Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital

280 Sheppard Ave E. Unit 102, Toronto, ON M2N 3B1 | 647-260-8387 | yonge.sheppard.vets@gmail.com

The YSAH Community Guidelines

Rights and Responsibilities

Being a part of the Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital Community means we are establishing a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (or VCPR).

Our VCPR is a special partnership between you, our awesome clients, and us, your veterinary care providers. It is essentially a contract between us wherein our veterinarian(s) agree to provide veterinary care within the scope of their practice and in accordance with the standards of the profession.

At Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering a strong partnership and sense of community. To ensure a positive and mutually beneficial relationship, we have outlined everyone’s rights and responsibilities.

1. Compassion

We understand the unique and special bond you share with your pets – we want to celebrate, preserve, and mourn this bond together. You have the right for veterinary care with the utmost respect, compassion, and empathy.


We ask for your compassion and understanding when we face challenging situations and trust we are doing our best to help you and your pet. We are pet parents too.

2. Transparency

Trust is crucial to the delivery of good medical care. We believe that acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses openly and honestly helps us to practice safe and conscientious medicine. That is our promise to you. As our client, you have the right to full transparency with our recommendations, prices, and services.


We ask that our clients trust our intentions for transparency. Requesting clarification is encouraged and should be done so in a patient and respectful manner.

3. Spectrum of Care

Every patient has the right to the highest standard of medicine, and every client has equal opportunity to access this. However, we understand that not everyone has the same needs. We will offer various care options that align with your needs and fit within your budget without passing judgement.


You are encouraged to clarify any questions around your options for care and we appreciate your understandings if limitations arise on our end. We aim to do the best we can, realizing we aren’t miracle workers and unfortunately cannot always promise the desired outcome.

4. Emergency and After-Hours Support

Your pet has the right to emergency medical care beyond our business hours. We understand that emergencies can happen at any time, and we strive to be as flexible as possible to accommodate same-day appointments for urgent care. If we are unable to provide direct care, we will offer guidance and make arrangements, including telehealth services or referrals to local emergency clinics, to ensure your pet(s) receive the care they deserve.   There may be occasions when we are unable to accommodate every case due to high demand or the nature of the emergency; such as a high volume of emergencies, limitations in our facilities/equipment for a specific type of emergency, or a triage-based system where we determine that a pet can safely wait until another day.   We ask that you are flexible with the nature of our accommodations, as we may not be able to always offer immediate in-person appointments. Please communicate with us first thing in the morning (before 12:00pm) for an increase in likelihood in receiving same-day service. In cases when we are unable to accommodate, we have the right to offer guidance and make alternative arrangements in order to give the best possible support for you and your pet.

5. Punctuality

You have the right to expect punctuality and a timely response from us regarding appointments, communication, referrals, medication requests and general inquiries. In cases of delays or long appointments, we commit to keeping you informed and offering alternative care times and/or options.


While we strive to be on time, we ask for acknowledgement that the nature of healthcare can be unpredictable. We ask that you be precise with the information provided via phone/email or text so that we may triage your concerns appropriately to provide a timely response dependent on the nature of the concern. For non-urgent issues, we may take from 3-5 days to respond. Please contact us again should the nature of your question or concerns increase in urgency. In case of emergency and you cannot get a hold of us, please contact Animal Health Partners at (416) 380-7400 or your nearest veterinary emergency clinic. We also offer a free 24/7 veterinary phone triage service to our clients called SmartVet (647) 695-5411.


We ask that you please arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. It’s essential to understand that even minor delays compound quickly, affecting the care of other patients. We understand that unpredictable situations may arise, and if you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, we may request rescheduling or a change in appointment type.


Please provide as much notice as possible for cancellations, as it allows us to serve other sick pets in need. If you fail to show up for your scheduled appointment without providing timely notice or explanation, you will be asked to leave a non-refundable deposit for the next appointment.

6. Respect for Time

To ensure that your pet receives the appropriate care, please inform the front desk of any concerns or topics you wish to discuss when booking your appointment. This helps us make the necessary accommodations. If you have multiple concerns or unexpected concerns that arise during your pet’s exam, we will work together to prioritize and address as many as we can within our designated time.


Out of respect for other patients and clients, please honor your appointment time and length. Our aim is to provide thorough and unhurried care to ensure your concerns are properly addressed, respecting both your time and the time of other community members, who also have the right to timely and punctual care.

7. Communication

You have a right to respectful, polite, uncomplicated, and transparent communication with us. For your convenience, we offer communications through multiple communication channels, including email, text messaging, and phone calls. You may also visit us in person at any time during our business hours – and bring your pet for a happy social visit!


You have the right to be fully informed about your pet’s diagnosis, treatment options, and associated costs. We are committed to providing clear explanations, answering questions, and addressing concerns you have about your pet’s care. We view the client and our veterinary team as partners with the shared goal of ensuring your pet lives a long and happy life.


As veterinary care team members, we also have the right for interactions that foster a safe environment. You are expected to treat our team in a respectful, polite and compassionate manner, regardless of high emotions or differing opinions. We ask for acknowledgement that the nature of healthcare can be unpredictable.

8. Services (Payment, Prescriptions)

We offer open communication about the costs of all our services. If you are not presented with an estimate, please inquire about one.   We ask for your patience and understanding on service and prescription requests. We can only prescribe medications if you have an established veterinary-client-patient relationship (your pet seen by one of our veterinarians in the past year).   To allow us to fully operate and continue the best possible care, payment for services is due when rendered. We are a privately owned small business and appreciate your understanding that we cannot offer payment plans. However, we do collaborate with Scratch Pay, a third-party financial provider. Contact us for more information.

9. Non-Discrimination

We promise to provide care without bias and with mutual respect, regardless of race, education, age, sex, gender, orientation, national origin, or any other class protected by law.


All veterinary team members have the right to be respected and feel safe in the workplace. We will not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind regarding the classes listed above.

10. Leaving the Community

Whether you’re moving to a new home, or our core values simply don’t align, you have the right to transfer veterinary care to another facility for any reason. We are empathetic and want you to receive the type of care which you desire! Please note that a transfer of records to another practice for ongoing care will terminate our VCPR.


We honour our partnership (VCPR) with our clients and, just like you, have the right to terminate the VCPR at any time. In order to maintain this partnership, we require the following:

1. An examination by one of our veterinarians at Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital within the past year (365 days);
2. Non-discriminatory, non-threatening and respectful interactions;
3. Alignment with you and our clinic core values;
4. Payment for all services;
5. Following the Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital Community Guidelines – “Client Responsibilities” as defined above.

Should we decide to part ways, you will have one week to find alternative care for your pet unless otherwise stated in extreme circumstances.

At Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital, we are committed to providing the highest level of care for your pets while maintaining a respectful and transparent partnership with you, our valued clients. By understanding and fulfilling these rights and responsibilities, we can ensure the well-being of your beloved animals and the smooth operation of our practice. Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your pets.