Plans to Expand Veterinary Hospitals

The Cummings School is renovating and enlarging its teaching hospitals to better serve its clients

drawing of proposed changes to Foster Hospital

When the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals opened in 1985, veterinarians anticipated providing care to 12,000 cats, dogs and other companion animals a year. Now, more than 26,000 pets come to the hospital annually, representing one of the highest patient caseloads of any veterinary academic teaching hospital in the country. While the care is exceptional and Cummings School students receive a top-flight clinical education in a busy veterinary teaching hospital, the 30-year-old building is at capacity.

To better provide 21st-century care for animals and enhance services for their owners, the Cummings School has launched an initiative to renovate and expand its teaching hospitals, collectively known as the Tufts Veterinary Hospitals. The first phase of the project, which will cost $8 million, will focus on the Foster Hospital. The school’s ambitious master plan further details a comprehensive $60 million project that will entail more extensive renovations and expansion of the small animal hospital as well as work on the Hospital for Large Animals.

“This project is necessary so that we can continue to provide the high level of service that our clients have come to expect—the kind of care that inspires families to bring their pets to us and veterinarians to make referrals here,” says Cummings School Dean Deborah Kochevar. “Improving the quality and size of our hospital complex is also essential to attracting the best students and faculty to our school.”

The expansion will create a welcoming, well-designed veterinary medical center that will make it more hospitable for clients to get the care their animals need and more amenable for clinicians and students to do their work. The first phase of the project will renovate sections of the Foster Hospital and a small portion of the Large Animal Hospital. New elements will include:

○ Larger, more welcoming reception areas with separate spaces for different species to help reduce the stress on patients and their families waiting to see their caregivers

○ Additional state-of-the-art exam rooms to accommodate the growing number of clients who rely on Tufts veterinarians for sophisticated specialty care for their animals

○ New, larger treatment rooms for specialty services in ophthalmology, cardiology, neurology and dermatology that will reduce client and patient wait times for such specialized care

○ A reflection room offering hospital clients a quiet, comforting space to carefully consider important decisions regarding their beloved animals’ care

This first phase of the expansion project, in the context of a larger master plan for the university’s Grafton campus, will position the Tufts Veterinary Hospitals as the most advanced treatment and education center in the Northeast.

Illustration: Jon CannellIllustration: Jon Cannell

To see a video and learn more about the hospital renovation, visit

If you would like to support the Tufts Veterinary Hospitals project, please contact Ana Alvarado, senior director of development and alumni relations at the Cummings School, at 508.839.7905 or You may also make a donation by visiting the secure online giving site at and selecting the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals. 

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