Austin Donner, DVM
Unlike many veterinary origin stories, Dr. Donner did not know he wanted to be a vet when he was a child. He never read All Creatures Great and Small. He did not have an early spiritual connection to the animal world. As a wee lad, he once got rammed by a sheep. If you would believe it, his mother wouldn't even let him have a dog because she said a cat was good enough (R.I.P. Killer the Siamese cat). Thankfully, he adopted an awesome dog in college and met a wonderful veterinarian (Dr. Elizabeth Leonard of Seaford Veterinary Medical Center in Yorktown, VA) that inspired him to follow her path.
Why we work out of a van...
After graduating from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004, I spent several years in traditional, busy small animal GP practices in Virginia and Texas. While in Texas, I eventually transitioned to emergency medicine which offered a different style of medicine than general practice and more flexibility in my schedule (which was needed with the introductions of my children). My family (they let me come along, too) returned to the East Coast in 2009. With this move, I continued in emergency medicine while working at Metropolitan Emergency Animal Clinic in Rockville. Eventually, I found I was missing the closer relationships with clients and patients that you cannot maintain in an emergency setting.
I began looking for an associate position with GP hospitals in the area around 2010-11 but never found a good fit. I next investigated opening a traditional brick and mortar hospital but finding a location proved difficult. By chance, I stumbled on the classified ad for a commercial mobile veterinary hospital and jumped on it. With the acquisition of this vehicle, Four Paws Mobile Veterinary Service officially opened for business in January 2012 offering small animal care at home. I haven't looked back and love mobile practice. After 10 years we replaced the original truck with a custom, converted Mercedes Sprinter Van. I am incredibly thankful for all of my clients and look forward to serving the community for at least another 10 years (if not longer).
Four Paws Mobile Vet serves the greater Mount Airy-Damascus-New Market-Woodbine-Monrovia area. We rarely take new clients and never take clients outside of these locations. If you live in our service area and you'd like to inquire about services as a new client, you are welcome to leave your name, address and pet info on a phone or email message. If we are able to see you as a new client at that time, I will call or write you back ASAP. This is not a guarantee of service and I will not reply if we are unable to help you. We do not maintain a waiting list. Thank you.
These are my personal contacts. I do my best to return your correspondence ASAP but I am not always immediately available. I might be asleep. I might be in surgery. I might be talking to another client. I might be jet-setting in a magnificent foreign country.
If this is more urgent, I would recommend calling me directly and not starting with an email. If this is an emergency and you cannot get in touch with me immediately, please proceed to the nearest emergency veterinary center (more on that later).
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 8am to 2pm
PO Box 130
Mount AIry, MD 21771