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Gayest & Greatest: Pets

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Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists provides top-notch care around the clock. 

As anyone who has used the services of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (GCVS) knows, they are as good as it gets in pet medicine. Because the hospital is open 24 hours, many of Houston’s animal emergencies land on their doorstep. And it’s no wonder this remarkable team of professionals—people who save pets’ lives around the clock—took first place in OutSmart’s Gayest & Greatest Awards for Pet Emergency Care in Houston.

Situated near the Galleria, the hospital suffered severe flooding during Tropical Storm Harvey, so that location remains closed. Most of the hospital’s services are now available at 3800 Southwest Freeway, near Lakewood Church.

GCVS is one of the largest veterinary hospitals in the U.S. The spectrum of specialties practiced here is breathtaking, with 14 different departments including cardiology, dermatology, neurology, and oncology. There are 58 doctors under its umbrella, including 27 board-certified specialists, and more than 175 caring support staff.

The mission is simple: to help families and their pets through the application of the highest-quality, most comprehensive care available for companion animals.

The professionals at this clinic also understand how deeply we love our animals. Especially in the LGBTQ community, we often view them as family members or children. We suffer terribly when they become ill. GCVS moves mountains with their medical expertise as well as their kindness toward clients. This kind of compassionate service can make a world of difference at a difficult time.

Salise Shuttlesworth is the executive director of the Friends For Life animal shelter, and knows a great deal about pet care. She and her team of volunteers cared for all the pets at the George R. Brown Convention Center when it was turned into a city-wide shelter for Harvey survivors and their beloved animals. Almost 700 animals arrived in the first 24 hours, and another 1,500 were processed after that.

Like other veterinarians in Houston, many GCVS staff members volunteered to help following Harvey. One who worked with Shuttlesworth’s army at the downtown shelter left the team speechless.

“Dr. Katie Hedrick, with GCVS, was one of our volunteer vets, and one night she was presented with a very ill kitten. The kitten was dehydrated, malnourished and barely clinging to life.

“Dr. H. inserted a catheter directly into the kitten’s bone to save her,” Shuttlesworth adds. “It is a difficult catheter placement in the best of circumstances. Dr. H. was cool, collected and—by the light of a cellphone on a folding table—made it happen on the first try. It was beautiful.”

Did it save the kitten? Today she is happy, playful, and healthy. The shelter team named her Oreo. She is pictured above and available for adoption at Friends for Life. —Kim Hogstrom

Best Doggie Day Care

Molly’s Mutt House
Finalists: John Andrews, The Best Little Dog House, Dogtopia, The Pet Spa

Best Place to Adopt a Pet

Houston SPCA
Finalists: BARC, Citizens for Animal Protection, Friends For Life

Best Female Veterinarian

Hilary Granson/Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital (tie)
Danielle Rosser/West Alabama Animal Clinic (tie)
Finalists: Christie Cornelius, and Catherine Powell

Best Male Veterinarian

Richard Clive/Midtown Animal Clinic
Finalists: David Campbell, Douglas S. Dawson, and Larry White

Best Place to Buy Pet Supplies

PetSmart
Finalists: Amazon, Molly’s Mutt House, PetCo

Best Pet Grooming Service

Molly’s Mutt House
Finalists: Best Little Dog House in Texas, Heights Grooming, John Andrews The Pet Spa

Best Pet Emergency Care Center

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists
Finalists: Urban Animal Veterinary Hospital, VERGI Houston

Best Pet Walking and Pet-Sitting Service

Mary Puppins Pet Care
Finalists: Shelby Kibodeaux, Wag!

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Kim Hogstrom

Kim Hogstrom is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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