As we at Emancipet celebrate our 25th anniversary, we reflect on the significant strides we’ve made in our mission to make veterinary care affordable and accessible for everyone. One of our proudest achievements is the opening of the nation’s first-of-its-kind low-cost veterinary dental and surgical center in Austin, Texas. Supported by PetSmart Charities, this groundbreaking facility represents a major milestone in expanding our services to meet the needs of all pet owners.

Why a Dental and Surgical Center?

At Emancipet, we pride ourselves on meeting our clients where they’re at. There is a critical need for affordable dental and surgical services among pet owners. Periodontal (dental) disease, a common issue among pets, affects around 40 million pets in the US. This includes those whose families struggle to afford basic veterinary care, let alone specialized and often costly services like dental cleanings and extractions. The high costs of these services and other surgical procedures create barriers for many pet owners seeking essential medical treatments for their pets.

Emancipet offers basic routine and advanced dental cleanings and procedures. With periodontal disease so common in dogs and cats, it is recommended that every pet receive a dental cleaning by age 3 to help prevent dental disease later in life. We offer basic dental cleanings at the Austin Dental and Surgical Center that include full mouth x-rays starting at $225 for these routine procedures. 

Emancipet sees over 230,000 visits annually at our clinics in Texas and Pennsylvania. With the new Dental and Surgical Center, we can provide up to 4,000 low-cost dental procedures and 3,600 low-cost soft tissue surgeries each year. This increased capacity will help to address the estimated 40 million pets who will experience periodontal disease in their life and the estimated 60 million owned pets whose families do not have access to essential veterinary care they can afford.

Innovative Care Model

The Dental and Surgical Center offers a range of services, including dental cleanings, extractions, and surgeries that are often very expensive but life-saving such as foreign-body removals, mass removals and wound repairs. The cost for these types of surgeries ranges from $350 to $650. This facility operates under a low-cost, high-volume, nonprofit model, making it the first-of-its-kind in the United States.

Previously, Emancipet performed dentals and soft tissue surgeries in its Norwood Park Clinic, located directly next door to the new center, in Austin, Texas. The space and capacity were very limited for performing these types of procedures, impacting the volume of clients and patients that could be seen. With this increase in capacity and efficient operating model, the new center can treat twice as many patients in one year as Emancipet has been able to treat in the last five years combined at the Norwood Park Clinic. 

By focusing solely on dental and surgical care at this new clinic, we can offer more affordable and efficient services, ensuring that more pets receive the care they need.

A Dream Realized

Emancipet’s Dental and Surgical Center has been a dream of ours for some time. We began offering dental and soft tissue procedures in Austin in 2016, and almost immediately began booking out for these services further and further. Within a few months, we realized that our existing model was barely scratching the surface of this need.

With the existing clinic model focused mainly on spay/neuter and Healthy Pet Services, we knew we needed a space dedicated solely to these high-volume, high-quality dental and soft-tissue procedures. The idea of the Dental and Surgical Center was born, and thanks to support from PetSmart Charities, became a dream come true.

Addressing a Pressing Need

Dr. Holly Putnam, Chief Medical Officer at Emancipet emphasizes the importance of proper dental care. “Pets with dental disease can experience chronic pain and tooth loss, leading to difficulty eating. The opening of this new facility could not have come at a better time. For most of 2023, appointments for advanced dentals were booked out for more than six months, negatively impacting quality of life for many pets. There is a need, and we are here to help.”

Beverly & Louie

Dental health is an essential component of a pet’s overall health. Dental procedures are in high demand but very few low-cost options exist for pet families. Emancipet’s new Austin Dental and Surgical Center is here to serve this need for pets like Louie.

After discovering that seven year old basset hound, Louie, needed four teeth extracted, Beverly Seay researched and found Emancipet. At that point, dental procedures were on pause at the Austin Norwood clinic due to appointments booked out so far in advance. 

It wasn’t until November 2023, over a year later, when appointments opened up again. Just three weeks later Louie was booked to have his extractions.

“The vet tech was so thorough in explaining everything to me and letting me know what Louie would be able to do and not do,” said Beverly. “Without a facility like Emancipet, there would be so many people that would not be able to properly take care of their pets.”

Thank you, PetSmart Charities!

We are grateful for the support from PetSmart Charities, which has been instrumental in making this dream a reality. Together, we ensure that more pets stay happy, healthy and with the people that love them.