During its more than 40-year history Anchor Animal Hospital has been providing excellent care to pets from Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The hospital was founded in 1975 by Drs. Gerald Pietsch and Lawrence Shinnamon on the principles of pursuing continuing education and staying on the forefront of veterinary medicine. This is a tradition that Dr. Kate Pietsch has continued since she took over the practice in 2011.
To ensure Anchor maintains this standard of excellence we have been accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association (www.aaha.com) since 1980. This accreditation is only maintained by approximately 15% of veterinary hospitals and involves regular reviews and inspections to make sure that we meet high standards and keep abreast with the latest technology and techniques.
Some of the areas in which Anchor Animal Hospital is an industry leader include:
Dentistry: Dental care plays an important role in protecting pet’s overall health and Dr. Kate has ensured that all Doctors are trained on the most current dentistry and advanced techniques. This includes digital dental x-rays and a dedicated dentistry treatment area.
X-rays: X-rays have been standard equipment at Anchor Animal Hospital since it opened. The doctors and staff pride themselves on their ability to take and interpret x-rays. Our doctors are also trained to perform contrast studies to help diagnose gastrointestinal, kidney, or bladder disease.
Ultrasound: Anchor Animal Hospital was one of the first veterinary hospitals in the South Coast of Massachusetts to bring ultrasound into veterinary practice. For more than 20 years we have been performing both abdominal ultrasound and echocardiograms (ultrasound of the heart). We now are offering referral ultrasounds to other local veterinary hospitals to help them take advantage of this very useful diagnostic tool.
Pain Management: Dr. Kate has a passion for advancing pain management and treatment of both acute and chronic pain in our pets. She has brought new pain control options to Anchor Animal Hospital, including laser therapy and acupuncture. She has received certification in both of these techniques and she is able to use them to help manage acute and chronic pain to promote healing.
This hospital is phenomenal. They were friendly, fast, and affordable. They cared for my dog like he was the only one there, and genuinely cared. It was our first time there and from now on we'll definitely be going here for everything. We appreciated their knowledge, respect, and compassion they showed for not only our baby boy but us as well. He was 100% better after our visit and we are so relieved and thankful!
Anchor brings the feeling of family to veterinary care. The staff are courteous and kind. They refer to previous visits in a way that shows the personal touch
The friendliness, professionalism and cleanliness of Anchor Animal Hospital are unparalleled. The medical care and concern towards my pet is what makes Anchor Animal Hospital unique, the concern and love for animals is genuine. You can just feel it
Simply a fantastic group of people, top to bottom. My dog absolutely loves her visits there and I love taking her. Every visit has been lovely and I leave with confidence that they're looking out for us, and that I can call with any questions I have.
We are extremely satisfied with the level of care and service we received at Anchor during such a scary time with our furry family member. Thank you to the entire Anchor team, especially Briana, Dr. Gonzalez and Jessica!!
Dr. Lavin was very personable and patient. She answered all of my questions to the best of her ability without running any tests. Offered multiple options in order for us to resolve my dogs issues. Very happy first Anchor experience! Will come back.
What can I say, Doctor Kate and the rest of the vets and staff are simply the best. I have been coming here for almost as long as Anchor has been in business and will continue to do so.
Dr. Kate is always amazing. She is thorough, knowledgeable, and has an amazing bed side manner. She makes us feel like we're the only family she's seeing that day. I would highly recommend her and Anchor Animal Hospital!
I ALWAYS recommend Anchor and have done so for many years. Everyone is great. Dr. Kate, Dr. G. Pietsch, and Jackie are phenomenal. I couldn't ask for for more for my pooch.
The staff and doctors at Anchor Animal Hospital are some of the most compassionate and kind people I have ever met. They have been taking care of our pets for years and I am grateful to have them for my pets' medical needs and as friends.
Did you know that accreditation for animal hospitals is voluntary? Nearly 60% of pet owners believe that their pet's veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In actuality, only 12-15% of animal hospitals have gone through the accreditation evaluation process by the American Animal Hospital Association. We are proud to call ourselves an AAHA-accredited hospital.
In the United States, all human hospital that serve people with Medicare must be accredited through and accrediting body; they undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet standard of quality for every aspect of medical care. However, not all animal hospitals choose to pursue the AAHA-accreditation process since it is not required by law. When it comes to pet health care, accreditation is voluntary. The accreditation process is rigorous and time-consuming, and not every veterinary hospital wants to go through the lengthy process.
Accreditation by AAHA means that an animal hospital has been evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence. To maintain their accreditation, hospitals undergo a rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. State and provincial regulations can vary widely – in fact some states don't routinely inspect hospitals, only going in for an inspection when a complaint is filed by a pet owner. AAHA accreditation is considered the standard for veterinary excellence, and does not vary between states.
We are an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Pets are our passion and keeping them health is our #1 priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care for pets. Because your pets serve nothing less.
Learn more about AAHA accreditation and why our accreditation is important to you and you’re by. Visit aaha.org/petowner
Meet Our Owner - Kate Pietsch, DVM
Dr. Kate Pietsch fulfilled a childhood ambition in 2011 when she purchased Anchor Animal Hospital from her father Dr. Gerald Pietsch. As a 2005 graduate of Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kate worked at VCA Northboro Animal Hospital for two years before she joined the Anchor team in 2007. She has continued the Anchor tradition of providing quality care for our patients.
Dr. Kate is passionate about veterinary medicine and spends much of her free time advancing her medical knowledge by regularly attending continuing education conferences. In addition, she requires that all Anchor Animal Hospital veterinarians and staff attend continuing education annually.
In the spring of 2012, Dr. Kate attended Veterinary Acupuncture classes presented by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association. This intensive course involved 5 days of classes once monthly for 4 months. Successfully completing her studies, she was granted the title of Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. She applies this modality to treat spinal cord injuries, disc disease, gastrointestinal disorders, nerve disease, urinary incontinence, arthritis, oncology pain and more.
Among her other interests are veterinary dentistry and animal behavior. Veterinary dentistry has recently made major advances, and Dr. Kate has participated in instruction with a veterinary dental specialist in Atlanta, GA to sharpen her skills. With this new knowledge, she has advanced our dental care and has shared this training with Anchor staff. Recognizing that some of our pets have behavioral problems, she attended the Karen Pryor Clicker Expo to learn training techniques and methods to deal with behavioral problems.
Hill's Science Diet, in 2013, invited Dr. Kate visit their facility to expand her knowledge in nutrition and explore nutrition as a supplemental tool for patients with medical ailments.
When Kate is not working, she takes pleasure in hiking with her dogs and spending time in nature. She loves to travel and enjoys visiting National Parks and other beautiful natural environments. She also enjoys spending time with family and sharing her father’s dream as they work together at Anchor
Meet Our Veterinarians
Gerald Pietsch, VMD - Retired
Following graduation, Dr. Pietsch joined a small animal practice in Westbrook Maine and after completing his first year was accepting to residency in cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Gerald Pietsch graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1971.
In 1975 he and fellow University of Pennsylvania graduate Dr. Shinnamon opened Anchor Animal Hospital and practiced together until 2002 when Dr. Shinnamon retired. He continues to be involved in the operation of the hospital assisting Dr. Kate Pietsch who took over in 2011.
Keeping up with trends in veterinary medicine is very important to Dr. Pietsch on both a professional and personal level, so attending conferences, seminars, and clinics is essential. He regularly attends the Annual Penn Veterinary Conference, The American Animal Hospital Association Annual Veterinary Conference and the Veterinary Conference of New England, as well as other conferences on many subjects including renal disease, respiratory disease, infectious disease, dentistry, and cardiology.
Some notable meeting Dr. Pietsch has also attended include a conference on orthopedics presented by Novartis and a conference on “Guided Veterinary Dermatology” presented by Pfizer. He also had the opportunity to visit the Hill’s Science Diet facility for a symposium on evidence-based Veterinary Clinical Nutrition and attended a seminar at Boehringer that addressed current trends regarding Leptosporosis and Lyme disease. We also attended a scientific seminar at RIVMA and a heartworm resistance seminar at the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA www.massvet.org). He has also been trained on human and pet CPR and took a Safety and Risk Management training course from DDS OSHA.
Dr. Pietsch is a former chairman of the Ethics and Grievance Committee of the MVMA. He is presently the chairperson of the By-Laws committee. When not working, Dr. Pietsch enjoys his grandchildren, photography, woodworking, his ponies, and traveling.
Kristen Lavin, DVM
Dr. Kristen Lavin was born and raised in Massachusetts. She graduated in 2018 from the Atlantic Veterinary College located on Prince Edward Island, Canada. During and prior to veterinary school she gained years of experience as a Veterinary Assistant where she discovered her passion for building strong relationships with clients and their pets and creating an environment where they feel comfortable and valued.
Throughout her life, Dr. Lavin has sought out unique opportunities to learn about and work with animals. This included doing an internship at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA in the summer of 2011 where she got hands-on experience handling a variety of animals including reptiles, birds, small mammals and even small primates. In addition, she worked with the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) in Princeton, MA in the summer of 2007. While there she had the opportunity to work with early puppy behavior including socialization, house training, and early obedience.
Dr. Lavin is excited to grow with Anchor Animal Hospital and expand her knowledge through continuing education.
When she is not working, Dr. Lavin enjoys being active, hiking, music, walking her beagle (Jon Snow), entertaining her two cats (Ember and Violet), and spending time with her fiancé (Zach), friends, and family.
Dr. Alyssa Capuano, DVM
Dr. Alyssa Capuano (AKA Dr. Cap) earned her doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from the University of California Davis in 2019. During her time at UC Davis, Dr. Cap gained knowledge and experience working with a wide range of species including small and large domestic animals, exotic pets, and wildlife. She remains passionate about caring for all animal species as a veterinarian, but now focuses on cats, dogs and exotic pets.
Prior to attending veterinary school, Dr. Cap received a a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of California Santa Barbara and a master's degree in marine biology from the University of Miami. She spent several years between academic degrees working on Catalina Island, where she and her husband taught children marine biology through outdoor educational experiences. Dr. Cap grew up on Long Island surrounded by pets and has always had a love of animals and the ocean, making a career as a veterinarian in New England a dream come true.
When she is not at Anchor, she works with the scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researching aquatic wildlife, and also volunteers as a veterinarian for stranded marine wildlife at the National Marine Life Center. Her favorite activities outside of veterinary medicine include walking, running, hiking, paddle boarding, baking pies, and relaxing with her dog Willow and her husband Taylor.
Diane Franklin - Hospital Administrator
Diane joined Anchor Animal Hospital in 2012, as our Hospital Administrator. She comes to our facility with over twenty-six years of experience in general practice and specialty/emergency veterinary medicine management. She is a graduate of the Veterinary Management Institute at Purdue University.
Mrs. Franklin is a longtime member of the American Animal Hospital Association, Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Practice Association, and Veterinary Hospital Manager’s Association. She attends continuing education annually to stay current in the field of veterinary hospital management and business operations. Her extended knowledge and experience is welcome at Anchor where we embrace progressive, quality and cutting edge veterinary medicine. She appreciates connecting and building lasting relationships with our clients, their pet’s, the community, and our dedicated and caring team.
Her family includes her husband and four children. Her fur babies include two felines: Little Larry Everett and Crumpet; three canines: Bettis Steeler, Xena, and Jack Sparrow; and a Rex rabbit: Piper. During her free time she enjoys spending time on the beach, attending rock concerts, traveling, reading, and spending quality time with her immediate and extended family.
Grace Pietsch - Hospital Supervisor and Inventory Manager
Grace started at Anchor in 2014 working part time as Social Media Coordinator and joined the Anchor team full time in 2018 as Hospital Assistant.
In 2020 Grace became Hospital Supervisor and Inventory Manager.
Prior to Anchor Grace worked as a manager at Barnes and Noble for 10 years, developing her inventory management and customer service skills.
Having grown up surrounded by animals, including cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits and horses, Grace hoped to pursue her passion for animals. She attended Mary Washington College and the University of Massachusetts to earn her bachelors degree in Biology, graduating summa cum laude.
During her time at University of Massachusetts Grace was a volunteer puppy raiser for N.E.A.D.S. (National Education for Assistance Dogs). She fostered, raised, and trained multiple puppies to prepare them for their future careers as assistance dogs. Grace nurtured her passion for behavior and training and after college earned her Karen Pryor Academy clicker training certificate.
Grace enjoys spending her free time with her human family, as well as her dogs, cats, and ponies. She loves spending time outdoors, always searching for new challenges in the world of running, biking, swimming, and triathlon.
Our Forever Mascot Angus Pietsch, CGC
Angus (a black lab) came to the Pietsch family in the winter of 2005. He was only a year old when brought home by Kate Pietsch, then a student at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. His previous owners, following surgery on his left elbow, had given him up. Dr. Kate brought Angus home to Dr. Gerald Pietsch's house unannounced and it was immediately clear that he was the perfect dog.
Angus had three loves in his life, his family (including his cats), his food, and his friends at Anchor Animal Hospital, although not necessarily in that order. Every morning he was anxious to get to work, but Angus always stoped to have his teeth brushed before heading in. Arriving at Anchor he started his day by greeting employees and receiving his early morning “cookies”. Then it was off to work in the front office napping, greeting clients, and performing for those most likely to give him “cookies”. Lunchtime included a trip to the break room in anticipation of any dropped food, then a return to the office for the afternoon activities. At the end of the day, Angus returned home with Dr. Gerald Pietsch for dinner and family time.
He enjoyed training classes and had his CGC certificate (Canine Good Citizen) awarded by dog trainer Marsha Albert at Many Paws in Westport. He thought that classes were great fun as good behavior was rewarded with; you guessed it, “cookies”. Angus also took classes in “Sniffies” (nosework) in which he learned how to use his nose to find hidden treats. That was probably his favorite class.
After 14 wonderful years with the Pietsch Family Angus passed away in 2019. He will always be our forever mascot.
What it means to be a team player at Anchor!
Being understanding and establishing a positive communication network helps build teamwork. Here at Anchor Animal Hospital, we are all team players; we are
Anchor prides itself in the “Team Approach” in patient and client care. Treating your pet(s) as if they are our own from the minute you walk through our doors!
All employees are required to attend continuing education and training opportunities here at the hospital and at conferences and seminars. Many of our employee have previous experience in the field of veterinary medicine or have attended accredited schools/programs. We have many certified technicians! Anchor also partners and participates with local schools by offering externships to attract new talent and invest in the future growth of our profession.
We also pride ourselves on working with local organizations, shelters, and rescues to embrace the human-animal bond.