Celebrity Vet Amy Attas’ Pet Care Adventures in New York Turned Memoir


From the bustling streets of New York, a city known for its skyscrapers and vibrant noises, comes a narrative worthy of a movie script, starring Amy Attas, a woman who swapped the generic white walls of an animal clinic for the warmth and familiarity of homes. This decision steered her away from the trajectory of most vets and aligned her path more closely with the eccentrically delightful James Herriot, known for his vivid portrayal of countryside animal care in the classic, “All Creatures Great and Small.”

As a child, Amy dreamed of replicating Herriot’s adventures but in her cityscape. After playing out this dream for more than three decades in the city that never sleeps, she turned her Queens-to-Manhattan journey into a profession. With each passing day, the city streets bore witness to her duty of making house calls to ailing pets, thus bestowing upon her a plethora of stories.

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Among her many encounters was a stormy confrontation with a massive Rottweiler, territorial and in pain, his threatening fangs on full display. Another incident resulted in Amy spending three weeks on an intravenous antibiotic course after suffering a vicious bite from an unwell feline.

Equally colorful were her rendezvous with the human counterparts, ranging from firm refusals to neuter dogs to celebrity encounters with pets in tow. Joan Rivers, the late comedian, was not only a beloved client but also a friend. Singer Cher once shed her star-studded persona and gamely showed her own rash as a reference point for the mange symptoms on her newly adopted canine. Singer Billy Joel even serenaded the devoted vet on his piano.

These kaleidoscopic experiences are assembled lovingly into her memoir, “Pets and the City,” to be published on June 18. The penned accounts not only promise riveting tales but also valuable advice for animal enthusiasts.

When Amy started her house-call based practice, City Pets, she had modest expectations. Her previous clients from an upscale animal hospital, including Joan Rivers, convinced her to stay in the field. Soon, her venture grew beyond the scope of a novelty, attracting an extensive clientele. From navigating the busy Manhattan spaces via the subway and cabs, Amy eventually upgraded to traveling in a chauffeur-driven car.

The diversity of her clients surprised her as she gained popularity among pet owners ranging from those dealing with physical disabilities to those seeking convenience. Among her frequent patients is Puddy, a 19-year-old cat diagnosed with high blood pressure, noticeably at ease with her in his home filled with sunlight and art.

Cody, an enthusiastic 8-year-old Maltese suffering from allergies and a heart murmur, became another regular. His mother Lisa is convinced that the extraordinary love lavished on their furry child is well worth every penny spent.

While the roving veterinary practice requires significant travel time, the in-transit moments are efficiently used to coordinate upcoming appointments, discuss cases and respond to queries. Amy’s holistic approach to care extends beyond typical vaccinations and tests. Intricate cases demanding specialists and large machinery are promptly referred to animal hospitals, ensuring the best care possible for her furry patients.

Over time, Amy’s practice evolved into more than just a veterinary service; for homeowners accustomed to her visits, she became a part of their extended family. Ranging from celebrities to humble households, her clientele is as diverse as the city itself. Even when the owners are away, Amy and her team are trusted to access homes and care for the pets.

Her approach to veterinary care, a unique blend of comfort for pets and insightful observation of their living spaces, yields invaluable advice for homeowners. Whether it is pointing out potential hazards or suggesting changes, Amy goes above and beyond the call of her profession.

However, her services are not restricted to just diagnosing and treating pet ailments. Amy is deeply empathetic, recognizing and acting on signs of distress in pet owners, especially the elderly. An instance that stands out is her effort to help a grief-stricken 90-year-old client after the loss of her beloved pet. Under the pretense of fostering, she gave the woman another senior dog to care for, thus giving her a renewed sense of purpose.

Amy’s unconventional path with its inimitable stories is an endearing testament to her unwavering dedication. Navigating through a city teeming with diversity and challenges, her profound love for animals and commitment to their welfare remains steadfast, just as she imagined it to be in her childhood dreams.