TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook

Accreditations & Certifications

TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook is proud to be an AAHA Accredited Hospital. Additionally, our team members are Fear-Free Certified, Low-Stress Handling Certified, and Dr. Epstein is a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Canine & Feline Practice, as well as an IVAPM Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. If you want to understand more about how these accreditations affect your pet's care, reach out to us!

AAHA Accreditation

TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook - AAHA Accredited

The American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices in the United States. Veterinary practices do not have to be AAHA accredited in order to operate, and some choose not to be because the qualifications are so stringent.

To become AAHA accredited, practices must meet the highest possible quality standards in a range of areas, from pain management and patient care, to organizational qualities like record keeping and communication. 

Only 15% of North American small animal practices are AAHA-accredited, and we are proud to have achieve this designation, helping to inform everything we do from interacting with your pets to the culture of how we operate as an organization.

American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP)

The American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certifies individual veterinarians, mostly in private practice, who excel as Specialists in one of several different practices and species categories. It recognizes these clinicians as qualified to fill a unique and specific functional role in the delivery of modern comprehensive veterinary services.

In order to achieve Diplomate status, a veterinarian must work through a rigorous multi-year process of application, continuing education, study, writing, and testing. ABVP Board-Certification is not a permanently-conferred status. Diplomates must subsequently complete a comprehensive Re-Certification process every 10 years. ABVP promotes continued improvement of individual veterinarian expertise and advancement of knowledge.

Dr. Epstein completed his ABVP Board-Certification in Canine & Feline Practice in 1993, and Dr. Hay in 1999. All TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals clinicians are encouraged to become ABVP Diplomates.

TotalBond Veterinary Hospitals is proud to have two of the very few Board Certified specialists for dogs and cats practicing in the 14 county metro Charlotte area, indeed in North Carolina, and only a few hundred world-wide. Dr. Epstein served as president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners 2008-2009.

Fear Free Certification

The Fear Free certification is awarded to team members that have been through extensive training and proven their ability to provide a consistently low-stress and fear-free environment for pets.

This training deepens our knowledge of reducing your pet's fear and anxiety during a visit, including how our facility itself, its sounds, smells, sights, surfaces, and more can contribute to or alleviate stress in animals. 

Our team members recognize how every individual interaction with a pet can affect its stress level, perception of the situation and environment, and willingness to cooperate with us. 

A comfortable and cooperative pet is less likely to cause delays or unsafe conditions during procedures, examinations, or blood tests. Additionally, a less anxious pet will greatly reduce your own anxiety about scheduling a vet visit! These are just some of the reasons we’re proud to embody and maintain this approach to veterinary practice.

Low Stress Handling Certification

The Low Stress Handling certification is awarded to team members that have been through extensive training and proven their ability to provide a consistently low-stress and fear-free environment for pets.

Completing these certifications involves taking a course and passing examinations as well as ensuring that the facility policies are designed for a low-stress and fear-free environment for all types of pets.

Part of the training to achieve this certification involves recognizing signs of fear, stress, or anxiety in pets and avoiding all commonly made mistakes that humans make when greeting, approaching, or handling animals that can make the animals uncomfortable, fearful, or aggressive. 

We maintain this training and certification for a simple reason— we want your pet to be comfortable and happy when with us. It speaks to an entirely different philosophy of and approach to seeing furry family members in an animal hospital. The difference in the experience for pets - no matter how happy or nervous - is palpable.

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management and Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner

The International Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) is an organization uniquely devoted to the promotion, enhancement, and advancement of pain control in animals.

Dr. Epstein was a charter member in 2003, has achieved IVAPM’s Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner Status and served in its leadership including President 2009-11.

Learn more at

Join the TotalBond Veterinary Hospital at Forestbrook Family Today!

Our animal hospital is located just 26 minutes from downtown Charlotte via I-85 N. We are by Gaston Country Club, easily accessible to the pets of Gaston County and the surrounding areas.

Phone: 704-867-8318

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