretzki and Dr. Jamie Anderson along with oncologist Dr. Carlos Rodriguez. In keeping with the commitment to provide the highest quality of care, the practice also was pleased to announce the addition of surgeon Dr. Philip Watt.
At this time, the practice was housed on California Street in the Laurel Heights area of San Francisco, on the second floor of the Presidio Way Veterinary Hospital. SFVS remained here for five years until growing pains would push us to find a space where our practice services could expand to meet referring doctors' needs.
The hallmark of SFVS development occurred in August 2003, when, with a staff of nine doctors and 20 support personnel, the practice moved to 600 Alabama Street in the Mission/Potrero Hill District. The historical building, which once housed a renowned manufacturer of ornamental hardwood floors and was the former site of Fredericksburg Bottling Works, has many desirable features, including over 11,000 square feet of space with exposed brick walls and wood beams.
The vision was to create a warm, inviting hospital with calming earth tones, while retaining its urban aesthetic and state-of-the-art functionality. Our efforts related to the practice space are recognized daily by our patients and clients and by the annual Veterinary Economics magazine Hospital Design of the Year Award, receiving a notation of merit.
In October 2004, the hospital announced the addition of our emergency services practice. The after-hours practice extends services for patients, ensuring care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Another big development in 2004 was the first-ever intern class at SFVS. Each year, the practice recruits six full-time interns from universities across the United States through an intern-matching program. The program provides a unique opportunity to rotate through all the specialties, giving our interns a learning experience unparalleled in the Bay Area. Several of our interns have gone on to residency programs in specialties such as dermatology and emergency medicine.
In 2010, SFVS merged with VCA Specialty Animal Hospitals. Now known as VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists, our doctors and staff are proud to continue our legacy of excellence in high-quality veterinary care with additional, enhanced resources.
Through exceptional service, continued innovation, compassion for our clients and patients, and hard work, we look forward to serving the Bay Area community for many years to come.