Ask Benny: How many animals get Penn care?

Dear Benny,
The Ryan Veterinary Hospital always seems to be bustling with activity. How many animals visit the Veterinary Hospital and New Bolton Center each year for treatment? What types of animals do the vets care for?
— Curious About Critters

Dear Animal Lover,
According to Helma Weeks, director of communications at the Vet School, the doctors at Ryan Veterinary Hospital (for small animals) see about 28,000 patients and the large animal vets at New Bolton Center care for about 6,000 patients per year. Doctors also do field service for about 19,000 herded animals. Of those 28,000 patients—which include everything from cats, dogs and birds to snakes, lizards and ferrets—Weeks says that 12,000 are admitted under the 24-hour emergency service. More than 50 percent are referred from regional practitioners.

While those numbers include repeat visits (for things like oncology care) Weeks says the hospital is the busiest veterinary teaching hospital affiliated with a University and on the short list of busiest veterinary hospitals in the world.

Dear Benny,
Does the Ronald McDonald House have any direct connection with Penn?
—Looking for a Link

Dear Connection Seeker,
There is a connection, but it’s with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, whose head of pediatric oncology, Dr. Audrey Evans, had a dream for a house that could temporarily house families of children being treated at the hospital. The Philadelphia Eagles and the fast food chain provided the funding, and the rest is history.


Got a question for Benny? You can ask Benny about benefits, worklife issues, University history or trivia, or other matters pertaining to life at Penn. Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106. A Current coffee mug goes to those whose questions we publish

Originally published on September 9, 2004