Michiganís Oldest Veterinary Hospital


Our History

In a catís eye, all things belong to cats.

English Proverb

Our History

For more than a century and a half, Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital has had the responsibility and honor of caring for Detroitís animals. Established at 71 West Columbia in 1844 by Dr. James W. Patterson, an English immigrant and the only practicing veterinarian in Detroit at that time, the hospital has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating small business in Detroit, the oldest veterinary hospital in the state, and one of the oldest hospitals of any kind in Michigan.

Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital remained in the Patterson family for three generations. In 1901, Dr. James Pattersonís son, Elijah E. Patterson, graduated from the Grand Rapids Veterinary Medical College and moved the practice to 591 Grand River Avenue. In 1909, he purchased property at our current location, and built a house and a two-story brick hospital. At that time, the hospitalís downstairs had room for 25 horses and the upstairs could house 50 dogs. It was considered state-of-the-art with its solid construction and steam heat throughout. Elijah would make house calls by horse and buggy and is noted for operating Detroitís very first ambulance, a 1900 Horse Ambulance Wagon, which is now in the permanent collection of Greenfield Village.

Dr. Elijahís son, James E. Patterson, joined the practice in 1926 and gave our facility its first and only renovation. The remodeling project converted the former downstairs horse stalls (no longer needed at that time in the Motor City) into examination rooms, labs, and boarding kennels for dogs and cats. However, the basic layout of the hospital remains unchanged since its inception.

In 1966, the hospital was purchased by Dr. Eugene G. Miller. Dr. Miller modernized the hospital, replacing the old wooden cages with new stainless steel cages that were easier to clean and installing insulation. He remained at the hospital until he retired in 1985, selling the hospital to current owner, Dr. Glynes Graham.

Having worked for Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital since she was 15, Dr. Graham understands and respects the hospitalís history and is committed to making its future successful by continuing to offer the highest quality, compassionate care to Detroitís dogs and cats. Learn more about Dr. Graham.

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The materials offered on this website are intended for educational purposes only. Patterson Dog & Cat Hospital does not provide veterinary medical services or guidance via the Internet. Please consult your pets' veterinarian in matters regarding the care of your animals.