New South Lake Tahoe vet practice opens, catering to cats and dogs |

New South Lake Tahoe vet practice opens, catering to cats and dogs

Autumn Whitney
Blue Lake Animal Care Center opened on July 5.
Courtesy / Neil Powell |

Three months ago, longtime South Lake Tahoe veterinarian Neil Powell opened his own practice, Blue Lake Animal Care Center. The veterinary clinic and animal hospital, which opened on July 5, was created as part of Powell’s new vision for South Lake Tahoe veterinarians.

“I just wanted to do things differently. I thought that the town needed some new ideas for veterinarians and I had a few different ideas on what we could do. I wanted to try it out on my own and see,” Powell said.

Blue Lake Animal Care Center offers appointments, emergency and urgent care — all with an emphasis on creating a positive, stress-free experience for people and their pets.

“We focus really intensely on customer service. We do high quality medical care, and everything we have is state-of-the-art. We try to not just focus on animals, but also on their people. We try our best to make sure people are feeling good about the experience,” Powell explained.

The hospital is the only one in town that offers wellness packages. Customers are able to buy a bundle that includes a mix of annual necessities, such as check-ups, nail trims and more. Prices range from $175 to $385 depending on type of package.

All pets are welcome, but according to Powell, approximately 98-99 percent of the animals they see are dogs and cats. The center occasionally sees guinea pigs, bunnies and other small pets. Whatever they treat, the six-person staff wants animals and their owners to have a relaxing experience at the facilities — different than their high-stress competitors.

“Even if it’s not for an exam, just come in and take a look around. People would notice the way our color is, it’s not dreary — it’s colorful. It’s upbeat. Animals don’t tend to be stressed, and people that come in tell us the energy is different than most hospitals they’ve been to.

“We’re bringing positivity to the workplace,” Powell said.

While customers are able to sign up for packages online, he encourages people to stop by the center and fill out forms in person, as staff gives recommendations based on what’s best for particular animals.

Powell is a licensed veterinarian who has worked with other South Shore practices since 2000.

For more information on Blue Lake Animal Care Center, visit

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