Monday, October 24, 2016

Storefront Report: Pet hospital opens on Echo Park’s Animal Row

Pet owner and patient at Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital/David Austin

By Hayley Fox

Echo Park dogs and cats rejoice. There are two new vets in town ready to rid your worms and clean your teeth.

The Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital opened last month in Echo Park on a stretch of Sunset Bouelvard that’s quickly becoming Animal Row. Situated between PETA and K9 Loft, the new vet office performs a wide range of medical and dental procedures for kitties and canines.

Michelle Zoryan, owner and one of the vets at the hospital, said they provide everything from check-ups to lab testing, X-rays and surgical procedures. So far they’ve seen a diverse stream of customers, with plenty of Eastsiders’ favorite dogs, pit bulls and chihuahuas.

Zoryan is joined at the hospital by vet Diane Tang (Full disclosure: I had to bring our dog in and Tang worked through multiple options with me.) Both grew up in the San Fernando Valley and met at a Glendale animal clinic. But they had their eyes on Echo Park.

“Dr. Tang and I have always loved Echo Park for its close-knit neighborhood and its lively culture,” Zoryan wrote in an email. “We are frequent visitors of all of the local restaurants and shops! One of the main reasons why we elected to open a hospital here is because we wanted a place where we felt comfortable and part of a family, and Echo Park fit that need.”

In addition, next door’s K9 Loft, a dog boarding and pet supply business, is owned by Zoryan’s husband and his partner.

And while Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital, which is open seven days a week, is functional for pets, its design is really for the owners. A clean, crisp lobby is accented with large photographs of dogs and cats doing adorable things. Behind the receptionist desk is a brick wall, which Zoryan said is 108 years old and served as the inspiration for the hospital’s design.

“We wanted to keep a piece of the history of Echo Park in our hospital while also bringing in new design and state-of-the-art veterinary equipment and services – a little yin and yang,” she wrote.

There’s a treat jar for pets on the reception desk, and a coffee nook for humans in the lobby.

Exposed brick decor greets pets and humans/Photo by David Austin

Hayley Fox is an L.A. native now living in Echo Park. After getting her master’s in journalism at the Annenberg school, Fox worked at public radio station KPCC 89.3 where she wrote and produced stories for online and on-air. She covered mostly downtown L.A. and South L.A. news, as well as covering city-wide crime, breaking news and the occasional adorable animal story.

Eastsider Advertising


  1. Welcome to the neighborhood. I’m excited to have an option so close for my cats (around the corner) who absolutely hate car rides.

  2. Not to be a drag, but when my dog was a patient at VCA Arden, (the Glendale animal clinic where Dr. Zoryan has been a vet), I felt pressured by her to buy certain dog foods that upon research, I decided against. Knowing that her husband owns K-9 makes me–think that pet owners should just make sure they feel they are getting what they need for their pet, rather than blindly following advice given by a vet clinic in tandem with a pet supply store.

    Having more services for pets in the neighborhood is a wonderful thing, and I wish Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital much success. My neighbors and I also rely on K-9 for pet-sitting and dog food. But I would urge pet owners to stay on top of their own pets health with their own research, in addition to information given to them by their vets and pet stores.

    • I ultimately think that people do need to take into consideration many things when caring for their pets. I, for one, value the advice of a veterinarian, who has 8 years of education, to help guide me on the best thing I can do for my dog. Likewise, I value the opinion of a medical doctor when it comes to my own health. I appreciate veterinarians and doctors who take into account what I can reasonably afford as well and guide me to what is most appropriate for my income that’s within my level of comfort.

      Although, I agree that one should perform some level of research. When I need to go to a human doctor, I’m not online trying to self-diagnose what my problem is. Why would I attempt to do that for my own pet when I’m not doing that for myself. I rely on someone who has trained for 8 years, sees health problems daily, and is an expert in their field for myself. Shouldn’t I do that for my pet as well?

      I do believe that vets are sometimes wrong in their diagnosis, but so are human doctors. I have no idea how to read blood work, how to draw blood, how to perform surgery, or how to diagnose health related issues… If I’m unable to diagnose my own issues (not all the time obviously) Why would I put my own pet’s health at risk by trying to diagnose the issues myself. Leave that to the trained professionals who would do a better job than I would.

      Ultimately, you believe what you did was right for your pet and honestly I feel that vets also want to do whats right for your pet. Sometimes there’s discord there, but you are making it seem like following a veterinarians advice “blindly” is a bad thing when it isn’t. Finding a vet you can trust and that you believe is good at what he/she does it most important. They ultimately care for pets and the joys that they bring to everyone’s lives. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have accrued $250k+ student loan debt when they could have become an MD and made 2x the amount.

      With that said, welcome to the neighborhood Mohawk. Hope to see you all soon.

      • I have a few friends who stopped taking their pets to VCA Arden where Dr. Zoryan worked previously because they also felt it became too expensive. She did not own that practice, so obviously she was not responsible for that, but I’ve had several conversations with other pet owners who started to feel uncertain about the quality of care they were receiving for the $$ at VCA Arden.

        It’s easy enough to find out online, but I’m a little curious why the article above did not name VCA Arden as the “Glendale animal clinic” where Drs Zoryan and Tang worked formerly. It’s local and well-known. As a reader and pet owner, I’m less interested in whether a vet likes to eat at the restaurants in the neighborhood than I am in whether they do good work for a fair price.

        @lloyd, it’s nice of you to defend a private business so strongly. Vets are for-profit entities that stand to make a pretty penny from consumers, and when your pet is sick and can’t tell you what’s wrong, you can often find yourself staring at a bill that escalates dramatically with each procedure and each test. All I suggest is that pet owners use available tools to back themselves up. You can easily use google and yelp to get some context or background info on a vet or vet hospital. You can also find a lot of good info about your pet’s health. Yes, it is comfortable to rely solely on a vet if you can afford it.

  3. My two dogs have been seeing Dr. Zoryan for 8 years. We travel 40 miles to see her and will follow her wherever she goes! Congrats to her for pursuing her dreams and we wish nothing but success for Mohawk.

  4. This is great news! We took our cat, Delilah, to Dr. Tang when she was in Glendale for a teeth cleaning and one of her teeth seemed to be loose. Dr. Tang checked the tooth with us in the examination room and agreed it seemed loose. However, when she was performing the cleaning, she did a more thorough check and the tooth was fine and didn’t need to come out. A less honest vet (and they’re out there) would have taken the tooth out anyway, since we already gave approval to have it removed. It really showed me she put the interest of Delilah over making a few extra hundred bucks.

  5. Echo Park resident

    Vet care in this city — particularly in Silver Lake and Echo Park — is either pretty substandard or ridiculously expensive. I’m hoping that, given the credentials and obvious knowledge the vets at this clinic have, they are aware that not every pet owner in Echo Park can afford an $80+ check up plus additional care fees. Hopefully Mohawk does not alienate the low income and long-time residents of the area with overpriced services. Perhaps a sliding scale or low income vouchers might woo more people here? Otherwise, I only see this as another step in the whitewashing of Echo Park.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *