The New York City Vet Who Makes House Calls

As a city kid, Amy Attas had big dreams of roaming the countryside healing animals. Now, at 32, she is a veterinarian who is fulfilling her dreams traversing the streets of Manhattan as a full-time house-call vet. In the beginning, she assumed the house calls would be temporary, but then the calls kept coming. Now she's well known to the concierge services in Manhattan and has graduated from the subway and taxis to a private car and driver. House calls are a far different beast for vets than regular practices. There’s the travel, of course, but then there are phone calls, working on scheduling, and tending to the numerous other tasks most vets deal with when they have a few minutes between exams. The cost of Attas' transportation (she’s Manhattan-only) is included in the fee. She charges an additional fee for seeing multiple pets at once, but it's less than making more than one trip to a vet’s office or what other vets may charge for seeing more than one pet on the same day. Attas restricts her practice to dogs and cats. Services are typically about 30% more than brick-and-mortar practices. She doesn’t perform surgery, but provides typical care, including vaccinations, blood draws, etc., and relies on specialists for things like severe heart and eye issues. She uses animal hospitals when large equipment is needed for acute emergencies when every second counts. So far, Attas has seen more than 7,000 animals in her travels, including the pets of Billy Joe, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Martin and Kevin Kline. Once clients are established, the humans don’t have to be home. Sometimes a doorman or nanny/housekeeper lets her in, while many of her clients give her keys to their apartments. Attas said she also keeps an eye on humans, who sometimes need help themselves.