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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> 1960 to 1969 Miami Area Historical Photos Gallery - click on image to view > 1961 - Bird Road Animal Hospital (BRAH), loved by many who worked there, at 7775 Bird Road, Miami
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1961 - Bird Road Animal Hospital (BRAH), loved by many who worked there, at 7775 Bird Road, Miami

1961 - Bird Road Animal Hospital (BRAH), loved by many who worked there, at 7775 Bird Road, Miami

7775 Bird Road, Miami, Florida

The Tropicaire Drive-In Theatre screen is in the background.

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K. Rabin, DVM 26-Oct-2016 17:31
Mrs Uribe (not Urine) !
K. Rabin, DVM 26-Oct-2016 17:30
BTW Dr Chavez! I remember you doing all those bathes Willy! You were amazing and definitely when you started you fit right in!!! So many memories. Those wards and the drying area in the back outside! The Hugh parking lot that would actually fill up late in the day. The Operating theater with all glass wall and human inspired set up and equipment! All high end and under appreciated by this cowboy team of techs full of energy and faster then lightning at getting things done. I recall some of the super star clients as well. Remember Fernando with his cats? And Mrs Urine with her GSD (shepards!). Those grey hound blood donors (specifically Lois and Clark and Bones!) instilled a love of greyhounds that carried on through my life and I have had many greyhounds myself all adopted from donor programs and my first boy, Norman, was right off the track with a broken leg! (A failed drop off for euthanasia 🤗). Let's get back in touch! Kathy McCarthy... u call me home girl! Also I remember that old building in the photo from when I was a kid and frequenting the flea market with my brother... little did I know then that that building would factor in to my life calling. Didn't Miami look so different with all the beautiful palm trees in the days before the blight that caused them all to be chopped down!! Miss those old times! Rabin
K. Rabin, DVM 26-Oct-2016 17:19
Wow! Reading these comments was like sitting in a room of old friends from another lifetime! I started working at BRAH on my 16th birthday (would have been my 15th but Dr Deriso told me I was too young so I spent a year at Kendall Animal Hosp w Dr Rogoff). I worked there until I started vet school at age 25!! Then came back to Dr Bailey's CCAH as a vet. I am on the West Coast now and am the Founder of a brand new Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Practice. I was teaching skiing part time and had a young student with the last name "Deriso" when I asked this bright and wonderful 4!year old who her dad was she said "Tray"! And I knew I was teaching Dr Derisos' granddaughter! I cried when I met Dr Tray after our lesson. His family is amazing! Dr D died lasted that week while I was spending time with his granddaughter. It was sad and beautiful way to say good bye to an amazing mentor of mine. . . I know many of you who posted her and I second the thought of having a big reunion some time!! Someone start a BRAH Facebook page so we can connect!! Karen Rabin, DVM.
William Chavez 18-Jun-2015 12:44
After I became a vet I opened up a Bird and Exotic Hospital and Dr. Deriso called me to come and take a look at Fred the parrot. It was very sad to walk in there 10 years after having left and finding the place had lost its life. Like Dennis Lee stated -that was the busiest animal hospital in the world back in the late 70's to late 80's. I sometimes would do 50 to 60 baths on a Saturday. That bathing ward would not stop-constant rotation of dogs getting a bath and dip to try and control the massive Florida flea problem we had back then. We have it so easy with fleas now. After 12 years of practicing exotic medicine in Miami, I decided to move to Los Angeles and have been there for 9 years now. I visit Miami several times a year and I hate the fact that the old BRAH building has been demolished and that eyesore of a building has been erected.
William Chavez 18-Jun-2015 12:34
Wow, I often think of the people at BRAH. I worked there from 1983 to 1985. Those were great years for me. Some of the people from BRAH later moved over to Dr. Bailey's hospital down the street (Country Club Animal Hospital). When I started there were 3 new vets that had not been there very long (Dr. Cunningham, Dr. L. Martinez and Dr. Rizzo). These vets were very inspiring to me and reassured me that I wanted to be a vet. Dr. Smith and Dr. Martinez were very supportive while I was in the vet school admission process. The early years exposed me to a lot of very different characters. To be 17 years old and run into people like Xie, Patty Kraly, Debbie Ozner, Dennis C. Lee, Chris Brimo, Sharon, Duane, Liz, Andy Calkins, Kevin Cole, Kim Coats, Jessie Pimental, Ralph Fonseca. This was a GREAT cast of characters. Who can forget Robert Jones. Later a second cast of colorful characters came in to replace the ones that left Luanne Keen, John Bernard, Raoul Lavin, Manny Hevia. My favorite individual at this hospital was a Amazon parrot called Fred and 2 greyhounds called Clark and Bones. Clark died soon after I started and I took Bones regularly to the park across the street (Bird Drive Park). Later came the 3 pointers mentioned by someone else here-Jack, Sue (owned by Dr. Deriso) and I forget the name of the German Shorthaired Pointer (abandoned at BRAH). Man I could type away forever about BRAH. I'm still a very good friend of Luanne and Raoul and hear from Ralph and Manny from time to time. I lived with Debbie Ozner for a while and then rented a room from her mother in Coconut Grove. Debbie became a police officer and then became a physician. Kept in touch with Dennis, Duane, Andy and Kevin for a bit and then lost track of them. Would love to hear from them again one day.
Hector A 24-May-2015 20:54
I worked here in the eighties. I remember Dennis lee and Manny Hevia and also my friend who got me the job Paul Hernandez who sadly passed away way too early in 2009. I spent about 5 years working this place and I loved the job even though I once got bitten by a german shepperd named "Moe" hospital trip and stitches but it was still a wonderful memory there was a real nice family atmosphere and Deriso was pretty tolerant of our antics. One thing that still haunts me about that place was three beautiful pointers that were kept in the back kennel as blood donors. I felt so sorry for these dogs as they spent most of their time sometimes weeks at a time without ever leaving their cage making perfect circles in their cages whenever anyone walked into the kennel hopping they would be taken outside. I wish I would have done more for them. IF anyone remembers Hector from this era feel free to get in touch @heconelove or
Cynthia Lees 20-Jan-2015 22:28
I wish to edit my comment just made. He saved the life of our little Boston Terrier BUNTER in 1998. I guess I typed Pete since the grief of losing him on January 5 is fresh and ever with me. Sweet Bunter and then Sweet Pete. You're all together now somewhere.
Cynthia Lees 20-Jan-2015 22:26
I discovered Dr. Deriso's obituary on line today. I was searching for his address to send him a commemorative eulogy for my Boston Terrier, Pete, who, by dint of an oxygen tent and his special wisdom, he stabilized and saved in 2008 at Island Animal Hospital in St. Simon's Island. We were clients way back in the mid- to late-nineties at Bird Rd Animal Hospital. No finer gentleman or veterinarian has ever walked the planet. A gentle demeanor and old-style manners that never go out of style, are what I will always remember about hm. He saved the life of our little Boston Terrier Pete back in 1998, It was touch and go but he persisted, checked with colleagues at UMiami, and won the battle. We loved him for that alone. His staff was terrific--great with people and with pets. I remember two Spanish-speaking brothers who worked the front desk. They were wonderful! Dr. Deriso was a prince, and we are sorry to hear of his passing. He will always have a special place in our hearts. Good night dear man.
Andy Calkins 07-Aug-2014 03:01
Oh this still active? This is Andy Calkins. I too worked ther for a few years. What memories:)
Guest 05-Aug-2014 00:03
Drhankhall I also remember going to Arbetters hot dog place at Bird& Galloway for spicy hot chili dogs, then stopping at the Dairy Queen for a vanilla cone- hoping the ice cream would catch up to the spivey hot dogs racing thru your intestines! c'mon ice cream!
Don Boyd04-Aug-2014 03:15
Dr. Hall, thank you for your great memories and comments concerning your experience at BRAH. It is great that you remember the names of so many doctors and support staff members. Thank you also for mentioning the date of the move to the new BRAH.

hank_hall04-Aug-2014 00:02
Dr. Hank Hall – My first job as a veterinarian was at BRAH. I am a Southwest High School graduate 1964, went to Auburn and graduated in 1974 as a vet. I worked in the old BRAH next to the Tropicaire Drive In for 3 months, then moved to the new BRAH in June, 1974, and worked at BRAH until December 20, 1975.
Dennis Lee is right – Drs Becker and Smith owned the hospital, I was there with Drs Becker, Smith, Deriso, Vicha and Thompson. Dr. Randy Lange came along about 1 year later – we had 7 vets at one time.
It was a first class operation, and I am forever grateful for the mentoring I received. We all worked hard – doctors and support staff.
I remember Jeanne (lab tech), Rae Anderson, Barry (the bather), Mike Dock, Jack the night guy, Wendy (front desk), Anna.
Becker and Smith were great mentors ahead of their time – they knew how to delegate, and like great coaches surrounded themselves with a great staff.
I have owned and operated Northside Animal Hospital in Columbus, Georgia, since leaving BRAH in 1976. Much of my success can be traced to BRAH.
Post-script : In his last 2 years Dr. Deriso actually did some relief work for me, staying at my home. Great memories of a terrific person.
Don Boyd07-Jun-2014 05:03
Dennis Lee, thank you for the update on Dr. Deriso and the original building.

Dennis Lee 06-Jun-2014 15:46
I was informed by Dr. Richard (Dick) McCormick that Dr. Deriso passed away earlier this year. He suffered from alzheimer's, and was in a facility of some kind when he died.

... and so the "Bird Road Animal Hospital" legacy has come to an end. The original building (7480 Bird Road) isn't even there anymore. It was torn down, and something looking like a cruise ship put in it's place.
Kathy McCarthy Ryan 23-May-2014 03:54
Hi!! My name is Kathy (McCarthy) Ryan.....I worked there w Dennis Lee and Karen Rabin.....a bunch of other people too.......home girl Debbie ?? Would love to connect w our old crew if anyone wants to fb friend request me...... we were a GREAT working group.
Dr Sharon MacIvor 25-Apr-2014 23:45
As the owner of Dadeland Animal Hospital and a previous employee of BIRD ROAD ANIMAL HOSPITAL- i can only say how honored I was to have been practicing veterinarian and emergency room doctor for this practice.
How wonderful my experience was- and what fun memories I have of this place. No hospitals now have as much character and fulfilling stories as the ones that I experienced .

My life was made better because of the triumphs and amazing experiences that I had from running terrible emergencies that turned lives around to the small things like knowing so many wonderful people that we worked with from "Dennis" our lab tech to Dr. Deriso himself. I became close friends with his daughter to this day I am her veterinarian and friend.

I will be forever grateful for my experience as my first job as a veterinarian to Dr. Tharpe Deriso and his family.
Guest 19-Feb-2014 01:46
I worked at BRAH in the old location from 1971-1973 when I graduated high school and moved to Colorado. It was the best job in the world and I have many fond memories! Now I am a flight attendant for 38 years and living in Bend Oregon.
Jeannne 22-Nov-2013 18:16
I worked at BRAH,in 1969 thru 1974', worked at both locations, we were so busy, I worked in the lab and remember daily rounds each morning! In the old building we would get paid to watch the parking lot at the old clinic to keep people from parking in our lot and then going to the swap meet!
I always loved Dr Smith
aplinb12-Aug-2012 22:35
McD's down the street, in the early 1970/71 had no inside dining area; all the tables were outside. If I recall, it was sometime around 1974/75 when the inside dining was built. It was also a time when they had a hot ham w/ melted cheese sandwich on a sesame seed bun on the menu.
One 'technology' I liked at the newer clinic was the built-in vacuuming system; though it didn't always work perfectly. Some of the access ports attached to the walls where you would attach the hose would get loose.
aplinb12-Aug-2012 22:20
Back at least until 1976-77, there was a African-American guy named Jack who was basically the office manager for the doctors. He was at the original location in 1970 and transferred to the new location. He managed those of us working there and schedules as well as purchasing. Does anyone remember his being there into the 70's or 80's?
Helen Rizzo01-Feb-2011 22:58
I was a vet at BRAH from 1982-1986. I started with a couple of other new vets...Dr. Martinez and Dr. Cunningham. Hung out in the lab with Dennis! Sharon Jenkins was a close friend but I haven't heard from her in years. Manny Hevia stopped by where I work in Connecticut, but I was out of town. I'll drop you an email Manny! Hi everyone!
Manny Hevia 25-Jan-2011 01:29
Wow-- Great memories. I worked at the "New" BRAH for 5 years after high school. Looking back, it sure was a great time. Worked with all the usual suspects. As a matter of fact a few of the techs have become accomplished vets. Willy Chavez and Alvaro Larin come to mind. Dennis Lee I can remember was our resident vampire! And little John Allen basically became a man right in front of us!!! John, you still have the real chili cocktail don't you? Hope all of you are well-- we need a reunion!!!
Dennis Lee 05-Nov-2010 21:46
I worked at Bird Road Animal Hospital from 1978 till 1998, which is when Dr. Deriso closed down the business and moved to Georgia. I never worked in the original building but I probably put in more years than any other employee. The original business (which is the one pictured here) was started by Dr. Earl Becker and Dr. Walton Smith. After they moved to the newer location across the street, they had three associate veterinarians Drs Deriso, Vicha, and Thompson. The three of them bought the practice from Becker and Smith. Deriso and Vicha later bought out Thompson, then later Deriso bought out Vicha. In it's hey-day, during the 80's, BRAH was probably the bussiest animal hospital on the planet. I feel that Deriso slowly priced himself right out of business. I met a lot of interesting people working there, and I wonder where most of them are now. Patty Kraly, Debbie Ozner, Cindy Smith, Ileana Puig, Karen Rabin, Andy calkins, Duane Henderson. Hello John Allen, I remember you hiding in the cabinets and scaring the crap out of people as they went by.
wally melanson 28-Jun-2010 02:14
The previous comments seen correct. My dad worked @BRAH for a year while he studied for his FL boards and license. I worked there in the summer of 1969 thru spring 70. Dr's Becker and Smith were the practice owners. My Dad left to buy his own practice in Pompano Bch when his FL license came thru and I went on to other jobs since I was mucho tired of the Vet jobs having grown up in the business. One of the vets that worked there, Dr. Chris Maladnick became a professor at the then new U of FL vet school. BRAH was a major vet hospital in the So Miami area. Not many practices had a staff of 6 vets. I did a computer project for Dr. Deriso in the mid 80's and installed their first computer system. That was the new building. Still remember going to the swap shop @the tropical during lunch hr. Also lots of great kids worked ther in the 60's/70's. The Mickey D's up the road actually had the original golden arches and Coconut Grove was sleepy and full of hippies or wana bes.
wally melanson BRAH class of 69
PS Dr. Smith had an amazing 302 Firebird with the blue stripes over white!!

aplinb19-Jan-2009 02:10
This building is definitely the original Bird Road Animal Hospital. It was at this location until 1974-75 when they moved down the road to the other side of the expressway. The original vets were Dr. Becker and Dr. Smith who sold it to others who came to work there - I believe Dr. Deriso & Dr. Vicha. I worked full-time at both locations in the 1970's. After the hospital moved, this building became a furniture store (with some structural changes in the front). If anyone worked at BRAH in the 80's, it was when it was already relocated. I can still describe the inside layout of the original building. During the 60's and 70's, Tropical Racetrack, across the street, was active and I would stand by the fence surrounding the track and watch them put the horses through their paces early in the morning. You are correct, Jorge, that this photo was taken facing towards the Northeast.
The back roof part of this building, when it was a hospital was open though covered by fencing. I remember that as it was the area where dogs and cats were washed.
Southwest Animal Hospital was in operation during that time, at a different location.
Guest 18-Aug-2008 21:15
That was an animal hospital I don't remember when it moved but it went just on the east side of the palmetto in behind a Texaco gas station, and now on that site they are constructing a building that looks kind of like a cruise ship.
Guest 23-Jun-2008 05:24
We took our family dog, Tina to the Bird Road Animal Hospital for routine shots, a broken leg, and other ailments in the 1960’s. The vet and his staff were very nice folks. (SWHS class of 68)
Guest 03-May-2008 14:39
About 15 years ago my husand I visited New Orleans and we entered an antique shop. An old man asked where we were from and I said Miami. He said he hailed from Miami too then mentioned he used to own the Tropicaire Drive-In. I gushed telling him that I went to his theatre many, MANY times and in high school we would stuff the trunk and sneak several more kids into the drive-in -- and got away with it. The old man just laughed saying that he was well aware of the prank and just allowed us kids to "think" he didn't know because he never stopped us. HA and we thought we were so clever.
Deb G 28-Apr-2008 14:19
Bird Road Animal Hosp (i believe before Palmetto Xway) was in this facility until they moved to their current location and larger facility on the opposite site of the Palmetto. Used to live right to the north of the drive-in; could "watch" the movies from my roof!! Sound was optional.....
JORGE J TAMARGO 25-Apr-2008 15:16
Jeff Jenkins 10-Apr-2008 02:21
Oh, yeah, the catwalk! I used to go across the catwalk every day to school. Once or twice some friends and I went up on the catwalk to watch some "R" rated movies from there! Ha! Those movies would be considered tame today, and movies far worse are shown on cable TV all the time!

Man, I was so disappointed when they went around and cut down most of the beautiful palm trees in Miami because of lime disease or whatever. That was a tragedy. Even though I was very young, I still remember that. We had two beautiful royal palm trees in our front yard, and they just came and cut them down without our permission, because of some ordinance or whatever. Oddly enough, they did not touch the large coconut palm that we had growing next to the street. But Miami never looked the same afterward, IMO. It lost much of its beauty when that happened.
Laura Long 20-Mar-2008 18:49
This brings back a lot of memories, we lived on 31st street and 75th ave. We used to walk down to the catwalk that crossed the Palmetto Expressway, and watch the moves at the drive in. I went to Emerson Elementary too. I was in 5th grade when President Kennedy was shot. I remember that day so clearly.
Jill Ferrer 15-Mar-2008 15:21
Agnes, this is Jill (Jenkins) Ferrer. Sorry, I don't recall getting an email from you or I would have responded. I am also very sorry to hear that we argued alot in Biology class. I don't remember that, but obviously it stayed with you, sorry. How are you? What has been happening in your life for the past (almost) 30 years? Thanks for connecting with my brother.
Take Care and hope to hear from you soon. Please email me again.
Jeff Jenkins 15-Mar-2008 07:11
I believe there is now a "Southwest Animal Hospital" on 6448 Bird Road.
Jeff Jenkins 15-Mar-2008 06:50

Hi. I'm just now visiting this site again for the first time after leaving my previous comment 6 months ago. I just now emailed Jill to let her know about this site. I suggested that she leave a comment here.
Guest 19-Feb-2008 04:05
The place John is referring to is further east on Bird road...maybe around 63rd ave or so. That place is still there...and we used to take our pets there when I was a kid.
Don Boyd21-Jan-2008 06:23
I'm fairly sure that the sign in front says exactly "Bird Road Animal Hospital" on it, but I can't find the larger image right now to confirm that. Since the photo was taken 20+ years prior to you working there, isn't it possible that it was located here in 1961? Were you even born in 1961 if you worked there in the early 80's?

john allen 20-Jan-2008 21:22
this is not bird rd animal hospital..i worked there for a few yrs in the early 80's. plus, i grew up in allens drug store... know that area very well:) by the way, no pictures of allen's drug store?? only land mark left in that area!!
Chip Moebus 09-Dec-2007 05:41
Is this Walter Boyd, DVM's building? I believe it is, he is/was a wonderful man...not sure if he is still alive.
Agnes 03-Dec-2007 07:18
Jeff Jenkins, I went to school with your sister Jill. We both went to Emerson etc.
She sat next to me in 10th grade Biology at South Miami Sr High and we used to argue alot.
My name is Agnes Horn.
I'm still in Miami. Tell Jill Agnes says, "Hello."
Norman 19-Nov-2007 00:43
Hello, the hospital is now gone, and the drive-in is home to a Publix, Best Buy and thoer stores. I still live on S. Waterway dr.
Jeff Jenkins 08-Sep-2007 21:44
In 1961, I was only 2 years old. But years later, I took both our dogs to the Bird Road Animal Hospital. And we went to the Tropicaire Drive-In Theatre when I was little, since we lived just a few blocks from there. Later, when it became a Flea Market, I went there a few times too. We also used to walk to Tropical Park and Bird Drive Park (which later was named Douglas E. Barnes Park), since we lived between the two parks.