AHNA: Changing to Meet the Needs of our Community for 34 Years

We have some very exciting news and we wanted you, our wonderful clients, to be the first to know!

Animal Hospital of North Asheville is adding new facilities in the same location to allow even better care for your pets! Construction is starting this week, and the end result will include new capabilities, less invasive diagnostics and treatments, reduced patient hospitalization time, enhanced patient comfort and so much more.  This continues our lifelong goal of offering the latest affordable technologies – many not available in this region. 

The new hospital, in our current location, coming in the Spring of 2012

The architectural firm for the addition/renovation is Glazer Architecture. They have been wonderfully easy to work with and have given extreme attention to detail. Dr. Betsy Thompson said, “Due to the problems that we experienced during our last building project, Dave, Warren  and I were really hesitant about embarking on another addition. I can’t say enough about how stress-free Chris Rogers and Patti Glazer have made this project. They have such creative ideas and constantly amaze us. They really delve into the details to be sure that no problems will occur! Also, the fact that we have such a forward-thinking architectural group doing our design work is making this project very exciting. This new building will certainly allow us to set the bar for state-of-the-art care. Additionally, having Beverly-Grant as our contracting firm, specifically Henry Watts and Dan Taylor, further makes the building process enjoyable. All these people are the kind of people who really care that every detail be done correctly and that the building exceeds our expectations.”

Just some of the things we are bringing for your pet:

  • Totally separate facilities for cat patients and dog patients to decrease stress in our dear cat patients!
  • A very special “quiet cat treatment room” so that our cat patients can remain calm for procedures like blood pressure assessment, catheter placements, and blood drawing.
  • Updated ICU units (separate ones for dogs and cats) for constant attention of critical cases by certified technicians
  • Intensive Care Pods for more comfortable family visitation right in the treatment area with constant observation and access for technicians and doctors
  • More space and comfort for families visiting hospitalized patients or accompanying patients having minor procedures. You need to be comfortable, too!
  • More spacious and more comfortable quarters for hospitalized patients - more like what they are used to at home (there will even be TV!)
  • A larger generator so that life-sustaining equipment seamlessly continues during power outages
  • A Special Procedures Room for endoscopy, otoscopy, rhinoscopy, and other advanced procedures. These are things we never dreamed of being able to do here when we opened years ago.
  • An additional suite for Dental Surgery. All the new monitors and warming units take up space, and we cannot keep up with the needs of our patients with our one, small dental suite
  • A larger, up-dated Surgery. Again, with so many monitors, warmers, lights and all sorts of equipment, we need a larger room for Surgery. Especially now when doing laparoscopic surgery the towers take up so much space that there is hardly room for the surgery team!
  • A larger, more comfortable Recovery Room for close monitoring of patients while they recover from anesthetic procedures
  • A new kitchen/food preparation room for preparing patient food according to their likes, with a dishwasher for sanitizing bowls
  • A larger, more up-to-date Isolation Ward
  • A comfortable Grief Room with couches and chairs that provides privacy for families facing end-of-life issues for a beloved pet family member
  • A learning center to bring you classes about all sorts of pet health care, also our staff of 45 can meet here for our education meetings on Tuesdays
  • Enough storage space for all the supplies and pharmaceuticals (more and more available every year!) that we must keep in stock and ready for when your pet needs them
  • Energy recovery HVAC System to improve heating and cooling while decreasing energy consumption thus reducing cost
  • More windows throughout for enhanced natural lighting for patient feeling of well-being

In keeping with what we have always done, we are continuing to bring the community state-of-the-art veterinary care. Drs. Dave and Betsy Thompson built our original hospital building in 1977 (see photos). The building was small (1500 square feet), but for a 1977 animal hospital, it was spacious, and it was much nicer than average. Unlike other veterinary hospitals of that time, we made our wards as nice as our waiting room. We want the best for our patients, and our goal has always been to create a hospital that welcomed owners to be with their pets throughout the building, not just in the waiting and exam rooms as was the custom in 1977. From the beginning, it was obvious that our patients were happiest when someone from their family was with them and that the patient benefited if we worked in partnership with the family. 

Dr. Betsy and Dr. Dave in 1981 during the second addition to the hospital. Dr. Betsy was pregnant with their first child at the time. 

Our hospital was state-of-the-art for 1977: we had equipment that other hospitals did not have.  In order to remain a state-of-the-art of hospital, we have constantly replaced and added new equipment as better options became available. Having the best equipment can mean the difference between life and death for your pet! Although we have expanded our building twice since 1977, there is just not enough room for all the equipment and the care that a state-of-the-art hospital provides today.

We want you to know that we are not expanding in order to serve more patients – just to serve them better! 

We are not getting more expensive for each service - just better in that we can continue to offer more life-saving procedures! Many of the things we offer actually save you money! For instance, we have an Internal Medicine specialist on staff so that you do not have to travel out of town for specialist care. We have overnight shifts for nursing care of our hospitalized patients so that you do not have the expense and difficulty of transferring your pet for overnight nursing care when they are sick or recovering from surgery. We are open every weekday evening until 8:30 PM which eliminates many “came home from work and found my pet sick” emergency trips to REACH. Everything that we do is done to provide better, more up-to-date care to our patients and this expansion is just more of what we have always done. 

Carla, Mary, and Dr. Dave Thompson in 1980 - They are all still here!

The building is going to look different, but the people will be the same! Drs Dave and Betsy Thompson have been here since the very beginning, Dr. Riggle since 1981, Dr. Plankenhorn since 1987, Dr. Earley since 1998, Drs. Wootten and Duncan since 2002, and Dr. Golden our Internal Medicine Specialist, since 2010.  On average, our staff members have each been here for over 9 years! We will still have the same caring veterinarians and the same excellent, compassionate and experienced staff that we have always had! The building will look different this time next year, but you will find the same familiar faces inside.

Don’t worry, we have it all planned so that we can continue to provide the best of care without interruption during construction, and we will be providing you with progress reports and pictures as the building takes shape. This is just so exciting!!

Dr. Dave Thompson and Dr. Warren Riggle during the second addition. 

So now you know the reason that Drs. Dave and Betsy did not plant flowers in the yard for the first time in 34 years! We’ll make up for it next year!


Elaine and I have always loved and appreciated the good people at AHNA. You have earned this advancement and I'm glad. I have been to animal care facilities that did not do a good job and it is discouraging. You all are a pleasure to know and work with. May the Lord continue to bless you.
Peter Jones (and Elaine)

This is a wonderful facility. Is there any chance you will put in a doggie day care in the future?

Doggie day care is wonderful for pets, but just as we do not offer boarding of well pets, we do not plan to offer day care because our total focus is providing what is best for our sick patients and those recovering from surgery. We are very particular that our building is always quiet and calm and that 100% of our well educated staff’s focus is on a small number of sick patients so that all are completely catered to and receive the best of care. So while we are flattered that you would like us to offer doggie day care, we have to decline because our total focus is always what is best for our sick or recovering patients.

I chose AHNA for my pets by chance when I moved to Asheville in 1986. I happened to live close by. I'm so glad I found you! All of the doctors are wonderful, as are the caring support staff. You all have done a great job for my furry family members over the years. Thank you!

Your expansion project is absolutely epic! It is obvious that minds were working late into many nights considering the very best plan for the new hospital. The sketch of the new building is lovely, but more importantly, the wonderful features within will mean so much to the doctors, staff, patients, and families. We have been clients since 1986 and have always known that AHNA is unmatched, and this new project is proof of the superb vision that has continued since 1977.
Good wishes to you for the construction months ahead, and we all look forward to the spring of 2012!

Thank you, Terrie. We are looking forward to the Spring of 2012 too!

Congratulations! What an exciting time. And I love the pictures of Dave and Betsy from the 80's