Anyone who has ever struggled to get a scaredy-cat into a kitty carrier for a trip to the vet knows that it can be a stressful endeavor for pet and owner alike. Enter Dr. Tiffany Margolin and From the Heart Mobile Vet, her on-wheels veterinary care center that meets pet patients where they are most comfortable and least stressed out: their own homes.
“A trip to the vet can be a terrifying experience for a pet and a heart-wrenching one for a pet owner, but high-quality treatments for your furry or feathered friends don’t have to take such a huge emotional toll,” said Margolin. “My goal is to combine the best possible care with a truly low-stress veterinary experience.”
The mobile practice works like so: Margolin gets a call, she and her staff check the equipment, they drive to their client’s home, and then they treat the animal completely within the home or the mobile center. Margolin’s practice on wheels can handle medicine treatments, surgery, x-rays, acupuncture, and any other holistic care.
The need for a mobile veterinary practice, Margolin told The Santa Barbara Independent, “is extraordinary.” “When you’re a vet in a standing practice, you don’t see so many cats,” Margolin said. “People cannot drive their cats places because cats freak out. They are so highly stressed and highly sensitive that this practice is critical for some of these animals that don’t or can’t get in cars.”
The other half of the need for a mobile veterinary practice is the people. Margolin said that there are people with disabilities or driving restrictions who cannot easily get animals to the vet, making her mobile practice invaluable.
The biggest challenge Margolin faces while working in a mobile center is when her patients need to be hospitalized for long periods of time. “It’s less of a challenge and more of a limit to where we can go,” Margolin said. The good doctor joked that unique parking situations in the hills of Santa Barbara can be more of a challenge for her mobile practice than anything else. “You have to have a certain constitution,” Margolin said. “You’re mobile; you’re moving around, so you need to have a unique personality that can adapt to different environments.”
Her favorite part about working in a mobile facility is “the variety of people and animals and being able to peek into the animal’s lifestyle,” Margolin said. “The warmth and connection with the people is much more personal, and healing occurs in the connection. Healing occurs when you have love around, so if they are in the home, the bond is there.”
From the Heart Mobile Vet is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and takes calls seven days a week. Call (805) 350-1399 or visit fromtheheartvet.com.