Malibu Patch 2011 Article
Malibu Vet Keeps ‘Family Members’ Healthy
Dr. John Lupo of Malibu Veterinary Clinic helps the four-legged residents stay happy and healthy.
My own dog was, in so many ways, a rescue. Almost 12 years ago, my co-worker at the time would keep my now dog Jake in a cage for 12 hours at a time while he was at work. So, I “rescued” Jake (aka “Jacob” when he’s in trouble) at six months old.
But I grew up with animals—dogs, cats; there was always at least one four-legged creature roaming the halls of the family home. My parents were animal lovers as well. Actually, considering I’m one of five kids, I’m thinking my parents are lovers of chaos.
I think it would be a pretty cool job to work with animals all day, which is exactly what Dr. John Lupo does at .
Sounds cliché, but it appeared to be very genuine when he matter-of-factly, yet with lots of warmth, said, “I love helping animals.”
Lupo said he also likes the feeling of helping people.
“When someone brings in their pet, it is like a member of their family, and the person is all stressed out and sad,” Lupo said. “Then the pet gets better, and the person has so much joy because the animal is going to be OK.”
Of course, he also acknowledged when the opposite happens, it is never fun. But we won’t dwell on this side of the job.
After graduating from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the mid-’90s, Lupo knew he wanted to run his own clinic. Three years ago, he heard about a practice in Malibu up for sale, and one year later Lupo was in place on PCH near Kanan-Dume Road. Not a bad spot to land!
“We love the community,” he said. “It is a small close-knit community and very pet friendly.”
His photographer wife Evelien Lupo also helps at the practice with six other employees. So the practice itself is also a “close-knit community.” She takes lots of photos of the family pets brought into the clinic, and created a blog. (Personally, I loved the pics. The dog photos here are of recent patients.)
The clinic also offers grooming and boarding, and Lupo encourages rescues. On Fridays, one of the gals who works in the office brings the pets for adoption that have, unfortunately, ended up on death row. The clinic also offers a large discount to rescue organizations that bring animals in for care as well as for the owners who rescue animals.
“For the first visit, there is no charge with a 25 percent discount on initial medications,” the doctor said.
And when he’s not running around the clinic or at home with his wife and three kids, Lupo is out running house calls.
“Yes, we will do simple calls for goats, sheep, and, of course, the dogs and the cats,” Lupo said.
There is a doctor who fills in for Lupo on Mondays, his day off, who specializes in large animals.
Lupo went into vet school after being raised around horses at Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood. His father, a racehorse trainer, introduced him to the love of animals.
So I asked him, “OK, tell me, just between us, which animals are your favorite?”
“I grew up a dog person,” Lupo said. “However, the more I’ve gotten to know cats, I really enjoy them.”
And it may just be because of the cat that has come to love and trust him. After being hit by a car, the kitty lost the ability to urinate on its own due to permanent damage to the bladder. So twice a day, Lupo stops by the patient’s house to “express the bladder.”
“I have to put my hand over the abdomen and push out the urination,” he said.
Lupo has done this for the last year and a half. Every day. To and from work.
“In the beginning, the cat would scratch and bite and wouldn’t let me touch at all,” he said. “I thought, ‘How am I going to take care of this cat?’”
And today? They are “best buddies,” Lupo said.
“He lets me do anything now … we started as enemies and now love each other,” he said.
“I really care about the animals; I’m happy to be here,” Lupo said.
It sounds like our furry family members are happy as well.
Malibu Veterinary Clinic: 28990 Pacific Coast Highway (Point Dume Professional Center); 310.457.6453