Our History - Dandenong Veterinary Hospital

Our History

Dr. William Hogarth-Scott in uniform as a Regiment Veterinary Officer

The Dandenong Veterinary Hospital is one of the oldest Veterinary practices in Melbourne. The practice began in 1925 when Dr. William Hogarth-Scott, a Scottish Veterinarian, migrated to Australia and settled in Dandenong. He was born in Newington, Scotland on November 6th, 1893. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Veterinary degree. He first registered with the Veterinary Board of Victoria on December 23rd, 1925, and the practice was originally located at 245 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong.

The practice later moved to 8 – 10 Macrae Street on the site that later became the National Australia Bank. This site was chosen for its proximity to the original Stock Market. In those early days, it was mainly a country practice treating farm animals as well as the dogs and cats of Dandenong residents.

Dr. William Hogarth-Scott met and married Miss Jessie May Bowman in 1935. They had four children, one of whom became a Veterinarian – Stirling Hogarth-Scott. Dr. William Hogarth-Scott was also Regiment Veterinary Officer for the 13th Light Horse Cavalry Regiment, Australian Army Veterinary Corps, from 1930 to 1946.

Dr. Stirling Hogarth-Scott – October 1968

Dr. William Hogarth-Scott was an innovator in practice – performing the first successful Caesarean section in a cow (twin calves). He was also attributed as the first Veterinarian in Victoria to diagnose anthrax (on a farm that later became the General Motor Holden site) as he had seen the disease in Scotland. He is also said to have had access to antibiotics before the town doctor which would have been in the late 1930’s.

Branch practices were established at Hastings in the late 1950’s, Tecoma in the early 1960’s, Berwick from 1962 to 1977 and Springvale from the mid 1960s to the early 1970’s. These were gradually sold over the years.

William’s son Stirling completed a Veterinary Science degree at Queensland University in December 1960. He undertook further study at Cambridge University in England mainly in Parasitology and completed a Ph.D.

Dr. William Hogarth-Scott – the founder of the practice –died in 1969 at the age of 75 years. Stirling, who had worked in the practice as well as pursuing a career in research, then took over the practice.

In 1972, Dr. Stirling Hogarth-Scott constructed a new Hospital. This was one of the first purpose-built Veterinary Hospitals in Melbourne – the building that we are still using today. He had visited the United States in 1969 after winning a Churchill Fellowship to further study allergies and worm infestations. During this visit he had seen many of the large Veterinary Hospitals and used these ideas in the design of the Hospital.

Dr Don Kelman joined the practice, became a partner and for many years the practice was known as Hogarth-Scott and Kelman.

In 1981, Dr. Stirling Hogarth-Scott sold his share to Dr. Kelman and several years later moved to England to pursue a career in the newly emerging field of Biotechnology. Unfortunately, he died at a very early age in 1987.

Princes Highway Veterinary Hospital – before the major renovations conducted in the year 2000

Dr Rob Jones

Dr. Robert Jones joined the practice in 1979 and became a partner with Dr. Kelman in 1982. Dr. Kelman left the practice to become a specialist in Veterinary Surgery. The death of Dr. Stirling Hogarth-Scott in 1987 was the reason to change the name to Princes Highway Veterinary Hospital. Over the years, as Dandenong city spread its boundaries, there was less farm work and the practice now only sees dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, rats, mice, fish, reptiles etc.

In December 1994, the Robinson Street Veterinary Hospital owned by Dr. Helen Baillie moved into the Hospital on Princes Highway to make this the largest Veterinary Hospital in the Dandenong region. In 1998 the name was changed to Dandenong Veterinary Hospital.

In 2000 a major renovation was undertaken by Dr Jones to ensure that the Hospital was able to continue the excellent service into the new millennium.

Dr Rob became a Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Canine Medicine by examination in 1986. He completed his Masters in Aquaculture at Deakin University, Warrnambool in 2004.

In 1999 he commenced working as Veterinarian for the Melbourne Aquarium.

In July 2009 Rob left the partnership at Dandenong Veterinary Hosptial, initially continuing to work part time within the team. In 2011, after 32 years at DVH, Dr Robert Jones departed DVH and became a full time consultant in the private aquarium industry, but maintains a number of positions and relationships with the pet care industry as a whole. He now spends many hours with fish and sharks and is one of the few Veterinarians in the world who regularly performs ultrasound on sharks. He has air transported sharks to Japan and regularly consults with other Aquaria around the world. He was part of the team that performed the first Artificial Insemination in a shark in the world in July 2005.

Dr. Darren Shortt joined the practice in December 2001 and became a partner in January 2006. He is only the fifth owner in over 80 years of caring for the pets of Dandenong’s residents. Come July 2009, Dr Jessica Morse acceded Dr Rob Jones as practice partner and became the first female owner in the practice history. In 2017 Dr Darren and Dr Jessica re-designed the paint scheme and installed LED signage to modernise the building and bring it up to date.

The building before the recent update

Dandenong Vet Hospital as it is today