VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center

See what people are saying about us.

We value feedback from our clients. Please share your story with us by writing a testimonial.


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  • Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Palmisano and his staff

    -Ken and Nancy from Salem, CT
    Pet Name: Dog Tess

    Our golden retriever, Tess, had TPLO surgery performed by Dr. Palmisano for a torn cruciate ligament. I had looked online for a surgeon who had the DACVS accreditation and even though Dr. Palmisano was over an hour away from our home, it was the correct decision to make. Our golden had lost the use of her back leg and we could tell it was aging her quickly. Dr. Palmisano took us in right away for a consultation and performed surgery the same day. Now, 10 weeks after the surgery, we are truly amazed that our 7 year old golden is behaving like a pup again with NO TRACE of a limp. Our heartfelt thanks to a highly skilled Dr. Palmisano and to his support staff.

    Dr. Palmisano has a very pleasant yet confident demeanor. We can't thank him enough for his care of Tess. Also we were very appreciative of Stella's expertise and complete knowledge of the procedure. She took the time to answer one of my concerned calls. I also called one Sunday after the surgery, and spoke with an assistant surgeon, because I was concerned with how the incision looked. I wish I had remembered her name, because she was excellent and very re-assuring.

  • You Are Simply The Best

    -Kim Taronji from Stamford, CT
    Pet Name: Quigly

    Quigs and I faced another major hurdle in her senior health and of course, Dr. Kitrell and the amazing surgical team of Dr. Palmisano (surgeon), Stella (surgery liason), and Dr. Lacassagne (surgery aftercare) made the entire experience stress free leaving me feeling confident in my team of doctors! Quigs needed a parathyroid gland removed that was over-stimulating her endocrine system which, left untreated, would have lead to life-threatening problems. As always, Dr. Kitrell diagnosed it in an instant. She took the time to explain EVERYTHING and I mean everything! She highly recommended our surgeon Dr. Palmisano. I did my research and she was 100% on target. He graduated from the top vet school at the top of his class! You don't get better than that! I met him the day of surgery and he put all my fears and concerns to rest, answering all my questions as well. Stella was lovely, calling me with updates and adding her comic relief when I needed a good laugh. Dr. Lacassagne handled all the aftercare calls and visits and always made us feel important. All in all, this team was exceptional and ran their staff better than most human hospitals. I was so impressed with all of them. Unfortunately I recently had to relocate to Florida and was worried I wouldn't have the kind of team available for my pets going forward. Dr. Kitrell to the rescue again! She and her assistant Lori researched the area I was moving into and provided me with a list of highly recommended facilities to choose from. I love VCA Norwalk and everyone that works there but no one holds a candle to Dr. Kitrell! Thank you Dr. Kitrell for being an amazing vet and support system! You will be greatly missed!

  • Thank you for your continued care over the years

    -Jennifer Hillgen-Santa from Stratford, CT
    Pet Name: Max, Mitzi, Mattie, and now Marshall

    Pet Image We have been VREC clients for the last 5 years. When I say clients, I mean we have had the pleasure of having some wonderful dogs who have had some unfortunate and convoluted health issues that required sometimes near weekly visits to manage. Sometimes the appointments were perhaps more for us owners trying to grasp everything than for the pet at times. We have always found the facility clean, the staff professional and very friendly, and the doctors knowledgeable and accessible. Over the years we had the good fortune to find and get to work closely with Dr. Dianne Kittrell. We were so lucky to have found her in our frustrations of working through canine diabetes. She is a huge asset to VREC, a brilliant and caring doctor and without a doubt saved our dog Max's life, not once, but several times. Without hesitation, every time I hear of someone complaining or frustrated with a sick pet I recommend her wholeheartedly.

    Through Dr. Kittrell's diligence and patience she will get to the button of the issues and flesh out how to best care for the pet and walk the client through all the steps. She has been amazing despite my million and one questions as we battled diabetes, a horrific bout of pancreatitis that left us with a feeding tube for 4 months, cataracts, hyper osmalic diabetic states, and ultimately she found and diagnosed our worst fear hemangiosarcoma. Without her diligence and foresight it would likely have been missed and would not have given us the opportunity to turn a 3 week prognosis into the most courageous and valiant 5 1/2 month battle with such a deadly cancer. She bought us more time with our beloved Max and for that we will always be grateful and forever have faith in and trust her guidance. Max was not the easiest dog to work with, he sort of took going to the vet as sport and many veterinarians were afraid to work with him as at the vets office he showed fear aggression that we never saw at home. Dr. Kittrell and Max had some sort of amazing relationship - she could muzzle and un-muzzle him and he was completely okay with her and that. His judge of character meant a lot to me over the years as he never allowed another vet to work so closely with him. We had 3 Miniature Schnauzers Maximillian, Mitzi and Matilda and as they have all aged the have all come to know Dr. Kittrell very well. Unfortunately our beloved Max succumbed to cancer for which we will be forever sad. But, I know without hesitation that Dr. Kittrell saved and prolonged his life over the years on several occasions so that he could carry on and enjoy every last second his body could fight.

    We have always been pleased with the care and professionalism at the VREC facility and without hesitation would recommend them for their special care and phenomenal technology/tools.

    As our girls age and our newest family member finds trouble we know we are in good hands when we visit VREC and most specifically Dr. Kittrell. Thank You!

  • Gracie

    -Michele Reinecke from Norwalk, CT
    Pet Name: Gracie

    Pet Image Wonderful people, with the most caring hearts! They truly understand the depth of love parents have for their furry babies. Gracie was first taken in about a week ago at 2am for getting excessively sick to her stomach. Several tests were performed, but the problem could not be located. After four days of her getting sick, Gracie was getting worse and we were losing her. Her liver and kidney function took a negative turn, not to mention the lethargy and excessive dehydration our baby suffered. If it wasn't for the team at the VCA Hospital in Norwalk, and their quick thinking and sound, spot-on judgement calls, we would not have our Gracie. A foreign object was found in her intestine and she is on the way to recovery!
    From the front desk staff, to the triage techs, to the surgeons and doctors, they are all top notch! I have the utmost respect for them, especially in their understanding of not only the emotional toll these issues take, but the financial burden as well. They truly put their patients and families first and that is invaluable to us. Anyone who is even considering a second opinion, don't. Thank you for saving our Gracie. While thank you will never seem like enough for all of your care and concern, please know how special you all are to my family and I.
    Norwalk, CT

  • The best

    -Cecilia Shea from Southport, CT
    Pet Name: Whiskey

    Pet Image The 2 incidents when I've had to bring my dog Whiskey to this hospital were both traumatic occasions, one when he was hit by a car and another time when he swallowed a foreign object and became obstructed. In both times, he received the best care and the staff were all very sensitive and caring. The expertise and technology of this Center is even better than some "people" hospital! I can't say enough on how much I appreciate what you've done for us. Thank you so much for saving Whiskey's life, not once but twice!

  • In Time of Need

    -Annette Suares from Norwalk, CT
    Pet Name: CODY

    Pet Image We had to visit in a dire need for answers to our Cody who was in much distress. The Dr was super wonderful even though the DX was Grim, she helped with bereavement decisions and eased our fears, how wonderful. The Dr was with her expertise and knowledge of medicine, I and my Family Thank you very much

  • My dog Mia

    -Philomena from Rye Brook, NY

    They have the BEST vets and staff at this location! They were very compassionate and caring during the time my dog Mia was ill. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do about her illness but just to know that everyone truly cared was very comforting. Thank you for everything you do!!

  • Impressed with your care and compassion

    -Julie Higgins from Wilton, CT
    Pet Name: Ben

    I visited multiple times over two months during the summer of 2015, after my little dog, Ben, a shih Tzu mix, had been diagnosed with a heart tumor. Each time we were seen quickly, and the doctors showed great compassion and professionalism. Thank you, VCA, for all you did to make Ben and me as comfortable as possible during the final weeks of his life.

  • Saved my best friend from the brink...

    -Courtney from Lakeville, CT
    Pet Name: Belle

    Words can't express my gratitude for the level of care my then 8 year old Cocker Spaniel received when we discovered she had a 100% gallbladder mucocele and needed emergency surgery... Come to find out, she would not have made it another month. We are a year out and Bella is looking, feeling, and acting better than she ever has! She loves running and playing with our other dog, which she never did before and we no longer have to worry. The staff was great and treated her as if she were their own. Many thanks. Courtney & Bella

  • Entire team was wonderful and saved her life

    -Marcie from Westport, CT
    Pet Name: Dog Betty

    Betty was brought in with serious puncture wound to chest following a fight with housemate. I called ahead and within a minute of arriving, a tech came out to the parking lot to carry Betty directly to the ER. That meant a lot to me, as she started bleeding heavily when I took her out of the car, and by then I was no longer keeping it together emotionally. The entire team was wonderful and saved her life. Dr. Castro was wonderful, as was the receptionist on duty. I forget her name now, but she was very warm and compassionate in the aftermath of the worst moment of my entire life. Less than two weeks later, she is doing great (stitches still in).

    The doctor that treated my other dog (Barnaby), Dr. Easton, took the time to help me clean my own puncture wounds, which I had ignored up until then. Definitely not part of her job description to treat humans, and it meant a lot to me.


General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

24/7/365, if your pet has a medical emergency, you can find us at the following address:

VCA Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center
123 West Cedar Street, Norwalk, CT 06854
Telephone: 203-854-9960

Click here for directions to our location.

VCA Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center is a fully-equipped 24/7/365 emergency hospital serving pets and their people in Norwalk and the surrounding communities in Fairfield County and southwestern Connecticut. If you suspect your pet is having a medical crisis, our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to assist you.

Our Emergency and Critical Care units can assist in all of the following situations requiring immediate medical attention: Auto accidents, traumatic injuries (fractures, bites, burns, lacerations, wounds), respiratory emergencies (choking, difficulty breathing), vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty urinating/defecating, shock, loss of consciousness, dizziness, staggering, tremors, seizures, paralysis, toxic reactions, poison ingestion, labor and delivery problems, blood in urine or feces, swollen, hard, painful abdomen, heatstroke.