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Coronavirus/Covid-19 Update

Updated 23/07/2020:

Where appropriate, we are now seeing less-urgent cases when we have appointment slots available.

We are currently very busy, so please bear in mind that we still have to prioritise the most urgent cases.

We ask that clients maintain a 2 metre social distance and wear a face covering at all times when at the practice.


If you feel you have a genuine emergency (examples of which can be found here), please call the Practice on 01727 854787.

You may be offered a face to face appointment or a Telephone Consultation




Appointments that we have agreed to:

- Prior to coming to the Practice the Veterinary Surgeon might telephone you to gain your pet's history relating to its current problem. You may also be requested to send information via email including videos/photographs as necessary. Please email this information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

- If you have parked in the car park, please signal to us at the reception desk or return to your car and call to let us know which car you are in. On no account do you come into the practice.

- If you have walked, please wait in the car park and call, or signal, to us to let us know you have arrived.

- The Veterinary Surgeon will either telephone you to discuss your pet's condition or discuss this outside if they haven't already done so. It is imperative that you maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the vet or any other member of staff.

- The Veterinary Surgeon will collect the pet to examine in the Practice and carry out any treatment necessary, including dispensing medication. The Veterinary Surgeon will bring your pet back out to you and either discuss your treatment and plan from 2 metres as before, or will telephone you

- Payment will be taken by debit/credit card over the telephone, strictly no cash payments at this time.

This is who we are

Opened shortly before the record wet summer of 1873, ours is the oldest small animal veterinary practice in the United Kingdom, and, arguably, the oldest on-going business in St Albans. We are not part of a group of practices, nor are we part of a corporate concern. We don’t answer to bosses off-site, or shareholders, let alone shareholders who know nothing about what we do. We do not work to sales and other targets, and our treatments, advice, and recommendations are entirely centred on you and your pet.


Our only aim is the health and welfare of your pet, and how to help you achieve that. For example, we have been offering free health checks to our oldies for many years, and will tell you exactly what they may or may not need thereafter, if anything, and what it might cost. This clinical examination, however, often ends with a "Well done! Keep in touch!" only. All our new kittens and puppies go home with a free, safe and effective parasite control. This is what keeps us happy.


Our involvement with animals is long and deep. There is a very good chance that, as client, you will see the same member of staff you saw twenty, or even thirty years ago. It is not uncommon for us see your pet through its whole life. Mr Hess has always been surrounded by dogs, and now has nine at home. There is very little about animal behaviour he does not know. He is often seen out with his terriers and is the current Chairman and Breed Health Co-ordinator for the Norfolk Terrier Club of Great Britain, reporting to the Kennel Club. Clare Loizides has been with the practice for at least 25 years and is a vet who is devoted to internal medicine and loves the detective work involved. Dr Kenneth Wong is our own very popular all-rounder with a special interest in ultrasound scanning. Between them, our nurses have (or have had) all kinds of animals from the usual dogs, cats, chickens and guinea pigs, to the more exotic tortoises, marsupials and horses, and are happy talk about animals all day long. Some have been doing so right here for 30 years and more. We are fully equipped and can do most things on site, but maintain very close relationships with several specialist practices. There is nothing we cannot help you and your animal with.


When you come to Animalism, you will find yourself part of a large gang of happy animal people. Many already know this, and travel great distances to see us. By far our best advertisement is word of mouth.

Make an appointment01727 854 787
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Visit us4 St Stephens Hill, AL1 2DS