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Caring for the community's pets

Marcy Ward, practice manager, checks on a cat boarding at Hudson Road Animal Hospital. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)1 / 2
Groomer Gilly Wigly gives Shadow a bath at Hudson Road Animal Hospital. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)2 / 2

Founded before the inception of the city itself, Hudson Road Animal Hospital has become an integral part of life in Woodbury for a large number of families and their pets. Providing medical care to a variety of animals, Hudson Road Animal Hospital has a rich history and provides unique services.

Hudson Road Animal Hospital was formed in May 1961 and started in an old schoolhouse located off of the exit of Interstate 94 and Radio Drive. Since then, Hudson Road Animal Hospital has undergone two renovations, the most recent taking place in 1999, where the expansive building still stands at 8154 Hudson Road.

Marcy Ward, practice manager of Hudson Road Animal Hospital for eight years, is proud of the longevity of the practice.

"Even though we've been here for so long, we've been progressive. We're longstanding but not dated," she says.

Hudson Road Animal Hospital utilizes some of the most innovative techniques in animal medicine, including acupuncture for animals, and even advanced technologies such as laser therapy. The state-of-the-art facility also includes grooming by two professional pet stylists, and most of the building is designated specifically for pet boarding.

And while Hudson Road Animal Hospital is known primarily for its excellent service with pets, staff view people as equally or even more important.

"They are the ones that really have to take care of the pets," Ward says.

Hudson Road Animal Hospital participates annually in four major community events including Bark for Life, which they have participated in for the last five years; the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life; and the Woodbury Days parade, which they have participated in for the last three years. Hudson Road Animal Hospital also participates in the annual Woodbury Pet Expo, Central Bark, and also community holiday events like Santa Paws, because even dogs need their pictures with Santa.

This spirit of community is what makes Hudson Road Animal Hospital so special and it is a characteristic that has been passed down since the beginning. One of the longest practitioners and previous part-owner of Hudson Road Animal Hospital, Dr. Michael Westfall, retired in December 2016 after 32 years.

"Words just can't describe his contribution," Ward says. "He knew how to talk to all different types of people, people of all backgrounds. He just knew how to make them feel really comfortable, including other doctors."

Westfall was also an Eagle Scout — "sort of his second passion after animal medicine," Ward says.

Westfall began at Hudson Road Animal Hospital in 1974 and became a part-owner in the 1980s with original owner Dr. Ronald Clappier. After Clappier's retirement, Westfall remained part owner with John Clappier, Ronald's son, who is now sole owner of the practice.

"He [John Clappier] is really doing great with the transition," Ward says.

Ward agrees that the residents of Woodbury are definitely "pet people."

"Woodbury's culture is very family-oriented...they are raising kids and teenagers and they want to have pets in their lives to bring that family element together," she says.

Hudson Road Animal Hospital helps make that complete family picture possible.