Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search Open Directory Close Directory
COVID-19 Guidance: Guidance and operational updates for Cummings School and its veterinary teaching hospitals

What to Expect at Foster

Download flyer

Client at FosterBefore Your Appointment

Please bring the contact information (name, phone and address) of your primary care veterinarian. If possible, please also bring lab results, X-rays and other diagnostic images as well as a copy of your companion animal's medical record or a referral letter/form from your veterinarian.

If you have any questions about medicating your pet on the day of your appointment or any questions regarding the referral of your pet, please contact your primary care veterinarian who will be able to advise you and will contact us regarding recommendations.


Foster Hospital is a full-scale trauma center capable of handling the most severe veterinary medical emergencies 24/7, 365 days a year for ill and injured companion animals.

Our emergency service functions much like that of an emergency or urgent care facility for people. We immediately triage patients admitted and care for the most critical cases first.


Please check-in with one of our client service staff members at the reception desk as soon as you arrive. Please keep your dog on a leash and your cat or exotic pet in a carrier at all times. If you need to take your dog outside while waiting, please be sure to inform the receptionist, so we can make sure to assist you in a timely manner should you be out of the building when called into the exam room.


Please park in the spaces near the main entrance of the Foster Hospital or in the designated parking spaces within the lot adjacent to the hospital.  For emergencies, park in the emergency parking area located on the right side of the Foster Hospital.

Directions to the campus.


The veterinary medical services at Foster Hospital are staffed by a team of board-certified faculty specialists, residents, interns, senior veterinary students, registered veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants.

During your animal's visit, you will be greeted by a senior veterinary student, who will ask you a series of questions regarding your pet's illness (if applicable), housing, vaccination history, diet and other relevant information. You may find the senior clinician or resident asks similar questions, which provides for a more thorough approach. All exams are performed under the supervision of or by a veterinary specialist.

Please note that after giving your pet's history in an examination room your pet will first be examined by the student, then by the specialist, resident or intern.

After the examination, a care plan will be made for further diagnostics or treatment. The veterinary specialist will discuss this plan and the associated estimated cost with you at this time. While we do our very best to try to explain your companion animal's recommended care plan, we encourage you to ask questions and seek clarification if our medical assessment or the estimated costs are not clear. In certain situations, your pet may need additional testing which may require another appointment or an overnight stay, depending on specific procedures your pet will need.

At the conclusion of your appointment, we will provide you with written discharge instructions that will detail the results of your animal's examination and any next steps that will need to be taken by you and your primary care veterinarian. If follow-up appointments or medications are necessary that information will also be included in the discharge orders.

Waiting Room Time

We pride ourselves in the thoroughness of our veterinary care and the education we provide future veterinarians. During peak times, the wait at our hospital may be a bit longer than what you might experience at your referring veterinarian's office. Behind the scenes, each of our patients receives the advantage of carefully orchestrated, team-based care led by board-certified veterinarians, residents, interns, dedicated staff and students who are energized to provide the very best in quality, compassionate care.

Be assured that we will do everything we can to expedite your visit. We encourage you to please let our reception staff know if you have been waiting longer than 15 minutes after check-in.


Similar to other veterinary providers, payment is due at the time of service. We also require all inpatient and some outpatient services to leave an initial deposit prior to admission/treatment. If you have any questions regarding our payment policies, please call our accounting department at 508-839-7938.

At the end of your appointment or consultation, we will ask you to wait in the lobby until our client services staff calls your name to receive your payment. The staff member will give you any medications prescribed and a copy of your discharge orders. Please check to see you have everything with you including any medications, collars and leashes before leaving the hospital.

Do you have emergency?

The Emergency Service at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you and your pet. We serve central Massachusetts as a primary emergency hospital, and New England and beyond for referral of critically ill or injured pets.

Henry & Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals

Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University
55 Willard St.
N. Grafton, MA 01536
Fax: 508-839-7951
Pharmacy: 508-887-4850