VCA opens animal urgent care hospital in Fort Collins


Collegian | Courtesy photo from VCA Animal Hospitals Urgent Care

Miles Buchan, Staff Reporter

Larimer County gained another valuable veterinary resource last month with the opening of a new VCA Animal Hospitals Urgent Care in Fort Collins. Intended for nonemergency situations impacting a pet that requires more immediate attention, this space expands owners’ access to health care for their pets.

Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, the urgent care center is located at 4900 South College Ave., Suite 110, directly next to the VCA Fort Collins Animal Hospital’s primary location. To schedule an appointment, patrons can call or go to their website, where they can join a virtual waiting room with real-time wait estimates.


This urgent care facility is the second one to be built focusing on VCA’s broader initiative, which is to build similar facilities across the country.

“The urgent care concept was born out of the innovation group — a group of hospitals that were put together to explore new ways to approach some of the challenges that the profession is facing at large,” said Dr. Zander Bennett, vice president for VCA Urgent Care Operations and CSU alumnus.

Joseph Campbell, director of external communications for VCA Animal Hospitals, explained some of the current challenges impacting the veterinary field, which have increased the need for facilities such as the new urgent care.

“We’re seeing this once-in-a-lifetime mix of challenges in the field of veterinary medicine driven by three trends,” Campbell said. “Millions of animals were adopted, pet owners (who spent more time at home) would notice things that prompt calls to the doctor and there has been a significant shortage of qualified veterinary professionals to care for these patients.”

“We have primary care for you, and if we think maybe that’s not the right place for you, then we can direct you to our urgent care. If we think maybe that’s not the right place for you, then we can direct you to our emergency care.” -Dr. Kizzy English, medical director of VCA Animal Hospitals Urgent Care in Fort Collins

“In 2021 we cared for more pets than any other year we have data for — more than 4.5 million pets across our North American hospitals,” Campbell said to contextualize the situation in terms of years during the pandemic. “That’s nearly 500,000 more than the next busiest year.”

Further describing the urgent care initiative, Bennett said, “VCA has been acquiring hospitals for the last 36 years, and the urgent care hospital that we opened in (Los Angeles) last year was the first hospital that we built and opened from the ground up, and it gives us the opportunity to do things a little differently when we get to start with a blank slate.”

Dr. Kizzy English, medical director of VCA Urgent Care in Fort Collins and CSU alumna, started her career at VCA six years ago as an associate veterinarian and is familiar with the negative feelings that come with turning away a patient.

While discussing this new urgent care hospital, English said, “It was so great to me to be able to say that we have this service where we can see those pets on a same-day basis.”

“Sometimes you don’t really know exactly what your pet needs,” English said. “And that’s why it’s so great that we are comprehensive in our service. We have primary care for you, and if we think maybe that’s not the right place for you, then we can direct you to our urgent care. If we think maybe that’s not the right place for you, then we can direct you to our emergency care.”


Explaining VCA’s emphasis on comprehensive care, Bennett said, “You have the opportunity to provide better medical outcomes because you’ve got better continuity of care, … and being able to provide consistency in the service offerings is something that takes away some of the anxiety.”

In a concise description of the urgent care hospital, Bennett said, “The things that we offer in urgent care every single day (are) going to be answers to owners, meaning information on ‘What’s going on?’ and ‘What are my choices?’ and then, for pets, relieving any pain or something that they’re experiencing.”

The VCA Urgent Care is a resource for pet patients and owners alike and valuable to veterinarians and other animal health care professionals.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done for the associate experience, for the individuals working in our hospital,” Bennett said. “(And proud of) creating an environment where those associates have a place that they can go to work every day to get a tremendous amount of reward from what they do and work at a pace that’s sustainable for them in their careers.”

Reach Miles Buchan at or on Twitter @BuchanMiles.