A lasting legacy: Lort Smith celebrates 85 years serving the community

Today iconic Melbourne institution Lort Smith celebrates 85 years serving the community.

Lort Smith Animal Hospital opened in 1936, through the work of two outstanding and progressive women – founder, Louisa Lort Smith and co-founder, Lady Frances Lyle. The organisation which has grown from initially small beginnings, is today the busiest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia seeing around 25,000 patients every year.

Lort Smith’s long history of promoting the human-animal bond continues, with renewed energy as it reaches 85 years, and a focus on the disadvantaged members of our community, while offering the best possible services and facilities for all pets and their carers.

Lort Smith’s Head of Hospital, Dr David Cunliffe said, “From the beginning, our founder Louisa Lort Smith set the path for our organisation, and today we remain committed to her promise of delivering high-quality animal health care and wellbeing.

“At Lort Smith we champion the human-animal bond, and have a unique legacy of compassion for pets and people in our community. We see how critical this bond is every day in our hospital and our Adoption Hub,” he said.

There is no doubt as to what is at the heart of Lort Smith, both historically and moving forward, and that is the care and compassion for the welfare of animals and their owners.

“This is what makes Lort Smith stand apart, and this essence is what binds the old with the new, and the past with the future for Lort Smith,” said Dr Cunliffe.

Lort Smith’s future is growing to support more people in our community with the building of Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Campbellfield Centre, which is due to open later this year. This will mean high-quality, affordable vet care to those in the middle and outer suburbs of Melbourne’s north, north-east and north-west.

Dr Cunliffe said, “Our plan is to be around providing services to the community for another 85 years and beyond – with Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Campbellfield Centre currently being built and plans with community support for redeveloping our existing site here in North Melbourne in the near future.

“Lort Smith has had a long and proud history that is based on a pay it forward philosophy where full fee paying clients subsidise the care of animals for people who can’t afford to pay.

“The work of Lort Smith today is just as important to animals and the community as it was back in 1936,” he said.