Rainier Veterinary Hospital was started almost 80 years ago in the parlor of a veterinarian named Dr. Bagley. His home was located at 1510 Rainier Ave. and was one of the first veterinary clinics in Seattle. It was in these horse and buggy days that Dr. Bagley went out on farm calls to treat larger animals during the daytime. However, in the later hours in his converted home, he also saw small pets—mostly those belonging to affluent folks who lived on “Pill Hill” and could afford $5.00 to spay a pet.
In 1932, Dr. Roy Carey graduated from WSC (which later became WSU) and joined Dr. Bagley. He inherited the practice when Dr. Bagley passed away from a heart attack in 1942. Around 1937, the house was purchased for $1,000 to make way for the new I-90 freeway. That small, wood-framed house was added to another house located at 815 Rainier Ave S. and is now the current building and location for Rainier Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Ben Kadaner, also a WSC graduate, joined Dr. Carey in 1942, and they were partners until Dr. Kadaner purchased the practice. Dr. Kadaner worked at Rainier Veterinary Hospital until 1994 and retired at the age of 80.
The fourth veterinarian to own the practice was Dr. Clifford Heino. He started working at the practice as a kennel attendant while in high school in December 1959. He graduated from WSU (formerly WSC) in 1974 and owned the practice from 1994 to 2008. Dr. Lo-Tin Kung joined Dr. Heino at Rainier Veterinary Hospital for a short period after graduating from the University of Minnesota. He later returned and purchased the practice in 2008.
When Dr. Kung owned the practice, Rainier Veterinary Hospital was still a walk-in clinic, and people lined up outside the building to be seen. Rainier Veterinary Hospital has always been known for affordable veterinary care, but in the past, that came with a long wait. Dr. Kung remodeled part of the building to have a total of three exam rooms, and he turned the clinic from a walk-in facility to a by-appointment-only practice. Dr. Kung also brought digital radiography and a state-of-the-art dental machine to the practice.
In April 2014, Dr. Kung sold Rainier Veterinary Hospital to Dr. Debra Nicholson so that he could focus on his health. With Dr. Nicholson’s focus, the practice has remained a thriving veterinary hospital by its word-of-mouth loyal clients, and has had very little reliance on marketing. (Did you know that this website did not exist until mid-2014?) Rainier Veterinary Hospital has modernized, providing quality professional care to our clients while keeping our history, reputation, and affordability alive.