Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brooklyn Heights Vet Closes, End of An Era

We were sad to hear that the Brooklyn Heights Veterinary Hospital at 59 Hicks Street has closed, but we weren't surprised. The last three times we took our cats there for shots, etc., the place was nearly deserted.

UPDATE: An employee at Atlantic Animal Care told the Brooklyn Eagle that Dr. Richard Turoff, owner of the Heights Veterinary Hospital, had decided to retire.

In years past the clinic would normally be packed on weekends and during after-work hours. But it seems that the somewhat old-fashioned style of veterinary care provided at the Heights office fell out of favor as shiny new (and more expensive) clinics on Atlantic Ave. and Vinegar Hill opened.

Dr. Richard Turoff's associate Dr. Norton left a while back (we hear she does house calls, however), leaving Dr. Turoff and an assistant. (We're not familiar with Dr. Burger, who is listed on several sites as also working from this location.)

According to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, a sign in the window refers pet patients to Dr. Greenberg at 85 Atlantic Avenue, 718-797-0070.

Dr. Wasserman Lived Upstairs

Dr. Turoff bought the business in 1985 from Dr. Bernie Wasserman, who just died this past November, a month after his wife Bernice died.

Dr. Wasserman, who lived upstairs, bought the house in 1957. He gave a fascinating description of the neighborhood at that time to the Brooklyn Eagle. "Fifty-seven Hicks St. at the time I moved into 59 was a disreputable rooming house. One could see men sitting in the windows with their legs dangling down the outside of the building, a bottle of beer or wine in their hands and shouting obscenities."

Sorry To See Them Go

While other pet owners told us they preferred to travel to Cobble Hill or Vinegar Hill for their pet care, we  always experienced kind and knowledgeable care from both Drs. Turoff and Norton -- and before them, Dr. Wasserman -- over the many years we have been bringing our animals to the office.

They were especially compassionate when it came to end-of-life care. I remember one time when Dr. Turoff had to "put to sleep" my sweet, old and very sick best-friend cat as I was crying. When I looked up, bleary-eyed, I saw that Dr. Turoff was also crying, as was his assistant.

Needless to say, I remained a loyal customer.

Photo by Google Streetview

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Anonymous said...

Sadly the vet was not up to snuff. Went elsewhere because of this.

A real sign if the place was empty in the middle of the neighborhood full of animals.

Still sad.

bj said...

Other vets wanted to charge us twice as much to neuter our cat. Touroff did it with expertise and was full of good advice about after-care. Charged us very little for other procedures as well. Fancy machinery and slick waiting rooms aren't important when it comes to basic pet care. You can always go somewhere else for brain surgery. Dr. Touroff would be the first to refer you if something was beyond the clinic's ability. Meanwhile, he kept prices low and was within walking distance, adding up to increased probability that your pet would get the care it needed.

Anonymous said...

I've been going to the Heights Veterinary Hospital since 1976 and was heartbroken to see them close. Drs. Turoff and Norton always treated my cats with care and compassion which I truly appreciated. I will miss them.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to see them go. I always found all the vets there to be very caring. Dr. Norton tried hard to find homes for abandoned animals and Dr. Touroff was great.

The BedStuy Vet said...

Brooklyn Heights Vet Closing is unfortunately a lost business to the neighborhood. Especially, for pet owners who live in the area. Hopefully, a new vet will see the opportunity to fill the void.

v. miller said...

I just found out today that Dr. Turoff was gone. I have been going there for many, many years. Dr. Turoff & Berger were my favorites. I noticed how the crowds were no longer there and the staff kept shrinking. That's why I called today to see about coming in - good thing I called first.

Dr. Turoff kept the prices low unlike the others that chg. $60, $75 and up. My animals have gotten old and need specialized care otherwise I would have been there on a regular basis.

Dr. Turoff if you ever decide to come out of retirement, pls let your old customers know. Thank you so much for the years of care.

V. Miller

v.miller said...

Dr. Turoff: pay that person no mind who said the care was not up to snuff - it was and never doubt that!

Julie Bonzagni said...

I went to both Dr. Norton and Turoff for years and was very happy with their care. They treated me like family and were wonderful with my pugs. I wish them well and have fond memories of a warm and home-like atmosphere. They will be greatly missed!! Julie Miles