CHARLOTTE – On August 1, 2021, Passionate Paws Animal Hospital celebrated their five-year anniversary. Founded by Dr. Susan Bonilla (MS, CVA, CCRP, CACP) and Stephen Bonilla (MBA and Hospital Administrator) in 2016, Passionate Paws is a Fear Free Certified Practice, and they use that as the foundation for their growth. Their self-professed mission is “to practice integrative medicine in partnership with you to provide the safest and most effective healthcare plan uniquely designed to treat your whole pet, not just the disease, and create a visit experience that alleviates fear, anxiety, and stress.”
While they started in 2016 with three employees, Passionate Paws now has a staff of 21 members and has expanded their Waxhaw location as well as opened a new office in Weddington/Matthews. Stephen Bonilla explains, “We always knew we would be successful, but we didn’t anticipate this level of success in such a short time. I think we can attribute the growth to how well the brand has been embraced by the community at large. Our greatest measure of success is how many pets and pet parents have joined us! We had to expand our original Waxhaw location in 2019, and in 2021 we opened a second location. We are still looking for a third associate doctor for Waxhaw since we need another vet.”
With the recent increase in COVID-19 infection rates, Passionate Paws has decided against having a community party to celebrate their anniversary. Instead, the staff is going to Top Golf to celebrate their success together. They will be celebrating by highlighting the history of Passionate Paws, their staff, and other interesting tidbits on social media. You can join them on Instagram and FaceBook through their user name: @passionatepawsah.
In the next five years, Passionate Paws Animal Hospital hopes to have expanded to four practices and will need a headquarters to run everything. They will need more doctors, associates, and staff members, but they will work hard to not become a “corporate” hospital. Bonilla continued, “We plan on keeping the small feel by limiting the number of doctors to three at each location. We know what makes us special, and we don’t want to lose that.” They are also going to work to expand their Fear Free Certified Grooming and have several expanded grooming options that they are still considering.
“We are a Fear Free Certified Practice at Waxhaw,” said Bonilla, “and we are working towards the certification at the Weddington/Matthews location. We also expect to be officially Feline Friendly Certified in both offices soon. We want people to realize that if you are a pet parent, we are the hospital for you. We are pet parents,” Bonilla concluded, “and we know how we would want our animals to be treated. That’s why we have an integrative practice that combines preventative care with advanced care in addition to complementary care such as acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, and herbal therapy.”
Passionate Paws will be on location at a few upcoming events. Meet them at “Yappy Hour” on August 14, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Ardmore Price Apartments in Waxhaw. With food trucks onsite and adoptable pets from South Charlotte Dog Rescue (SCDR), “Yappy Hour” will be a lot of fun. They will also be at Pups ’N Pints on September 25 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the gravel lot in Waxhaw under the water tower. Pups ’N Pints will feature over 50 vendors and many adoptable dogs from SCDR. After Pups ’N Pints is over, SCDR will hosting a concert with a local band. A separate ticket is needed for the concert and can be purchased online or day of.
Passionate Paws – passionatepawsanimalhospital.com; Waxhaw – (704) 256-7576; Weddington/Matthews – (980) 316-4141