Lort Smith Animal Hospital is the only largest non-profit veterinary Hospital in Australia. This massive hospital that hosts 67 vets and 94 nurses has the distinction of providing state of the art animal care to over 24,000 animals in the year 2015 alone.
Born out of the Animal Welfare League in the year 1927, the Lort Smith Animal Hospital has the legacy of Mrs Lousia Lort Smith.
Way back in 1927, the Animal Welfare League had set up a clinic to raise funds for disadvantaged animals and provide medical care to ailing animals.
However, with the 1929 great depression affecting Australia, the clinic was forced to shut its doors to all those needy animal lovers. However, the silver lining was that the clinic was established in the University of Melbourne.
As result, one of the veterinary doctors Dr Bordeaux invited the University of Melbourne to take over the day-to-day operations of the running the clinic. This foresight proved to be beneficial to the University of Melbourne as it encouraged more and more vets a platform to train into professionals.
However, in 1936, after witnessing a growing demand for a Government run animal hospital, one of the founders of the Animal Welfare League, stepped in and set the ball rolling. Mrs Lousia Lort Smith took the courageous step to acquire land in North Melbourne’s Villiers Street. Being an animal lover, she found the same passion in Lady Lyle, who then donated 5000 pounds build the Lort Smith-Lyle Hospital which became operation in April 1936.
This hospital ensured that all animals and their owners were given individual attention, so that high-quality of animal care is provided to all those who enter the hospital. Since then, there has been no turning back for this hospital which is still one of the most sought after veterinary hospitals.
What is unique about Lort Smith is that it encourages animal lovers to become involved through its various initiatives. A volunteer can join the team to raise funds, or to help out at the hospital taking care of ailing animals. As of now, The Lort Smith Animal Hospital has over 400 happy volunteers who have the opportunity to meet different kinds of animals and learn about their care.
If not as a volunteer, animal lovers can still assist the Lort Smith Animal Hospital to continue their good work by either sponsoring an enclosure, or by leaving a bequest to the hospital.