Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hospital’s hours?
Our hospital in NW 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 DoveLewis so expensive?
DoveLewis is 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. It’s more expensive at DoveLewis because we’re an emergency hospital.

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 aimed at 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% 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 non-profit organization?
Non-profit 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 the purposes of which we were established. That could include things like buying new medical equipment.

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.

What is the Velvet Assistance Fund?
The Velvet Assistance Fund was established to help qualifying clients with their DoveLewis medical bill. The Velvet fund is 100% donor funded, and is named after Velvet the dog who survived a fall with her fellow human climbers on Mt. Hood in the late winter of 2007. DoveLewis uses the national poverty level as one of the parameters for qualification for money from the Velvet fund.

I took a stray to DoveLewis and they wouldn’t take it. Why?
DoveLewis has a stray and wildlife program for injured animals. If an animal is brought to DoveLewis with an injury, it will be treated.

DoveLewis cannot accept healthy stray animals, including newborn and very young kittens. We encourage people who find healthy strays to take them to their county animal shelter. Unfortunately, we do not have the infrastructure or the staff to act as a shelter; we are solely an ER and ICU animal hospital.

Why was the gray squirrel I brought to DoveLewis euthanized?
There are several types of wild animals that DoveLewis is legally bound to euthanize. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife requires that we euthanize non-native wildlife which are surrendered to us. Here’s the reason: non-native wildlife compete for the resources of native wildlife and those non-native animals have been in part responsible for the destruction of habitat and a decline in numbers of some native wild species.

Can my cat donate blood?
All blood donors are former stray male cats and they either live at DoveLewis or they are adopted after they “retire” from donating blood. “Owned” cats can’t donate blood because all cats that donate must be anesthetized and that poses a risk to the cat’s health. None of our cats have died under anesthesia; however, we still don’t want to take the risk!