Our History

History of Jefferson Animal Hospitals

Jefferson Animal Hospitals was established in 1978 by Dr. Patricia Kennedy, D.V.M. and her husband, Rick Arrington, BSBA.  The original building, a three bedroom ranch residence, was on two lane Outer Loop road before the Jefferson Mall opened. This was an urban-rural area of Jefferson County that was considered to be very far out in the country at that time.  After purchase of the building and application for zoning changes, the practice started with one Doctor and two employees

1980 was a busy and an important year for our hospital in three areas.  April brought our first hospital inspection from AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) which we voluntarily joined to maintain the very highest standards in the profession.  We have been a certified hospital member of AAHA ever since. May of 1980 was the beginning of our 24 hour hospital. From May 1, 1980 until today, we have never closed our doors. We have had a graduate, licensed, experienced veterinarian and trained staff on the premises 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including all holidays continuously.   This concept of complete and continuous care was very radical in 1980. We believe we are the first (and still possibly the only) animal hospital in North America to offer both routine and emergency medical care on a continuous 24 hour basis. Our decision to open 24 hours was based on the community’s need for quality after hours care and because we sincerely believed that the only way to practice good medicine was to be able to care for seriously ill pets around the clock.  If a diabetic, liver or kidney failure patient needs IV therapy, then they need it more than 8 hours a day, they need it 24 hours a day. All of our staff agrees that the most positive aspect of our practice is the intense nursing care our patients receive around the clock. It is truly the most satisfying way to practice veterinary medicine.

Between 1980 and 1996, we expanded our building in bits and pieces as the practice grew and grew.  But in 1996 we made a decision to totally rebuild the practice. We spent two years creating an 8,000 square foot dream hospital around, through and over the existing hospital space.  We actually stayed open 24 hours a day (never closed) during the entire construction project. We just kept moving our equipment and supplies into the new areas. By spring of 1998, our new hospital was complete and we have been receiving compliments and visitors ever since.  We now have one of the largest, best equipped and most modern animal hospitals in the state of Kentucky and one of the finest in North America.

In 1985, Jefferson Animal Hospital East was established in Fern Creek, at the intersection of Bardstown Road and Hurstbourne Parkway.  In 2012 this practice changed to Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek and moved into a building located on Bardstown Road at the Gene Snyder. This is a full service hospital, open 6 days with extended hours and is fully AAHA certified with the same high standards as our main hospital.  Even though JAH Fern Creek is not open 24 hours, we are capable of the same diagnostic and treatment standards. Our staff is certified in both Low Stress Handling (Sophia Yin) and Fear Free. We also offer Cat Friendly services with separate entry/exit and waiting areas. We have Therapeutic Laser treatments and open advanced dentistry. JAH Fern Creek is designed to provide clients with routine services such as preventative care vaccinations, routine surgeries, as well as diagnosing and caring for pets with any medical problem. We work by appointment with thorough exams and comprehensive client education.  It is a slower paced, family style practice. 

We have always received clients by appointment, usually 2-3 per hour.  Our pet owners deserve a complete physical examination for their pets when they come in for their annual vaccines and exams.  It is a window of opportunity for our Doctors and staff to teach our clients about healthier pet care. Discussing proper diet, ear care, flea treatments, heartworm preventatives, skin care or behavioral problems are just of few of the subjects that we can help our clients with.  But emergencies can and do happen at any time, day or night and usually very late at night. That’s the heart of our practice. There is an adrenaline rush when you know that a pet was saved because we’re here with the proper equipment and well trained staff. The emergency patient is the key that keeps our staff feeling good about our profession.  We have the opportunity every day, several times each day to truly help people with their pets. We don’t save them all and we do have to deal with the difficulty of euthanasia. But when you have a cardiac arrest at 3 am or a Hit by Car trauma in severe shock and you save that pet’s life, there is nothing that can compare with the feeling of accomplishment.  We all have a common mission, to do our very best to educate our clients and make their pets healthier and to live a longer life.