About Us

Our Story

Learn more about Great Road Veterinary Hospital below.

About Us

Great Road Veterinary Hospital has proudly served the Acton area and surrounding communities for over 25 years. The hospital and staff offer personalized care, and when necessary, can provide additional access to an extensive network of veterinary specialists and state of the art diagnostic equipment. We provide a complete range of veterinary services to primarily small animals, and our professionals have years of experience and are trained to provide the best quality care for your much-loved pet. We maintain reliable contacts with board-certified specialists in cardiology, radiology, oncology, behavior, and internal medicine all over New England and beyond in order to treat each case as thoroughly as possible. The veterinarians of GRVH continuously strive for clinical expertise and continuity of care in every case they manage.

Our History

Great Road Veterinary Hospital was originally created by Dr. Mark Smith, a University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School graduate, in early 1981. Mark is a native Actonian, now residing in Maine. It is noteworthy that when Great Road Veterinary Hospital was sold to Dr. Kelman in 2002, all communication with the Acton Town Hall mentioned Dr. Smith’s father, the long-standing chair of the history department of the Acton School System. Permits in small towns can be a complex issue, and connections were never a bad thing to have.

Dr. Kelman purchased Great Road Veterinary Hospital from Dr. Smith in 2002. Dr. Smith had developed a loyal cliental base and was somewhat surprised to see a stranger in the place of “their family veterinarian”. The veterinary staff change was a bit abrupt, and many of the “New Englanders” view change with suspicion. One surprised client, who had blocked off all of the parked cars with her school bus, engine left running, demanded a bottle of “those pink pills” and refused to move the bus until her request had been satisfied. Over the years, we have gotten to know those clients, their pets, and quite a bit about veterinary medicine and human behavior that was not taught in veterinary school.

In the following years, as veterinary medicine changed, so did the nature of our practice. Pain control protocols became the standard of care with ongoing improvements every year. With the recognition that many pets, particularly cats, did not enjoy trips to the veterinary hospital, we started a protocol to keep cats as calm as possible using separation from dogs (where possible) , pheromone therapy, catnip, hiding places, gentle restraint, and where necessary anti-anxiety medications. At the same time, the recognition that Behavioral Medicine was a valid subset of Veterinary Medicine became clear, and with additional training under diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, behavior consultation became an option for care. Great Road Veterinary Hospital became an early member and supporter of the MSPCA / SNAP low-cost spay and neuter program. After many year’s hiatus and with the partnership of the Acton Department of Public Health, Great Road Veterinary Hospital initiated a low-cost Rabies Clinic for Acton and the surrounding towns. We hope to have this operational once again once COVID-19 is under control.

The world of technology has not stood still, and Great Road has endeavored to keep up with appropriate modern technology. Our x-ray systems have gone from “dip tanks” to automatic developers and now to a digital system. Similarly, dental procedures, in years gone by thought of as primarily extractions of infected teeth, are now modern procedures, always including digital x rays and our third generation of high-speed dental equipment. We also utilize a small ultrasound machine where required on a regular basis.

Some of our proudest moments were and are the veterinary support of Acton’s previous Police Dog “Miso” and the current dog “Shane”. They are very different animals with very different purposes and we remain proud to support these veterinary “First Responders”.

We’re glad you’re here.

Whether your pet needs a routine check-up or intensive veterinary treatment/surgery, we’re here to help! The key to our mission at GRVH is client education. We believe that successful therapy can best be achieved when doctors take the time to explain the underlying causes of disease. We pride ourselves in our dedication to keeping clients fully informed and up to date on the well-being of their animals through our commitment to communication, both during and after normal work hours. We are extremely grateful to our long list of loyal clients, never losing sight of the fact that the people and pets who walk through our doors are the reason we exist as a practice.

Our hospital is also a proud supporter of the World Wildlife Foundation- Australia.