TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals owes its origin to Forestbrook Animal Hospital in Gastonia, NC, which opened in 1979. In 1984, a small house was renovated in the Lake Wylie area, a scant 10 miles away across the SC state line, into Bethel Animal Clinic. Continuing the company’s growth, New Hope Animal Clinic was opened in Gastonia in the summer of 1985. Dr. Mark E. Epstein (UGA ’85) joined the practice that same summer at Forestbrook. He joined in partnership of all three practices in 1987, and shortly thereafter, oversaw Accreditation of all practices by the American Animal Hospital Association.
In 1987, Dr. Herrick R. Hay (UGA ’85) joined the practice as an associate, and a year later, was welcomed as a full partner. 1991 was a busy year, as a 3600 square foot facility was opened in northwest Mecklenburg County, called Paw Creek Animal Hospital, and and our Bethel location moved its practice 1/2 mile away to a new 3800 sq ft building, nearly three times its original size. It was later expanded in 2011 and is under the guidance of Hospital Director Dr. Jodi Werfal (LSU ’91).
In subsequent years, the practiced continued to add to a slate of talented and dedicated doctors and staff, as well as the latest equipment, technology, and expertise (including Dr. Epstein and Hay’s ABVP Diplomate Board Certification as Specialists in Canine/Feline Practice. Dr. Epstein, in addition to his clinical duties at Forestbrook, assumed the role of Medical Director for TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals, responsible for the advancement, mentoring, and training of the professional staff. The fall of 1999 brought the establishment of our Davidson location, in the college town of the same name and home to Dr. Hay, who is now its Director and proprietor. In 2005, Mountain Island Lake opened at the intersection of Hgwy 16 and Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd (Callabridge Commons Shopping Ctr) in north Charlotte.
In 1999, TBVH (then Veterinary HealthCare Associates) was bestowed the Practice of Excellence Award by Veterinary Economics Magazine, and TBVH was awarded the Small Business Award by the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015. Also in 2015 TBVH hospitals became Certified Cat Friendly Practices by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Dr. Epstein has contributed to the veterinary profession beyond his clinical role at TBVH, having served as a president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, and of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. He is the lead author of AAHA Senior Care Guidelines and the 2015 AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines. He continues to be a well-respected author and national and international lecturer on the recognition, prevention, and control of pain in animals.
We strive continually and constantly to improve and expand our capabilities in the service not just of our clients and their pets, but our communities as well…this work is never done! Our doctors and staff share common visions of relationship-centered superior patient care; compassion, patience, and understanding; and uniquely personal service. While each of our hospitals may have a slightly different atmosphere, these basic core values are shared uncompromisingly between them. And that makes all the Difference.