Our History

Providing Exceptional Veterinary Care Since 1947

Roanoke Animal Hospital has the distinction of being accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association longer than any other veterinary hospital in Virginia. We are proud to have continuously met the high standards required of AAHA since 1950, initially under the leadership of our founder, the late Dr. Alvin Rice.

When Dr. Rice founded Roanoke Animal Hospital in 1947, he treated farm animals, horses, as well as small animal pets. In the early years, a section of our hospital served as the living quarters for him and his family. The living quarters were eventually remodeled and incorporated into hospital space as the practice grew. Over time, additions were added to accommodate a multi-doctor practice.

Dr. Mark Finkler joined the practice in 1982 and eventually purchased it from Dr. Rice. Both men share a history of being involved in organized veterinary medicine. They both served terms as President of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the Roanoke Valley Veterinary Medical Association. Recognizing the rapid scientific advances in veterinary medicine, they both placed an emphasis on continuing education for themselves, their associate doctors, and their staff.

Dr. Thomas Blaszak joined the team in 2011. Continuing the advancement of the hospital’s high standards of medical and surgical capabilities, he gained certifications and advanced skills in PennHip X-rays, TTA2 surgery, Advanced Dentistry, Echocardiogram, Ultrasound, and laser procedures. After almost a decade of practicing as an Associate Veterinarian, he became the third owner after purchasing the practice in July 2020.

Roanoke Animal Hospital has received the Platinum award for “Best Veterinarian Services” in the 2021 and 2023 edition of “The Roanoker” magazine and was voted a 2021 “Best of Virginia” winner in the “Virginia Living” magazine as a top Veterinary Practice in the state of Virginia. In addition, the hospital has won the  “Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite” award in 2021 and 2023.

Our team of incredible doctors, technicians, veterinary assistants, and receptionists continue the legacy of providing each pet and their owner with the highest quality and compassionate veterinary care across the state of Virginia.