Since the grand opening of Lake Shore Pet Hospital in July 2016, owner and veterinarian Dr. Trevor W. Ashley has strived to make it a place where pets and owners can feel comfortable, welcome, fiscally responsible, safe and, above all, healthy.
Ashley founded Lake Shore Pet Hospital after leaving his job as the chief of staff at a national veterinary chain. The family moved from Elkridge to Pasadena in 2012 because they wanted to live somewhere with more of a community feel.
“[In Pasadena], we really felt like we were more a part of the community. Everyone is friendly and knows everyone; it’s just much more of a neighborhood feel, which is really nice,” Ashley explained.
Ashley said that the close-knit Pasadena community is the perfect spot for his business, as it allows him the opportunity to become the “neighborhood veterinarian.” Ideally, Ashley said, he’d like the people of Pasadena who recognize him to stop him at any time, even outside the hospital, and feel comfortable enough to ask him questions and seek advice about pet care.
Though Ashley is only able to offer guidance for a pet’s health — not treatment — while he is out and about, he is more than capable of providing every service a pet can dream of at his state-of-the-art pet hospital.
Located in a cozy space in Lakeshore Plaza, Lake Shore Pet Hospital offers everything from a full pet surgical suite and a dentistry suite to exam rooms specific to cats and dogs. From the moment pets walk in the door, Ashley ensures that they feel safe and comfortable.
“We have separate cat and dog exam rooms so the cats don’t have to catch the scent of a dog and be afraid of that. We also have pheromone diffusers, which help to reduce cats’ and dogs’ anxiety,” he said. These anxiety relievers make for a better and more fear-free visit for all parties involved – pets, pet parents and for Ashley’s veterinary team.
Ashley strives to make a visit to the vet as simple and as convenient as possible. In addition to his anxiety-reducing practices, Ashely promotes convenience by keeping his practice open on weekends.
“My clients have often expressed to me how appreciative they were that they didn’t have to bring their pet to an emergency clinic on the weekend,” Ashley explained. “We recognized that pets don’t always wait for weekdays to get sick, and that most people work during the week and don’t always have the ability to take time off from work to bring their pets to the vet.”
The practice is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that Ashley is able to spend time at home with his wife and son and four Italian greyhounds, but Lake Shore Pet Hospital does give clients the option to drop their pet off in the morning on days that they are open and pick them up in the afternoon – before the hospital closes – at no additional charge.
Lake Shore Pet Hospital is a sanctuary for pets and their parents looking for a qualified veterinary experience, but the affordability of Lake Shore’s quality care is what Ashley is most proud of. He offers a special “wellness plan” that helps keep customer costs down.
“I recognize that comprehensive veterinary care can be very expensive, and not everyone is prepared for the costs of veterinary care for their pets,” Ashley said. Those unexpected costs can take a toll on a family, so Ashley strives to “do what we can to make it more affordable.”
Those subscribed to a wellness plan pay a monthly fee and in return receive all preventative care at about a 50 percent discount, and unlimited free office visits. The plan is not to be confused with insurance, as it is used to offer preventative care at reduced cost, whereas insurance is only used in the case of an accident or emergency. To make unexpected illness or injury more affordable, clients who have their pet on a wellness plan receive an additional discount on any services that are not included in the plan.
“I try to talk to the client, while they’re here, about what their pet needs, and my pet nurses show them, ‘This is what it would cost if it was paid for it all separately.’ Those that are committed to having us provide all the services that are recommended receive the services at nearly half the cost, and they can spread the costs out over the course of the year,” Ashley explained.
At the end of the year, customers will have paid monthly installments just as they would with insurance, but, unlike insurance in many cases, the customer on the wellness plan will have received treatments and proactive care for their pet.
Affordable but quality pet care is important to Ashley, as he understands how important affordability is to families. In fact, he is so dedicated to providing affordable pet care that he and his wife established a charitable trust for the pets of Pasadena. “Basically, it’s designed it possible to treat pets with families who aren’t in a situation where they can afford care for their pets,” Ashley said.
The trust is funded by donations made by current clients who wish to give to those less fortunate than themselves, and Ashley plans to match any contributions that are made. “At the end of the year, if I’m successful, I want to be able to share that success,” he said. “A portion of my profits each year will go into the fund.”
In addition to charitable contributions to his own clients, Ashley is dutifully committed to the community around him.
Although the business has been open only for a few months, Ashley has already employed a Chesapeake High School student, sponsored his son’s soccer team — the 9U Purple Hurricanes — and donated to the Bodkin Elementary School color run. As his business builds a bigger footprint in the area, he hopes to give more to local animal rescue shelters and get involved with the Friends of Downs Park. “I really enjoy taking my pets to the park, and I know they have one pickup station there, so I’d like to help provide them throughout the park,” Ashley said of his charitable ambitions.
Moving forward, Ashley hopes to build his workforce to be open seven days a week by adding another veterinarian other than himself. “I honestly don’t like the fact that we’re closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so as soon as we have enough clients, the plan is to hire another doctor and be open seven days a week,” he said.
Until then, Ashley will continue to offer his dentistry suite, ultrasound and digital X-ray, in-house diagnostic lab, pet training and preventative care treatment to all local pets, and provide excellent care to those in need of treatment.
“I just can’t wait to see all the pets and pet families of Pasadena and show them what kind of care we can provide for them,” Ashley remarked.
Lake Shore Pet Hospital is located at 4193 Mountain Road in Lakeshore Plaza. The clinic is open from 9:00am until 7:00pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 9:00am until 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, or to set an appointment, call 410-317-2028 or visit www.lakeshorepethospital.com.