All creatures small and healthy

PEPPERELL — Author James Herriot, the pen name for James Wight, would be amazed at what is inside the doors of the Pepperell Veterinary Hospital.

For over 30 years, Dr. Bradbury Smith and his staff have been gently handling cats and dogs and even without a book or television series, Dr. Smith’s fame and business have grown each year.

Mr. Herriot would also be amazed that in the U.S., $58 billion is spent on pets, according to CBS News, $15 billion of that is on veterinary care.

“When I first opened the doors here at 110 River Road, I also handled horses,” Smith said, “making trips out to nearby farms and stables. In a very short time, it was clear that our focus would be on cats and dogs because the need was so great.”

He graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1977 and moved to Las Vegas to work in his field. There, he met Sally.

Brad and Sally Smith have lived in Groton for 20 years and, along with their two sons, have been caregivers to chickens, a peacock, sheep, cows, a parrot, a toad, a lizard, cats and dogs and now, a border collie named Maggie who, when Brad is at work, happily makes her bed there at Pepperell Veterinary Hospital.

“This building was built in the late 50’s by a vet who lived next door and whose home still stands,” said Smith. “We have enlarged this building four times since then. Maureen Giattino, who lives in Groton, was the architect for three of our four additions and she did a wonderful job.”

“Working with Brad and his team was the easy part of the rehabs,” said Giattino, “but what was more difficult was making sure that business could continue each day while the renovations were on. We wanted to be sure this last set of changes would handle business for the decade ahead. It was a challenge but one I really enjoyed.”

The team at 110 River Road totals 20.

“I am very lucky to work with such a great team of doctors and staff,” said Smith. “Our doctors are, Lauren Flanagan, Laura Berkowitz, Rebecca Caldwell and Andrea Bird. Every day here is different; an adventure.

“We work with people and their cats or dogs and are grateful that now we have separate waiting areas for each,” he said, “which has a real bonus! We do operations, testing of all kinds, vaccinations, and general yearly exams, and much more. We even have senior wellness care for pets.

“I want to mention that we’ve been working with Martha Boynton for a long time,” Smith said. “She is a volunteer for The Fund for Cats and Dogs, which was started by Terry Lapointe, who died in 2008. Martha has done a tremendous job.”

“My passion is to help reduce the feline population and make a difference in the lives of cats and kittens,” said Boynton. “I met Terry 15 years ago when I needed to adopt two cats for my uncle whose wife had died. I now handle about 200 cats and kittens a year, making sure each is spayed or neutered before they are adopted.

“I work with Groton, Pepperell and Townsend,” she said, “Working with Brad and his team continues to be a wonderful experience. The fund can always use volunteers and, of course, donations to take care of these animals. We actively work to find homes for all the animals in need. It is a continuous, much needed effort of which I am proud to be a part. I do wish we had a physical location but since Terry’s death, nothing has been made available.”

Martha can be reached at 978-835-5920,

Pepperell Veterinary Hospital is located at 110 River Road, Pepperell, and can be reached at 978-433-8613 or