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COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals

CummingsCARE - Holistic and Whole Patient


Stress is a natural reaction when your pet visits the veterinarian. However, that stress also impedes an animal’s ability to heal. CummingsCARE (Calm and Relaxed Environment) is the embodiment of wholistic, patient-centered care, where low-stress handling is practiced by our clinicians, staff, and students alike. Foster Hospital has been designed from the ground up to support your pet’s emotional well-being, starting from the time you call to make an appointment to the time you go home as a family. Watch the video.

How Do We Reduce Stress In Our Patients?


  • Enrichment toys
  • Privacy barriers in cages
  • Calming music
  • Staff dedicated to making your pet's hospitalization less stressful
  • Non-therapeutic companionship
  • Pheromone-infused scarves and carrier covers


  • Check-in via phone
  • Private entrance for anxious pets
  • Separate waiting area for cats
  • Privacy screens in waiting room
  • Pre-appointment tips to reduce stress
  • Lobby arranged for easy passage

Let Our People Tell You About Our Commitment

Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, ACVB

“The care that we give focuses not only on getting information and providing treatment, but making sure that the animal is comfortable when they're receiving the care.”


"Our mission is also to train future generations of veterinarians how to attend to the emotional well-being as well as provide excellent medical care to their patients.”

Michelle Damon, (CVT), VTS (ECC)

"Every time I evaluate a patient, when I go in to do their treatments and take their heart rate and make sure they’re pain-free, I look at their emotional well-being as well.”

Lauren Carvalho DVM, Small Animal Internal Medicine Resident

"No matter how busy the day gets, I try to spend as much time in the wards as possible getting to know my inpatients and making sure they are comfortable both physically and mentally, tailoring their treatment plans appropriately. It's such a joy to see their personalities start to come out as they begin to trust and get to know us during their stay."


Sandra Robbins, BS, CVT, VTS (anesthesia & analgesia), CPDT-KSA, KPA CTP
Veterinary Technician, Behavior

"We know that fear is based on a patient’s perspective.  A physical exam may not be a big deal to one patient but could be perceived as a threatening and painful procedure to a different patient.  Some patients are fearful because they have never been exposed to new objects like a stethoscope before, whereas other patients may have learned that a stethoscope is associated with being restrained and manipulated in uncomfortable ways.  Animals cannot use words to tell us what is worrisome to them, they communicate via their body language.  A patient’s body language is a good indicator as to how they feel about what is happening."

Samuel Lambert, Student

“As a student, I have learned to base patient care around kindness, compassion, and meeting the unique needs of each individual patient.”

Nicholas DePasquale, Client Services Assistant

"We make it a point, whether it be over the phone or in person, to provide the utmost compassionate care to our clients and patients. It is our goal to ensure both parties feel tended to and appreciated in a special way only our staff would be able to provide."

Haillie Crocket, Student

“I try to evaluate my patients for fear and anxiety in addition to their health issues every day and recommend personalized solutions that help them to be calm and happy while in the hospital. It makes for a better experience for them, the people caring for them, and their owners, and it improves their health outcomes.”


Isabel Greene, BS, CVT, LVT

"Patient care goes beyond providing the gold standard of medical treatment and seeks to make every patient feel as relaxed, safe, and stress-free as possible during their stay. My fellow veterinary technicians and I approach each patient with the mindset of treating that pet how we would like our own pets to be handled--with patience, gentleness, and respect."


Hear It From Our Clients

Jennifer K. and Roo

“I’m able to call from the car to check-in and we're allowed to go in through a side door, which helps Roo keep her anxiety levels down.”

Not Ready To Call Us?

We know that your pet doesn’t only need the veterinarian when it’s convenient or when technology is nearby. Download and print this handy, wallet-sized contact card so when your pet experiences a health crisis, you’ll always have our contact information on-hand.

Here for you because we care…CummingsCARE

Foster Hospital for Small Animals
55 Willard Street
North Grafton, MA 01536
508-839-5395 (Emergency – option 3)


Printable Card