TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals owes its origin to Forestbrook Animal Hospital in Gastonia, NC, which opened in 1979. In 1984, a small house was renovated in the Lake Wylie area, a scant 10 miles away across the SC state line, into Bethel Animal Clinic. Continuing the company’s growth, New Hope Animal Clinic was opened in Gastonia in the summer of 1985. Dr. Mark E. Epstein (UGA ’85) joined the practice that same summer at Forestbrook. He joined in partnership of all three practices in 1987, and shortly thereafter, oversaw Accreditation of all practices by the American Animal Hospital Association.
In 1987, Dr. Herrick R. Hay (UGA ’85) joined the practice as an associate, and a year later, was welcomed as a full partner. 1991 was a busy year, as a 3600 square foot facility was opened in northwest Mecklenburg County, called Paw Creek Animal Hospital, and and our Bethel location moved its practice 1/2 mile away to a new 3800 sq ft building, nearly three times its original size. It was later expanded in 2011 and is under the guidance of Hospital Director Dr. Jodi Werfal (LSU ’91).
In subsequent years, the practiced continued to add to a slate of talented and dedicated doctors and staff, as well as the latest equipment, technology, and expertise (including Dr. Epstein and Hay’s ABVP Diplomate Board Certification as Specialists in Canine/Feline Practice. Dr. Epstein, in addition to his clinical duties at Forestbrook, assumed the role of Medical Director for TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, responsible for the advancement, mentoring, and training of the professional staff. The fall of 1999 brought the establishment of our Davidson location, in the college town of the same name and home to Dr. Hay, who is now its Director and proprietor. In 2005, Mountain Island Lake opened at the intersection of Hgwy 16 and Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd (Callabridge Commons Shopping Ctr) in north Charlotte.
In 1999, TBVH (then Veterinary HealthCare Associates) was bestowed the Practice of Excellence Award by Veterinary Economics Magazine, and TBVH was awarded the Small Business Award by the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015. Also in 2015 TBVH hospitals became Certified Cat Friendly Practices by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Dr. Epstein has contributed to the veterinary profession beyond his clinical role at TBVH, having served as a president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. He is the lead author of AAHA Senior Care Guidelines and the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines. He continues to be a well-respected author and national and international lecturer on the recognition, prevention, and control of pain in animals.
We strive continually and constantly to improve and expand our capabilities in the service not just of our clients and their pets, but our communities as well…this work is never done! Our doctors and staff share common visions of relationship-centered superior patient care; compassion, patience, and understanding; and uniquely personal service. While each of our hospitals may have a slightly different atmosphere, these basic core values are shared uncompromisingly between them. And that makes all the Difference.
Technology, changes and advances. But the value of Relationships – between people and with our pets – is a constant, For us, anyway, it’s all about relationships, folks.
First, there is something exceedingly special and unique about our relationships with companion animals. Our pets give us what we crave but cannot always expect from the people in our lives: a type of love, devotion, and companionship that is purely unconditional. The chord that this strikes within us is primal, deep and profound, and touches a part of our being that cannot otherwise be easily reached.
At TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, we recognize this. It is why we know that most of you reading this consider your pet to be a family member, why you give gifts to your pet, or sign holiday cards from them. It is why you talk to your cat or dog in a silly voice, dress them up, take them out, and pamper them silly. And you know what? We love this craziness! (p.s. sshhhh! We do the same to our own pets at home).
The special connection that people have to their pets is called the Human-Animal Bond. Frankly, lots of practices may use this as a buzz-phrase. But at our hospitals, we live and breathe the Bond. We understand it, we revel in it, and we train vigorously in its applications and integrating it into our systems and our very way of being. In fact, it provides an underpinning to our practice, where we not only acknowledge but also celebrate with you the special relationship that exists with your pets.
What does this mean for you? It means consultation appointments that run longer than the national average. It means carefully involving you in the heatlh care decisions of your pet. It means we will not only meet the needs of the friend and companion that you have entrusted to our care: it means that we will also be there for you, meeting your needs no matter how varied. We will meet them in good times and, if necessary, in times not so good. We want you to feel like you can depend on us to be there for you and understand how you feel, whether in a time of health and joy or in a time of illness and worry.
This, then, describes our relationship with you. And the relationship we’ll establish with your furry (or scaly or winged) family members. We’ll laugh together when we can, be serious when we have to, and above all, strive to transcend the usual veterinary practice-pet-client experience into something unique and special.
Because for us, it’s all about relationships. And that makes all the Difference.
TBVH Drs. are highly trained generalists in a wide variety of internal medicine conditions, including but not limited to: