By: Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer
Veterinarian Dr. Benjamin J. Carter has had a passion for rescuing animals since he was a young boy. Now 29, Carter along with his animal-loving mother and siblings has rescued 13 dogs. He especially has a heart for taking in senior dogs and former puppy mill breeder dogs who are often the most unwanted. The big-hearted doctor extends the same love and tender loving care to his patients at Animal House Veterinary Center, a veterinary hospital focused on dog and cat patients that opened last August in Delray Beach.
With serene ice blue walls, whitewashed wood floors and tranquil beach scene artwork, the vibe at Animal House Veterinary Center is calming and spa-like for both owners and pets.
“We don’t wear white coats here and want to emphasize this isn’t a stuffy office,” Carter said. “We get down on the floor with the dogs to make them feel as comfortable as possible and every detail in our office was thought out as to what would be best for the animals down the lighting. We installed all LED lighting because fluorescent lights have a high frequency that can bother a dog’s ears.”
The equipment is also state of the art. Animal House Veterinary Center offers a full in-house lab, digital x-rays, a full pharmacy and treatment and surgical rooms. “We are strictly medical here,” Carter said. “So there are no overnight boarding facilities or grooming.”
Carter and his team never turn a patient away—they always make time, often working through lunch, to see sick or injured pets. They also make a point to take time to create a genuine rapport with clientele.
“Pet parents are comfortable asking questions,” Carter said. “And that’s essential. At the end of the day, the pet parent is the vet most days of the year as they know their pets better than anyone else. I’m generally seeing each patient just a few days a year. We also don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Our vaccines and medicines are all tailored for each pet and the pet owner’s lifestyle.”
Working with technicians Maria Gray and Dara Last, head technician Phil Paone and office manager Beverly Carter, who is Carter’s mother, Carter is proud to offer personalized service, expert care and attention to every client.
“It’s been an amazing experience welcoming patients and caring for pets’ needs in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and surrounding areas,” said Beverly Carter, who has a background as a longtime educator in Palm Beach County. “I do all the scheduling and handle appointments and we always give personal attention to our patients and their families. Building relationships with our local neighbors and strengthening the community is so important. Pets really are an extension of the family.”
Animal House Veterinary Center is helping to spearhead a new cancer trial. “We’re the only veterinary hospital in North America working with an incredible unique and specific anti-cancer drug,” Carter said of the study involving a novel cancer drug in conjunction with two research universities. “We hope to make some major breakthroughs and continue to make advances in pet cancer care.”
Prior to opening Animal House Veterinary Center, Carter launched a concierge veterinary practice in 2014. Although he used to exclusively make house calls, he now offers them based on availability.
When he’s not running Animal House Veterinary Center, Carter can be found traveling as far as Texas and Colorado to rescue dogs and running marathons. He’s gearing up to run his seventh marathon in April. It will be his third Boston marathon he’s qualified for.
“I’m a sub three hour marathon runner,” Carter said. “I also dabble in triathlons. Locally, I’m part of Boca Raton Triathletes and I run with groups based out of the local running stores.”
As a pet owner to four of his own rescue dogs, Carter is thrilled to be living his passion to help animals day after day.
“I love science and I love medicine,” Carter said. “I know how much my pets mean to me, and I know how much my clients’ pets mean to them. When I help their pets, I know that I’m helping that pet’s parent too and it’s the greatest feeling.”
Animal House is located at 836 S.E. Fifth Ave. Call 561-265-5494, visit animalhousedelray.com, or find Dr. Carter on Instagram @ drbencarter.