We continue to ask that clients DO NOT attend practice if they have, or suspect they have, COVID. Thank you.

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PLEASE NOTE: We are continuing our COVID provisions until further notice. This means:

  • A face covering must be worn inside the practice
  • Clients are welcome to enter the practice for appointments, and to wait in the waiting room, but we ask that you observe the mask request above
  • We can only see clients by appointment (we are no longer running any walk-in/drop-in surgeries)
  • Please continue to order all drugs and food in advance. We cannot guarantee we will be able to dispense medication that is not pre-ordered

We apologise for any inconvenience; we are trying to ensure we can remain open and provide as full a service as possible

We appreciate your cooperation


  • We would prefer payment to be made by card where possible.

The contactless limit is £100 by card, or higher via Apple Pay, Google Pay or similar.

Please note: These procedures are a work-in-progress, and may be changed without notice

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 Charlotte Parte joined us in 2022 from a busy small animal practice in London. She is a very experienced vet and has a special interest in dentistry. 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 appointment 01727 854 787
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Visit us4 St Stephens Hill, AL1 2DS