From a very young age, William B. Henry knew he wanted to be a veterinarian. His parents raised, showed, and judged dogs as a hobby, so he spent a great deal of time around dogs and vets alike while he was growing up. In high school, he landed his first job working in a veterinary hospital outside of Cleveland, Ohio. While working there he did a lot of studying on the veterinary field and decided to write a letter to a Angell Memorial as many of the authors in clinical veterinary texts were from Angell to find out more information about them. They had the only internship program in veterinary medicine at that time.
Henry was accepted to Ohio State University’s veterinary program and graduated at the top of his class in 1961. After graduating, he was one of only six doctors accepted into an internship program at Angell Memorial. After completing that internship, was asked to remain on staff and spent four years training in surgery.
While he enjoyed what he was doing, his dream was to found a group veterinary practice. The idea came from an article he read while in veterinary school describing a new kind of practice, utilizing a 24-hour central facility with multiple out-patient clinics. Henry began researching, with the help of his father whose career encompassed civil and planning engineer. Henry set his sights on three locations after noting it had one of the lowest ratio of veterinarians to population, plus a highly educated population.
In October of 1965, South Shore Veterinary Associates was born. It encompassed a central hospital building in South Weymouth, an out-patient clinic in Quincy, and a second out-patient clinic on Cohasset. The practices grew rapidly and in 1970, a new 7500 square foot hospital was built on a plot of land in South Weymouth.
In 1968, Dr. Henry took the first American College of Veterinary Surgeons exam. He was the only private small animal practitioner who took that first exam. In the years following, newly board-certified veterinarians joined South Shore Veterinary Associates and in 1974, the hospital began the first AVMA approved internship program in a private practice. Due to the number of specialists at the practice, South Shore Veterinary Associates attracted a large number of interns, many of whom went on to become board-certified themselves.
In 1979, Dr. Henry was asked to teach at Tufts Veterinary School and a year later was offered a part-time position as a Clinical Professor of Surgery. At the time, Tufts was not able to get accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a veterinary school because they did not have a facility to teach the clinical sciences, so they approached South Shore Veterinary Associates and Angell Memorial about providing this training. SSVA added on to their original hospital to do so. Due to this partnership, Tufts was able to get preliminary approval from the AVMA and was offered a location for their veterinary school in Grafton. Shortly after, they became a fully accredited veterinary college.
In 1995, Dr. Henry sold South Shore Veterinary Associates when he and his partners began moving in different directions. He worked for the company for a year, and within 6 months they closed two of the clinics, one in Dedham and one in Buzzards Bay.
Seeing a new opportunity arising, Dr. Henry bought the two clinics back in 1997 and turned them into general practice veterinary hospitals. At this point, Dr. Henry’s son, Charlie, was also in the veterinary business on the management side and joined his father in growing the family business. In 2000, Dr. Henry began plans for a bigger practice in Buzzards Bay.
In 2007, Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists opened its doors at its current location on Bourne Bridge Approach in Buzzards Bay. This building allowed CCVS to bring on additional board-certified surgeons, internists, a cardiologist, an ophthalmologist and emergency critical care specialists. CCVS served as the Cape’s only 24 hour emergency & specialty practice, which it remains to this day.
In 2014, the team purchased a referral practice in South Dennis and grew it rapidly into a second CCVS satelitte location, which is now known as Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists Dennis.
Today, Dr. Henry still practices surgery out of Boston Veterinary Specialists and can be frequently seen around Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists. He is joined by several other board-certified surgeons, criticalists, internists, cardiologists, and ophthalmologists that are all part of the current Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists team.
Sally The Giraffe
The most famous member of our team here at Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists is one that works outside of our Buzzards Bay hospital.
If you’ve ever driven over the Bourne Bridge, it’s likely you’ve seen Sally, the 18 foot tall giraffe statue standing watch over Route 25.
Before Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists was built, Bourne Bridge Mini Golf sat on the site of our current location. When they closed, most of the statues were damaged beyond repair, but one statue survived: the giraffe. We decided to keep her and make her our mascot.
If you’re wondering how Sally got her name, it all started back in 2009. Our beloved giraffe went missing one May morning, and shortly after turned up in the yard of an Onset family. Once she returned home, one of our team members decided on the name Sally after the song “Mustang Sally,” since she had been “running all over town.”
We have two convenient locations.
Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergencies. We also proudly offer premiere specialty veterinary care for your pet in close partnership with your referring veterinarian. Our specialists are board-certified in emergency & critical care, surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, and ophthalmology.