History of Bay Road Animal Hospial

The other day I was remembering when I started at Bay Road Animal Hospital. It struck me that we are the oldest continually functioning veterinary hospital in Sarasota county. When I arrived for an interview in March of 1974, there were only a handful of veterinarians in the county. The first two hospitals before Bay Road were owned by Dr. Butler and Dr. Thomas. Dr. Butler had a clinic on East Avenue in downtown Sarasota, and Dr. Thomas had a hospital on Tamiami Trail.

Dr. France opened Bay Road Animal Hospital at 1712 Bay Road in 1962. The hospital is still in operation at the same location. Dr. France practiced here until 1970 when my mentor, and eventual partner, Dr. Bill Greene bought the hospital and practice. Dr. France had a mixed practice and would see both large and small animals. Dr. Greene had practiced for years in the Philadelphia area, and brought 20th century veterinary medicine to Sarasota. He focused on skin problems, which were (and still are) the number one condition that we treat in cats and dogs.

Although Dr. Greene drove and raced Standardbred horses, he focused on treating small animals. Dr. Butler eventually retired and closed his practice, and Dr. Thomas went on to a state inspector job when his son took over the practice. The building his son built in front of the old practice now houses an unrelated specialty practice.

I worked with, and learned from, Dr. Greene until 1980 when he retired. We went from a little country practice to a 4+ doctor practice with two locations. There have been major changes in the practice of veterinary medicine through the years. One thing we have never changed is Dr. Greene’s basic premise: Always do the exam, followed by diagnostics, and then treat based on these results. In future articles, I will share with you some of the changes that have greatly improved outcomes in many cases.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

David J. Smith, VMD

Bay Road Animal Hospitals