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North Alabama Veterinary Emergency & Specialty

Puppy and kitten sitting on an exam table

About Us

Dr. Ingrid Straeter-Knowlen with puppy patient

Your Neighborhood Emergency & Specialty Pet Care Center

At North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty, we will treat your pet as a valued member of both your family and our family. We understand and support the bond you have with your pet, and our entire purpose is to care for your pet when they need us the most.

In 1994, Sheri Fastenrath, DVM, identified the need for an emergent care facility for owners and their pets in the Huntsville area. Unfortunately, there were not many overnight emergency options for medical treatment in the surrounding area.

In response to that need, Dr. Fastenrath and other local veterinarians formed a committee to lay the plans for what would become the Animal Emergency Clinic of North Alabama. The community's response was so overwhelming that many of the area veterinarians also came aboard and agreed that there was a need in the community. The Animal Emergency Clinic of North Alabama was founded by Dr. Sheri Fastnrath, Dr. Charles Horton, and Dr. Mark Russell, Dr. Mike Wilson, Dr. Wilson McManus II, Dr. Charles Young, Dr. Sammy Linderman, and the late Dr. Lewis McCurdy. In 2018, we became Animal Emergency & Critical Care, and in 2024 we are now the North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty.

North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty is a full-service emergent care facility that is an extension of the local veterinary hospitals. We provide overnight hospitalization for critical patients and access to emergency care 7 days a week. Our team works closely with referring veterinarian practices.

Our equipment/facilities include:

  • Intensive care unit with oxygen and temperature control

  • Surgical suite with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, anesthesia machines, and a ventilator

  • Digital radiography will be emailed to your pet’s primary care veterinarian

  • Complete in–house chemistry, blood count, blood gas, urinalysis, and coagulation analysis

  • Ultrasonography

  • Limited equipment for exotic and pocket pets

If you have any questions or need immediate care for your pet, call us at (256) 850-0077.

We Welcome Animals of All Varieties Including:

  • Common Household Pets: Dogs and cats

  • Exotic Pets: Birds, Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hedgehogs, Sugar Gliders, and Rodents (rats, hamsters, gerbils, etc.)

*Exotic pet care is based on doctor availability and case severity. Please call ahead to inquire about exotic pets.

Young dog (puppy) being looked at by veterinary staff with logos for AAHA, AVMA, ALVMA, and VECCS along the bottom

Our Hospital Affiliations

At North Alabama Veterinary ER + Specialty, we believe your pet deserves the best care. Our staff stays up to date and engages in continuing education monthly.

  • American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) - Learn More

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) - Learn More

  • Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (ALVMA) - Learn More

  • Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society (VECCS) - Learn More