The Veterinary Hospital That Loved Piper

Piper was my first puppy. I had always wanted a dog growing up, but never got one. When I finally did, I raised Piper from a 2 month old feisty little girl to a beautiful, loyal, loving dog. Needless to say, I wanted the very best care for my 4 legged friend, and I found it in Olney Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital (OSSVH).

Located off of Route 108 in Olney, OSSVH is the product of the merging of Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital and Olney Animal Hospital in 1995. They have grown since then, now caring for around 4000 dogs and cats every year. Even with this high number of animals, OSSVH gives each client the utmost attention and care. They are patient and understanding, and anyone can feel the love that each staff member has for animals in the room.

OSSVH is an American Animal Hospital Accredited practice. They must meet strict standards that go above those required for most veterinary hospitals. OSSVH demonstrates an exceptional quality of medicine, working together as a team to provide the best possible experience for their clients. The doctors are well educated, experienced and all work together and draw from each others' strengths.

Dr. Karen Hoffmann is OSSVH's medical director. From a young age growing up on family farms, she knew that animals would be a part of her life forever. She started training and showing dogs at the age of 7, and became involved with horses as a teenager. As she discovered her interest and strength in science in school, veterinary medicine became an obvious career choice for her.

By the time Dr. Hoffmann met Piper, Piper was already a grown up dog with good listening ears. She and all the other veterinarians that worked with Piper were fantastic and understood her complex medical needs in and out. But my new puppy, River, is a whole lot of dog in ways Piper never was. I was thoroughly impressed with Dr. Hoffmann's training skills and patience with River. She told me, "I believe that training is important for building relationships with dogs so that they learn how to have manners and be a good member of the family." Dr. Hoffmann clearly embraces that mindset and embodies it in her practice. I never felt rushed through an appointment with wild River. As one of the 4000 clients OSSVH sees, I have always felt valued there.

Another example of Dr. Hoffmann's exceptional care for her clients lies in this story she shared with Piper's Walk: "I had one lab mixed dog who was adopted from a shelter as a young adult.  She appeared to have little socialization and was very fearful.  She did not want to get out of the car to come into the hospital for her veterinary visits and once she got out of the car, she refused to come in the front door.  The owner had to carry or drag her in.  Luckily, she liked food.  After a few visits where she was petrified, we tried a new tactic.  We went out to the car and started feeding her small, delicious treats.  Finally, she got out of the car and followed me around the parking lot (slowly) as I fed her treat after treat.  We went in the side door, which she thought was less threatening.  Then we walked around the hospital (with her attention still focused on the treats) and ended up going in and out of various exam rooms, walking on the scales and eventually closing the doors.  It took a few visits like this, but now she loves to come to her veterinary visits.  She walks right through the door and hops on the exam room scales happily."

I absolutely LOVE that OSSVH takes the time to do this.

Dr. Hoffmann also shared a little piece of advice to all pet owners out there: "Early life experiences with animals sets the tone for their relationship with their owners, caregivers, veterinarians and the world around them.  Positive early life experiences lead to well-adjusted and socialized pets.  Positive reinforcement based puppy class and socialization with many strangers (animal and human) go a long way toward enabling puppies and their people to develop strong bonds and trust."

Bottom line is that Olney Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital is skilled, experienced, and cares about the animals. Clearly if the medical director embodies all the goodness and kindness needed to care for our pets, then the entire staff must be the same...and speaking from first hand experience, they truly are. Future plans for OSSVH over the next few years include expanding their hours to include longer Saturday and evening hours, as well as few hours on Sundays.  They will begin by adding additional parking in the wooded lot next door, and gradually add more employees so they can offer more services to the community.

So, if you are looking for a vet for your dog or future dog, look no further than Olney Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital. They will take the best care of your pet, and you!

Thank you, Dr. Hoffmann and Olney Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital, for the care you gave Piper and your sponsorship of Piper's Walk!


Piper's Walk is a socially-conscious small business dedicated to the safety and well-being of all dogs.

Fun Stuff