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Our History

Metairie Small Animal Hospital has been devoted to health maintenance and emergency care in the New Orleans metropolitan area for over 70 years. We offer comprehensive care for your pet 24/7, 365 days a year. Our services range from wellness exams and house calls to boarding and surgical procedures – and everything in between. If you have questions about any of our services, please don’t hesitate to call and one of our receptionists will be more than happy to assist you.

Metairie Small Animal Hospital has been serving the New Orleans metropolitan area for over 70 years. Originally named Metry Animal Hospital, the practice was founded by Dr. Tom Melius in 1946. In 1952, Metairie Small Animal Hospital was built at its present location at 101 Metairie Road. One year later, in 1953, Dr. Henry Melius joined the practice, and from such humble beginnings, MSAH has evolved and grown to keep pace with the ever-increasing technology and medical advances. The practice currently has 17 doctors and over 90 employees on staff. In addition to the Main Hospital on Metairie Road, we also operate five Out Patient Clinics in Kenner, Metairie, Lakeview, Freret Street, and the Marigny in New Orleans to better serve our clients.

We thank all of our past owners for their contributions, helping Metairie Small Animal Hospital to become what we are today.

Dr. Tom Melius

Dr. Tom Melius graduated from Texas A & M School of Veterinary Medicine in February, 1945. His interest in veterinary medicine stemmed from working with his parents in the Melius Dairy and his first year in practice was dedicated entirely to the treatment of large animals. On March 1, 1946, he opened the Metairie Small Animal Hospital at 805 Metairie road moving to 1O1 Metairie Road on August 1, 1952. In 1954, his brother, Dr. Henry Melius, joined him in practice. During those years, in addition to his work at the hospital, Dr. Tom was the veterinarian for the Audubon Zoo and the Fairgrounds Race Track as well as the many dairies that operated in this area during that time.

Dr. Henry Melius

Dr. Henry Melius was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana. He entered Texas A&M University in 1947 and received his DVM degree in 1953. Dr Melius is a past president of Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association. He is a director emeritus of the American Animal Hospital Association and Metairie Small Animal Hospital, since his retirement in 1995. He is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the past Treasurer of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association.

While in active practice, Dr Henry was responsible for most of the orthopedic and much of the spinal surgery procedures performed by MSAH as well as enjoying the responsibility of co-managing the practice with founder Dr. Thomas W. Melius, Jr. He rejoined the Metairie Small Animal Hospital team as the head of our Pharmacy Department in the summer of 2003.

Dr. Henry passed away in November of 2003. He is greatly missed by all of the doctors and staff of MSAH. We continue to honor his memory and owe him a great deal of respect for the part he played in making Metairie Small Animal Hospital what we are today.

Dr. Rick Richmond

Dr. Rick Richmond was born in Bryan, Texas and raised in Evansville, Indiana. He moved to Louisiana in 1968. After serving in the Army for three years as a Neuro-psychiatric Technician, he attended Louisiana Tech University, receiving a B.S. in Zoology in 1977. While attending Veterinary School at Louisiana State University, where he received his DVM in 1981, Dr. Rick worked on the Equine Infectious Anemia Project for three years. He is currently a member of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. His particular areas of clinical interest are soft tissue surgery, dermatology, and internal medicine.

Dr. John Martin

Dr. John Martin is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University in 1967. After graduating, he volunteered to spend two years as Base Veterinarian at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. Upon returning to Louisiana, he joined us at Metairie Small Animal Hospital.

Dr. Martin is past president of the New Orleans Veterinary Medical Association and the past President of Metairie Small Animal Hospital. In addition, he belongs to the following professional organizations: Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association, Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Martin’s primary interests lie in cardiology and ultrasound.

His free time is spent with his wife, Nanette, their many dogs and cats and his sons and grandchildren.

Dr. Jack Austen

Dr. Austen grew up in Lockport, Louisiana and later received his B.S. in Biology from Nicholls State College. After teaching high school for a short time, Dr. Jack completed his M.S. degree in Biology (Microbiology) at Southeastern Louisiana University. Over the years, he served as a Research Assistant in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and later as a Graduate Assistant in the Virology Laboratory of Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Jack graduated from Texas A & M with his Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology in 1977. Soon after this, he joined Metairie Small Animal Hospital as our chief Microbiologist.