The Valley Animal Hospital originally opened in San Juan in March 1946. A recent graduate of the Iowa State Veterinary College, Dr. Robert E. Norton, made his way to the Rio Grande Valley to escape the Minnesota winters as well as some eye problems associated with the cold weather. Settling in San Juan, Dr. Norton set up shop in a wood frame house with kennels under trees in the orange grove behind the hospital.
Rapidly outgrowing the facility, Dr. Norton moved the hospital to its current location in Pharr in 1950. The new facility was built with modern surgical equipment and laboratory and examination facilities. Sixty indoor kennels with additional perks were also included.At the time, State Street was a dirt road, and the land north of the hospital was riddled with cactus and mesquite trees.
Dr. Mac McMillan, a past classmate of Dr. Norton’s, partnered with him in 1951. The hospital was forced to close for one year in 1952 when both Dr. McMillan and Dr. Norton were called to active military service during the Korean War. With the hospital re-opening in 1953, their partnership endured until Dr. Norton’s retirement in 1985. A new addition was added to the hospital in the late 1960s, enclosing the original hospital to allow larger reception and exam rooms.
Dr. Kelly Macmanus joined the practice team in 1980, became a partner in 1982 and official owner in 1985. Dr. Anne Butler-Hansalik became one of the first female veterinarians in the Valley when she joined the staff in 1985. Dr. Butler moved to East Texas when her husband received a job transfer. Throughout a 63 year history in Pharr, 17 full-time veterinarians have worked at Valley Animal Hospital, most leaving the Valley after a few years. Our most recent addition to the list of doctors is Dr. Mickey Harris.
Since opening in 1946, the Valley Animal Hospital has held a great emphasis on quality care for our patients. We constantly upgrade the services available to our patients by upgrading our facilities, bringing in new, state-of-the-art equipment, and ensuring our doctors and staff are up-to-date on the latest procedures in the industry.
Please feel free to bring your pet for a medical visit, or call us at (956) 787-2709 to schedule an appointment.