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Veterinary hospital expands with opening of new surgical institute


The 7000-square-foot facility at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in New York City houses advanced technology and 5 operating rooms among the patient care spaces.

Schwarzman Animal Medical Center surgical suite

Photo: Joy Glenn; provided by Schwarzman Animal Medical Center

The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center (AMC) in New York, New York has opened its’ new Denise and Michael Kellen Institute for Surgical Care. The surgical institute—named for its’ benefactors—is part of the hospital’s ongoing $125 million expansion that is tripling the capacity of AMC.

The new surgical facility formally opened with a leash-cutting ceremony, and now welcomes canines, felines, and other small animal patients 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Designed by global architectural firm Perkins & Will, the facility provides more than 7000 square feet of space equipped with advanced, state-of-the-art, human-grade technology, according to AMC. It features 5 operating rooms, a minor procedure room, a recovery room separating dogs and cats, and a central sterile center.

“With approximately 1.1 million pets in New York City, coupled with 66% of Americans now having animals as part of their families…having a world-class surgery center in the heart of New York City is more crucial than ever. AMC has long been the only Level 1 veterinary trauma center in New York City, and this milestone will enable us to help even more pets when they need it the most,” said Helen Irving, RN, MBA, president and CEO of AMC, in an organizational release.

In addition to client cases, AMC partners with the FDNY and NYPD to provide care for their K9 officers, including 2 that attended the facility’s ceremonial opening and had previously gone through life saving emergency surgeries at the hospital. Jake, a German shepherd, age 7 years, trained in explosive detection, patrol and tracking, had to undergo a lung lobectomy to remove a ruptured bullae that was found on his lung lobe. Shabba, a Belgian Malinois, age 6 years, also trained in explosive detection, had gastropexy surgery to reduce the risk of fatal consequences.

“Opening our new surgery center is a huge milestone for our entire team and expands the possibilities for the care and treatment we can provide at AMC,” said Pamela Schwartz, DVM, DACVS, CCRP, Department Head of Surgery at AMC. “The excitement about the lives that will be saved, treatments that will be pioneered, and teaching that will occur on this floor is not just palpable, it is invigorating. As we move into this new space, we are so grateful to AMC’s supporters who have made this a reality, and we cannot wait to get to work.”

In her comments, Irving also thanked AMC supporters Denise and Michael Kellen, who she credited with helping to make the new surgical institute a reality. “Denise and I are honored to provide the funding needed to help make this new Institute for Surgical Care possible,” said Michael Kellen, in the release. “The Kellen family has supported AMC’s mission for many years, including the advancement of veterinary training through the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Institute for Postgraduate Education, and we are thrilled to further invest in the future of AMC with this remarkable new surgical space. The enhancements will ensure that AMC continues as a leader in the field of veterinary medicine for years to come.”

With a team of 130+ veterinarians across more than 20 specialties, the AMC provides world-class medical care to dogs, cats, and exotic pets, according to the release. The hospital is open 365 days a year and operates 24/7. In 2023, AMC accommodated 54,417 visits including more than 2800 surgery visits.

The surgical institute’s opening is a pivotal part of the 83,000 square-foot hospital renovation and expansion. Later in 2024, the AMC will open of the newly expanded emergency room, intensive care unit and special care unit. The entire expansion project is expected to be completed in 2025.


Schwarzman Animal Medical Center officially opens new “paw-fect” institute for surgical care. News release. Schwarzman Animal Medical Center. January 29, 2024. Accessed January 29, 2024.

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