Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hospitals hours?
Our hospital in NW Portland is open 24 hours, 365 days/year.

What’s the difference between my vet and DoveLewis?
Your regular vet and DoveLewis are very different. DoveLewis specializes in emergency and critical care medicine. That means, you come to us with your pet for the same reason you’d go to the emergency room yourself. If you’re not having an emergency, you probably won’t come to DoveLewis. We don’t clip nails, put in microchips, spay/neuter, give vaccines, etc.
DoveLewis actually works with your vet to provide care for your pet. If your animal comes here overnight or on a weekend, it is usually transferred back to your regular vet for the continuation of care.

Why is emergency and ICU care more expensive?
This care can be expensive – just like going to the human emergency room. The costs of emergency and critical care medicine are high. In fact, DoveLewis operates at a loss; our medical fees do not cover our costs for practicing medicine. Donations to our unrestricted fund make up the difference.

When a patient comes to DoveLewis, they are charged an emergency fee that covers the doctor’s initial exam and consultation – the same as if you took your pet to any other veterinary clinic.

After the initial exam, an estimate is worked up for any additional services needed to treat your animals: diagnostics or treatments. No treatment is performed on your pet without your prior approval.

There are financial aid options available but they are limited.

Clients experiencing financial difficulties may apply for help from Care Credit. Care Credit is a financing company assisting people who don’t have a credit card available to them.

DoveLewis clients may also apply for money from the Velvet Financial Assistance Fund. This is a 100 percent donor-funded program supported entirely through private contributions. Clients who qualify for financial assistance through the Velvet Fund may have a portion of their medical bill covered up to $750.

What makes DoveLewis a nonprofit organization?
Nonprofit organizations are conducted and maintained for the purpose of serving a public good. No one “owns” DoveLewis and no one makes a profit from our success. The board of directors is made up of unpaid volunteers, but our staff is paid. DoveLewis charges for its medical services to cover the costs of ER and ICU medicine. Any net earnings by DoveLewis are used to pursue the organizational goal of providing exceptional animal emergency and critical care services. This could include buying new medical equipment.

How can I make a donation?
There are many ways to make a donation to DoveLewis! You can make a donation online at, over the phone by calling us at 503.228.7281, in person at the hospital or at one of our many events.

Can you recommend a good veterinarian?
DoveLewis does not make referrals to veterinarians. We do, however, work with the Portland Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) and you could visit their website to find any of their member veterinarians.

Can my cat donate blood?
Our blood donor cats are all male cats who have come to DoveLewis as strays and have been treated. These former stray cats live at DoveLewis during their time in the DoveLewis blood donor program. After they “retire” from being a blood donor, they are adopted - most often by a DoveLewis staff member! Cats who are family members (e.g. your cat) cannot participate in our blood donor program because all cats who donate blood must be anesthetized for the blood donation. There is a very small risk with anesthesia, up to and including death, so we would not ask families to take even that very small risk with their pets. We have not had any problems secondary to anesthesia for our blood donor cats at DoveLewis, however we would not want to take even that small risk with family pets.