Another day, another veterinarian office opening?
Not so fast, at least when it comes to Spot On Veterinary Hospital & Hotel. Billed as “a first-of-its-kind pet wellness and care destination in the Northeast,” the 16,000-square-foot facility, set to open in October, will go well beyond rabies shots and lectures about doggy dental hygiene.
Designed to attract customers throughout most of Fairfield and Westchester counties, Spot On — at 184 Selleck St. in Stamford near the Old Greenwich border — will provide not only the usual vet services, but also what founder Dr. Philip Putter describes as “a four-star hotel” for
dogs and cats.
Instead of kennels there are 68 suites of varying size and cost, each promising plush bedding, a television and glass-front walls and cameras for staff monitoring. Pet owners can also access the webcams via mobile devices. Complimentary bedtime belly rub, playtime and feedings are also included, with a Greenwich-based chef available for special meals, Putter said.
The hospital features six medical treatment rooms, including a private comfort suite with a separate entrance; a separate dental surgery suite; intensive care unit; surgical equipment such as a CO2 laser, which removes skin layers by vaporization rather than with chemicals or sanding; digital dental and whole-body X-ray equipment; and holistic and therapeutic therapies like acupuncture and veterinary Chinese medicine.
There’s also a day care component, with three expansive, fenced-in indoor play areas totaling 6,000 square feet that include agility equipment, as well as a fenced-in outdoor play park — again with remote viewing available for owners via livestream. Pickups and dropoffs can be done by walk-in, curbside, or via a “Spot On Chauffeur” for an
Grooming and styling are also available — with facials and massages offer — and Spot On has even dedicated space for separate, 1,000-square-foot dog and cat adoption centers. Funded by client Brooke Garden, the Garden Adoption Center will house each of up to 15 canines in a glass-front suite with access to a communal living room for socialization and training. Its cat adoption center, funded by a private donor, affords each of up to 35 cats a five-story glass-front tower with access to a dedicated cat playroom for socialization, mental stimulation and exercise.
Spot On will also continue to make house calls, which Putter has been doing since leaving a Greenwich veterinary office and going out on his own in 2015.
“To me, it’s all about transparency,” the Nyack resident said. “I never felt entirely comfortable letting my dog stay in the facilities I’ve worked at, even when I was the one training the person providing care. The accountability and consistency weren’t there. People would tend to just do
what was easy.”
Thanks to his dedication in the Spot On van, Putter said he will be opening shop with about 650 human and 900 animal clients already in place.
Although he said he has no formal design background, Putter and his wife, Rebecca, were careful to make things as pleasing aesthetically as they are medically and holistically at the multimillion-dollar practice. Tiles were selected that include ridges for better paw-gripping, while a pheremonally attractive “signature scent” will be available throughout the facility, both to put pets at ease and to mask the odors that arise with high pet traffic.
Even the staff will wear dark uniforms and scrubs, rather than the traditional
lab-coat white. “We know that for dogs, that makes it look like a great big white blob is approaching them — not quite the effect we want,” Putter said.
In the short term, Putter plans to hire about 25 people and grow his workforce to 50, with three veterinarians and four to five staffers per doctor. He said he’s already interviewed more than 300 people for Spot On’s various positions.
As for those house calls, he said he anticipated adding another couple of vans within the year.