While Dove Lewis had the vision, she needed someone to build around it - quite literally.
Without Dr. Richard Werner, DoveLewis the organization probably would not exist. This man changed not only our community, he helped transform the world of veterinary medicine.
Not long after he started practicing in Portland, Dr. Dick Werner met Dove and A.B. Lewis. Dr. Werner believed as strongly as they did in the need for an emergency animal hospital, and he asked his fellow veterinarians for help. It wouldn’t work, they said. Dr. Werner had done the math. Giving up was not in the numbers. When Dove Lewis died, Dr. Werner’s resolve grew stronger. He helped his friend A.B. mourn Dove, and together, they helped local vets understand the hospital was not just a dream, it was their duty.
On August 12, 1973, the DoveLewis Memorial Emergency Veterinary Clinic opened its doors, filled the hearts and eased the minds of pet owners and veterinarians throughout Portland. The leadership and innovation continued as DoveLewis doctors pushed to establish ICU care for animals. It is at the core of DoveLewis: the best possible care with the deepest compassion.
From one man’s head, with one woman’s heart, and into the soul of a community; DoveLewis touches all of us. We are all the better for it, and our gratitude is as indescribable as the bond between us and our beloved animals.
Dr. Werner passed away in April 2020. His kindness and enthusiasm will always have a lasting impact on DoveLewis and our community. We will remember him fondly.