Building a Legacy at Pennsauken Animal Hospital
Updated: Apr 20
As seen in Collingswood Living:
As a pet owner, you always want the best of the best for your little one’s routine care and especially when it comes to emergency or urgent care situations. In our area, you can find just that with Pennsauken Animal Hospital and Urgent Care, a privately owned, full-service general practice and urgent care offering advanced surgery and dentistry, wellness care including vaccines, as well as management of both acute and chronic illnesses in dogs and cats.
Dr. Torre, the current owner of Pennsauken Animal Hospital, is no stranger to our area. He grew up in Medford, NJ. At the age of 8, his family got their first dog which was the first spark of interest for him to work with animals. As a teenager, he worked as a kennel assistant and this experience only fueled and cemented his desire to study veterinary medicine. Dr.Torre went on to earn his BA in animal science and biology from Cornell University in 2007. He earned his veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Community service is an important aspect to Dr. Torre. He led a group of twenty veterinary students on a trip to Thailand where they provided free medical services to stray dogs and cats. He has also spent hours volunteering at the local wildlife rehabilitation center and at Philadelphia shelters. He is a pet owner himself now having a rescue dog named Leonard and three cats. In addition to PAH, Dr. Torre can be found at one of the other veterinary hospitals or at his brewery, Dr. Brewlittles.
In 2017, Dr. Christopher Torre took ownership but, Pennsauken Animal Hospital originally opened its doors on August 30th, 1948 by Dr. Peter DeCinque, who was a WWII veteran. This year will be 75 years as an animal hospital. It has even kept the same address and phone number for those 75 years. Dr. Torre reflects, “It’s amazing we have clients who remember Dr. DeCinque and still come to our hospital!” After Dr. DeCinque retired, Dr. Rippie bought and operated the practice. Dr. Rippie was known for his compassion and care for pets. He was deeply beloved and after Dr. Rippie’s passing, their non-profit Helping Paws was founded in his honor. The legacy of the previous doctor’s care and the history of this building is one that Dr. Torre takes seriously. Even with the growth of the practice, Dr. Torre makes a point to honor and remember the founder, Dr. DeCinque, and past owner, Dr. Rippie with a canvas in the lobby. He believes they would be proud of the work they are doing. Dr. Torre’s plans for Pennsauken Animal Hospital is to carry on this extraordinary legacy of animal care and take the practice to the next level.
Giving back to the community is especially important to the Pennsauken Animal Hospital team. They care for the animals in need within Camden County through the non-profit Helping Paws. This organization was founded in 2020 and created on the belief that every animal deserves an advocate; a voice that will speak for and fight for their future. Yes, Helping Paws started in the middle of the pandemic and has since helped over 90 animals! But veterinary work is not all cute and cuddly and the team does not get to spend all day every day looking into the eyes of every adorable animal that comes their way.
Their urgent care service sees a variety of emergencies and the team strives to make every owner and patient feel cared for and comforted during difficult situations. However, getting to know each animal and their humans makes it all worth it. The PAH team loves to share those
stories and encounters on their social media accounts and the staff often go back and look at those photos to remember all lives they get to be a part of.
The team at Pennsauken Animal Hospital also hopes to get to know even more members of the community through the new additions to the main building. The main building is expanding horizontally and vertically becoming three stories high. As part of the hospital’s expansion, they are excited to continue to improve their availability and provide new additional services to their clients. The renovations have started and at the end of the construction, PAH will be one of, if not the biggest, animal hospitals in Camden County! While construction is taking place they are seeing patients in their temporary space on the property. When you go inside, you can see all the hard work they have put into the space to make it feel comfortable for pets. You can’t even tell it’s temporary! The staff are also taking this time to improve their skills and have started the process of becoming Fear Free certified. Dr. Torre and his family are passionate about keeping the community feeling that Dr. DeCinque and Dr. Rippie started while also providing the very best care possible. The past 75 years have been incredible and we know Pennsauken Animal Hospital has many more years of great pet care ahead!
By Nichole DiDio, Collingswood Living