Adobe Animal Hospital moved over the weekend from First Street in downtown Los Altos to a 14,000-square-foot building on El Camino Real that used to house the holistic pharmacy, The Elephant Pharm.
The new facility will be the largest general-practice veterinary hospital in Northern California, with 23 veterinarians working there, according to Brian Maxwell, doctor of veterinary medicine at Adobe. The hospital will have 15 exam rooms, two ultra-sound machines, five surgical tables, a three-station dental room and a 24-hour ICU.
"We had outgrown the building we were in," Maxwell said of the 46-year-old business.
The new facility will be able to accommodate almost any animal from dogs and cats to lizards and goats.
"We don't do horses," Maxwell said. "The animals have to be able to walk in the door."
The group hopes to start a full-service blood bank for dogs and cats, according to Practice Manager Summer Holmstrand.
Blood is normally donated by the animals of the employees or received overnight from large animal-blood banks across the nation. Artificial blood substitutes available, but Holmstrand said they are not as effective as real blood.
"Clients are becoming more and more interested in having a higher level of medicine," Holmstrand said.
Currently, Adobe performs around one blood transfusion every two weeks, she said.
Other local hospitals also rely on outside blood agencies.
"We use blood banks all the time," said Marilyn Thelen, hospital administrator of South Peninsula Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Palo Alto. "We use them probably three to four times a week."
Thelen said that since there dozens of different types of blood for dogs and cats, a large supply is needed for care. According to Thelen, blood types don't always have to match up, but sometimes animals can experience bad reactions if the types do not match.
Thanks to new equipment, blood typing can be accomplished in minutes, however, Holmstrand said.
Adobe officials are hoping people will bring in their pets to give blood.
Donor animals must go through a screening process to see if there is anything harmful in their blood. Also, the owner and pet must be comfortable with the procedure; if there is any sign of fear or nervousness, the animal will not be allowed to donate at the time, according to Adobe.
Rescue groups and dog-walking groups currently bring in their animals to donate blood several times a year.
"When they see their pets as part of their families, they are willing to go to greater lengths for their health care," Holmstrand said.