Animal Emergency Care With A Difference

Lauryn Benson, DVM, (with scissors) cuts the ribbon to the Veterinary Emergency Care’s 12th facility and second on Long Island, in Carle Place. Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell (D-Westbury) is to Benson’s right. Holding the ribbon at left is Raj Sanghvi of the Westbury Chamber of Commerce. Holding the ribbon at right is Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square). (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

VEG opens office in Carle Place, second on Long Island

Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) understands the special bond people have with their pets.

When you bring that furry member of your family to VEG, the doctor on duty will see your pet right away—the paperwork can wait until later. And there is no waiting in the reception area while your loved one is taken “to the back.” You stay with the animal at all times. And if the pet has to stay overnight, yes, you can also sleep next to him or her.

If they choose, pet owners can watch their pets go through surgery in this room. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

VEG opened its 11th location nationwide and second on Long Island this fall at 204B Glen Cove Rd. in Carle Place. The other Long Island office is in Commack.

The Westbury-Carle Place Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to officially welcome the practice.

As Lauryn Benson, DVM, conducted an interview with The Westbury Times in a back room, different dogs kept running in.

They belonged to staff, she explained. With the 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. shifts (and 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays), it made sense to have the animals with their owners. When a client came in, she affirmed, they were all put away in cages and in rooms.

“We do things very differently,” Benson said. “We’re very client-focused and really want to make sure you have a good experience with your pet in the emergency room. That is a very difficult thing to accomplish because people come in very stressed and concerned. Our goal is to make sure that you are as comfortable as you can be.”

“Our policy is not to separate pets and owners. Both people and pets react better to this situation,” she said.

Benson said that surgery is not required in most emergency situations. But if one were needed, then yes, the owner can stay and watch. Most, she said, prefer to look on through a big plate glass window rather than be in the surgery room itself.

“Our policy is not to separate pets and owners. Both people and pets react better to this situation.”
—Lauryn Benson, DVM

Regarding animals and humans, Benson observed that a lot of our diseases are the same, and a lot of our medicines are the same.

“So we get a lot of our medications from human medications, such as Xanax, antibiotics and insulin,” she said.

“Luna” was at the grand opening. Because of the overnight hours, VEG workers are allowed to bring their pets so they will not be left home alone. The animals have the run of the place, but when a customer comes in, they are put away. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

Benson said she had input into siting of the practice in the hamlet.

“Carle Place is almost the dead center of Nassau County,” she pointed out. “And you actually draw from both the eastern and western parts of the county.”

Benson said she chose to go into emergency veterinarian medicine even though she knew she would have to deal with people in stressful situations.

“I find that a good challenge dealing with people during some of the worst moments their lives and try to get them through it with a lot of compassion,” she said, noting that she grew up with veterinary medicine as her father, Scott Benson, has a practice in Queens.

“We would like you to pursue care with your primary veterinarian, but when they close, we’re open,” Benson said of the hours. “So we’re trying to be partners with the primary veterinarians in the area.”

Westbury-Carle Place Chamber President Frank Frisone said Carle Place really needed a firm like VEG.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity right now,” he said. “You have a sick animal in the middle of the night [and can bring it] to a place where you going to get special treatment. So we’re very happy to have them in the community. And we expect them to be here a very long time.”

VEG can be reached at 516-693-8859.

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Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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