Tips to Keep Pets Safe in Hot Weather

With heat and humidity expected to climb over the next few days, pet owners should take special care in ensuring their pet’s safety. Central Veterinary Associates offers these tips to keep pets safe and happy through the hottest summer days.

Prevent heat stroke and passing out — Older, overweight and sick pets should not be allowed to spend a lot of time outside in the hot weather. Even young and healthy pets should be watched closely to make sure they don’t get heat stroke.

Maintain your pet’s water supply — Always provide a bowl of clean, fresh water for your pet, both inside and outside. Keeping your pet properly hydrated will improve their health and prevent illness.

Do not leave pets in a home without air conditioning — Without air conditioning, indoor temperatures will reach uncomfortable and often dangerously high levels. Always keep the air conditioning and any fans on for your pets.

Do not leave pets in a car for any reason — Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake. Even with the windows open, temperatures will rapidly climb to a dangerous level. Leaving your pet unattended in a car will expose them to heat stroke, dehydration, brain damage, suffocation and ultimately death.

“It is imperative that pet owners take precautions and special care of their pets in the next few days,” said Dr. John Charos, Chief Executive Officer and President, Central Veterinary Associates. “The hot weather and dehydration can have serious effects on your pet’s health so it is essential to provide your pet with fresh water at all times and maintain a comfortable environment.”

Queens Courier

Central Veterinary Associates Announces Recall of Dog Treats

Central Veterinary Associates has announced that Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Milo’s Kitchen and IMS Trading Corp. have voluntarily recalled some of their products after it was discovered there were trace amounts of antibiotic residue found on the product.

The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets recently found the residue in samples of the following products: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company’s Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats; Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats; and IMS Trading Corp.’s Cadet Brand Chicken Jerky Treat products. The antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but not in the United States.

The NYSDAM informed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its findings. In the meantime, the companies have agreed to withdraw their products and stop further distribution of its products. Since there was a negligible amount of residue found in the product, it does not pose a health risk to pets. However, pet owners who have purchased the product are being asked to return the product for a full refund.

“Although we don’t anticipate illness, if your pet shows any symptoms as the result of ingesting this product, you should bring him or her to a veterinarian immediately,” said Dr. John Charos, DVM, President and CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “Our Valley Stream hospital is open around the clock in the event your pet becomes sick and needs to be treated as soon as possible.”


For more information or to make an appointment, call (516) 825-3066 or visit

Vets help four-legged friends affected by Sandy

The impacts of Hurricane Sandy have reached beyond only humans, leaving some animals at risk of becoming stranded or abandoned.

And as Queens continues to rebuild in the aftermath of the storm, five of the six remaining animal clinics for Central Veterinary Associates started accepting donations to benefit pet owners affected by Sandy.

“There was a lot of devastation,” said Dr. John Charos, chief operating officer of CVA and lead coordinator for the New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team and Animal Planning Task Force. “There is a lot of need out there and we have taken a lot of animals in since the storm.”

By Sandy’s departure at the end of October, CVA’s Belle Harbor location had been completely decimated, Charos said, sustaining more than $160,000 in damages between lost equipment and other supplies.

Another nearby clinic in Far Rockaway was knocked temporarily out of commission with minor damages, but was restored within days. But other clinics in areas including Bayside, at 36-43 Bell Blvd., and Valley Stream, at 73 W. Merrick Road, remained functional.

In an ongoing effort to provide relief to pet owners affected by the storm, Charos said CVA’s 24-hour Valley Stream, L.I., emergency pet hospital has been accepting donations to be given to those in need at its Rockaway clinic, at 18-33 Cornaga Ave. The group has been accepting pet food, bedding and blankets, extension chords, flashlights, water, batteries and other necessities as well as offering 20 percent discounts on all vet services and pet boarding to owners living in severely affected areas.

“We saw a lot of injured and abandoned animals,” Charos said. “We urge anyone who can help pet owners who are without power or who have been displaced because of Hurricane Sandy to give whatever they can at our Valley Stream location.”

Despite the intensity of the storm, CVA’s central location in Valley Stream remained open with help from generator power, while its Bayside and Forest Hills locations opened for regular hours within days along with other spots in Great Neck and Mineola.

“When we face natural disasters such as this, we sometimes forget that our pets can be affected,” Charos said. “They also need food and shelter the same way humans do. If your pet becomes ill, please also remember that our Valley Stream hospital is available 24/7.”

The group has been collaborating with the New York City Veterinary Emergency Response Team and Animal Planning Task Force to provide relief in hard-hit areas, including the Rockaway Peninsula, where Charos said some residents were taking in animals who would have otherwise been left stranded or needed to be put to sleep.

“The community there is phenomenal,” Charos said. “Everyone is working together.”

Anyone interested in scheduling an appointment with CVA can call 1-888-4CVA-PET.


Valley Stream Veterinarian Retires After 32 Years

Dr. Steven Fox retired after 32 years at Central Veterinary Associates.

A familiar face to many of Valley Stream’s pets and pet owners has said goodbye to a veterinary practice that he helped grow into one of the Long Island’s most comprehensive animal care facilities.

Dr. Steven Fox, of Central Veterinary Associates of Valley Stream, retired last month. He was the president and chief executive officer of the veterinary practice where he worked for more than 30 years.

In 1980, he walked into the Vine Animal Hospital on West Merrick Road, a family practice that had been in business since 1938. He started as an associate doctor of veterinary medicine, before working his way up to senior managing partner in just two years. Fox helped oversee the expansion of the business into Central Veterinary Associates, which included the acquisition of several animal clinics in Nassau and Queens.

Through all the growth, the Valley Stream location remained the hub and it evolved into a 24-hour clinic. “It was probably the single most valuable service that we were able to provide,” he said. “It gave all pet owners peace of mind. They knew they could just get in the car and drive over; they didn’t even have to call because they always knew there would be a doctor on the premises.”

Fox said when he was in veterinary school at Fairleigh Dickinson University and then the University of Perugia in Italy, it was his goal to build a leading, multi-doctor, multi-location clinic that provided a wide range of pet care services. Thinking back to his early goals, Fox said his career went like a script.

But he couldn’t do it alone. Fox said he worked with many great people over the years, and said the staff of Central Veterinary Associates is what helped make the business so successful. “I always knew, and experienced proved it, that putting our patients’ care and our clients’ service first, our own success would follow,” he said. “I think that’s true in any service business.”

The patients are the pets, and the clients are their owners. In 2011, Central Veterinary Associates handled more than 60,000 patient visits from a client list nearing 40,000.

Though Fox hasn’t regularly treated animals in several years as he made the transition into full-time management of the business, he has been involved in patient diagnostics and communication with clients.

He takes pride in the reputation of the business, and noted that Central Veterinary Associates performed nearly $1 million worth of pro-bono care last year. The practice was chosen to take care of penguins when the Jim Carrey film “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” was filmed in Brooklyn a few years ago. It has also treated injured animals from Valley Stream’s parks. And, Fox said, the practice was always on the cutting edge of technology.

Fox took business management courses on a regular basis, which gave him the opportunity to meet animal care practitioners from around the country. “If you’re the greatest veterinarian in the world but you can’t manage a successful business, you’ll fail,” he said. “The two have to go hand-in-hand.”

Growing up in Bayside, Queens, Fox spent much of his childhood around horses and always had a dog. Now, he has a 2 1/2-year-old maltese. Fox said while veterinary medicine was his profession, he could almost call it a hobby.

In retirement, Fox said he plans to do some traveling with his wife, Karen, of 36 years. They have one son. He will also go to Florida to visit his father, and spend more time going to the gym and riding his bike.

The 58-year-old who lives in Atlantic Beach said he may also do some consulting work, and has already been approached by several large animal practices from around the country.

He plans to stay in contact with several of his partners and colleagues, and knows that the practice is in good hands. “My heart and soul will always be with Central Veterinary Associates,” he said. “I will always be proud of my legacy and I’m confident that my successors and the entire team will continue to improve and advance.”



Dr. Aaron Vine Interviewed by News 12 on Pet Safety during Hurricane Sandy

Dr. Aaron Vine of Central Veterinary Associates was interviewed by News 12 on how to keep pets safe during Hurricane Sandy. To view the segment, click here.