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Posted on Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Animal Medical Services provides free ambulance care for 4-legged set

By Laura Blodgett


Allen Thompson provides free medical transport for pets through his new venture Animal Medical Services.

Laura Blodgett | For

Allen Thompson was serving as a field combat medical specialist in the 101st Airborne Division in Pennsylvania when his White Shepherd got sick. With his pickup broken down, he struggled to find a way to get the dog to the vet.

Around the same time, a controversial incident happened in his county in which an officer shot and killed an injured dog. Even though the animal had a tag, the county office was not open at the time to determine who owned the dog.

Thompson, who had taken veterinary technician training through the military, decided to start an animal transport service that could help in these kinds of situations, as well as help the disabled and others who couldn’t get their pets to the vet. “I would wait for them during the visit and then take them home,” explained Thompson. “I was so happy to do that for people.”

Now retired from the military after 20 years, Thompson moved to Ann Arbor and started the service here six weeks ago. Called Animal Medical Services, he provides 24-hour emergency service throughout Washtenaw County, as well as transport for regular vet appointments for the disabled or those without a vehicle. The service is free.

“Cabs are great for people that need to get to the store but to wait to take a pet that has a cardiac arrest situation or is hyperglycemic?” said Thompson. “You call us, and we are out the door right away and get you down there.”

So far, he has had two wild raccoon calls, and a neighbor whose puppy was attacked by pit bulls that is doing well now.

Using his own Ford Taurus, Thompson can provide treatments such as First Aid and CPR, and has IVs, oxygen and other equipment on board to stabilize the animal.

“Everybody thinks there’s a catch because it’s free, but there’s no catch,” said Thompson. “Sometimes people offer money to cover fuel and we accept it. But we don’t ask for it.”

He said that everything he uses gets replenished by the vet when he gets there except oxygen, so the only thing he is spending money on is fuel and insurance.

He is in the process of trying to obtain a 501(3)(c) exemption in order to eventually apply for grants, accept donations and hold fundraising drives to get more equipment.

“My five-year goal is to have more ambulances to cover the county, and then spreading out throughout the state,” said Thompson.

Although it seems too good be true, Thompson says this kind of work is business as usual for him.

“When I lived in Pennsylvania, I was on a volunteer fire dept and volunteer ambulance squad. I did 20 years military. I’m used to going into a grocery and having my pager go off, or getting up in the middle of the night to help somebody. Now Instead of people, I’m helping the animals.”

His home-based business is on the west side of Ann Arbor. People can reach him at 734-757-6112. More information is available at



Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

To all the readers again i would like to thank you for all of your support if anyone feels the need to donate anything all you need to do is call my office and we can discuss it. As for the cleaning for my vehicle there is water proof washable protective seat cover that gets wiped down and washed and sanitized every time there is an animal in there. And though i love your comments about HSHV I think we need to give them a break because i did bring those 2 racoons over there. And as for them saying they did not know about my business is not true. Not only did i bring over flyers i tried to have meetings with their people. They pretty much laughed me out of the building. I had called and left a message with HSHV and i still got nothing back. If you look on my website you will see FOR WILDLIFE EMERGENCIES CONTACT HSHV. I am not affilliated with them but yet i but their number there so people can call them in the event of a wildlife emergency. I think it's time it comes off my website. Yes i may be a very small company in a big company world but i am not one to be stepped on I can and will rise above all of this negative publicity. I am not here to fatten my pockets i am here to help the animals. So for people who want to know here's how I run my business 1. I run my ambulance service like a professional ambulance service: such as paperwork,cleaning,etc. 2. I am the president, I have a V.Pres, a Treasure,etc(and no my wife is not the V.P) 3. Everything is voted on in my company 4. I do have my Tax #, my Dunn's #, EIN #, Etc 5. I have my business license through Ann Arbor 6. In the process of getting LLC and 501 (C) Allen E Thompson Founder


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Hi Mr. Thompson. I had a few more questions about your service... Is the service available 24/7 or is it by appointment during specific hours? Your website claims both. Who created your website? The front page is full of spelling mistakes. It seems unprofessional to me. Are you a licensed veterinary technician in the state of Michigan? Which veterinary hospitals reimburse your supplies upon arrival? Where do you get your oxygen tanks since they are not supplied through the hospitals (as stated in How do you provide oxygen, cpr, and iv fluids in the back of a Ford Taurus? I thank you in advance for your timely response.

Animal Lover

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

As a nurse in emergency rooms and other areas in hospitals, we simply wiped the stretcher down with disinfecting wipes unless there was blood or body fluids on the floor, etc. I think this guy is a godsend and if the humane society has any concerns, they should offer to help him instead of criticizing him. The humane society helps tremendously, but I don't think they offer his kind of help. And after hours, the only responder is a police officer (if you're lucky enough to get one) and he is not going to help do this! I've had a stroke and I have to get my 104 lb dog to to a vet specialist this week. If I didn't have help, it is a comfort knowing this guy is out there. I hope he gets approval so he can accept donations. If we had more people like him, the world would be a better, kinder place!


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

Hello I am Allen the owner of Animal Medical service. I would like to thank everyone for their post's. It means alot to me that people are supportive.

steve h

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

keep up the good work


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

great guy... and great service he's providing. a real mensch.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

What a guy. Instead of hiding information, covering up crimes, or hurting children, we'v got someone who puts his money (and time) where his mouth is. Very refreshing and anything that helps animals in their time of need is wonderful. If I still lived there I would be volunteering my services as a respiratory therapist. Good on ya Buddy!

Cheryl Hieber

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

How would he transport larger animals in this little car? It doesn't look like there is a safety screen or safety glass between the front and rear seating, so I would question whether this is the only vehicle owned by this family and if it is also used by him for his "Git er Done" lawn and maintenance service?

Cheryl Hieber

Tue, Nov 29, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

I don't make laws and don't know what law Average Joe is talking about that has been broken. The point is that injured animals (especially wild ones) tend to be scared, defensive and more likely to bite or attack humans. If there is no protection, the driver could be in jeopardy. Why take the risk of the driver becoming distracted and becoming a danger to other drivers?


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

I agree! I take a Taxi once in a while and I am heartened by the thorough sanitizing and clean-room technologies used to keep me safe from my fellow humans (disease-carriers, all!). If only the same technology were available for this Ford....

average joe

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:21 a.m.

Maybe, just maybe this car is all he can afford right now. And as for the screen, I didn't know that was required to transport a pet, & there are a lot of people out there that are breaking your law.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

while Tanyas concern about cross contamination may be valid she really sounds to this reader like someone that wants to have all the control for animal services in this county, including donation money and money from the city. We all know what a loud fuss the HSHV makes when they want everyone to know how they are the best resource for animals etc etc. and I have donated in the past. But I still do not appreiciate her agenda here in a semi-public attack on someone wanting to help pet owners who need assistance. Perhaps she should REACH out to him to either work together or fold his service into the HSHV, but that would go against her getting all the eggs in her basket.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

I agree bunnyabbot. Sounds like Tanya is trying to protect what she sees as HER turf. She should have identified herself up front.

UM Rocks

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

What an awesome story!! This made me smile. :)


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

So what is the phone number for this service?


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

734-757-6112. See link to web site in article above.

Tanya Hilgendorf

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

I believe in volunteerism with all of my heart and think it is wonderful when compassionate people give a helping hand to neighbors in need. I do not know this gentleman, but it would be prudent to approach any situation like this with at least a little skepticism and to ask a few more questions regarding a service intended to be county-wide, such as... How is his vehicle being cleaned and sterilized between animals? Sick, injured, very old, and very young animals are extra vulnerable to disease. You do not want your beloved pet to become sick from a contagious disease carried by an animal transported prior to yours. I do not believe regular vehicle upholstery can be completely sanitized. Many viruses, such as the very serious and often fatal Parvovirus, can live in an environment for several months. Preventing the spread of disease requires stringent cleaning protocols that are difficult, if not impossible, to implement in the back of a Taurus. Is he also picking up wildlife? Do you want your dog or cat in the same unsanitized vehicle that just had a raccoon with distemper in it? Do you know that some wildlife carry rabies, which is fatal to animals and people? Is he fully insured? What if your injured dog or cat bites him? The nicest animals are likely to bite when they are scared, hurt or not feeling well. Are you going to be sued? And, again, this man might have a heart of gold, but please always be aware that there are people out there who make money by selling stolen pets to research facilities. Yes, in 2011, this still happens all over the country. Dogs and cats are still used in research and those animals have to come from somewhere. Sometimes they are bred to live their lives in research facilities. Sometimes they are purchased from poorly run shelters. Sometimes they are stolen from the yard.

Dog Lover

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

@jcj. The article mentioned that he picked up wildlife: 'So far, he has had two wild raccoon calls, and a neighbor whose puppy was attacked by pit bulls that is doing well now.'


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

Tanya, I like that you link a transport service with theft of pets from yards for lab research. My household has adopted 2 pets from your society. We've never had a followup that wanted to see the animal thriving. I thus submit that it is possible, and more likely, for animals to be taken from shelters for later vivisection, than to be taken from a transport service for the same. Prove to me that your society hasn't had that happen.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Tanya--who is director of the Humane Society--raises some legitimate issues. She's not raining on any parades and is hardly a "debbie downer"....and in fact the article references a wild raccoon call that was made. I support this guy ( per my other post) but also see the points Tanya is making...and im sure the owner of the service does too, and has either already addressed or will address these issues.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

Can you show me where there is ANY indication he would be picking up wildlife? Way to throw a load of crap on the wall to see what will stick!

steve h

Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

rrt911, do you know who this poster is? she is the director of the humane society of huron valley. which is in the middle of financial negotiations with the county.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

Really? Debbie Downer take a break, will ya? This is for people who have no choice and need the help-get over yourself and quit freaking people out with your paranoia

steve h

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

p.s. i do not know mr. thompson. i'm just a tax paying citizen of washtenaw county.

steve h

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

way to rain on his parade. you don't provide a service like this to the people of washtenaw county. can't you see how he's trying to help people and their pets who may not have a way to get to the vet when the pet is ill or injured? you bring up valid points about cleaning his vehicle. why don't you reach out to him, his number is clear on the window, and ask him how he operates. you come on a public forum and attack the man. yes, attack. the last paragraph you are implying that he will steal your pet and sell it for research. i've met several elderly people who need help getting their pets to the vet and can't. not everything in this world needs government intervention. are you threatened that you may lose some of my precious tax dollars that go to run your shelter? i know it may be hard for you to believe, but there are people in this world that want to serve their fellow man or 4 legged friends without the glory.

Robert Granville

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

Howdy neighbor! Allen is a great guy. Had the pleasure of living next to him for the past year. He absolutely adores animals and lives to help them and people alike. You don't meet many people with the kind of dedication he has for service... or radio for that matter. I'm surprised that wasn't mentioned in the article. Allen also runs an online country music radio station with a following that has quickly moved beyond his circle of family and friends.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

When I read the headline? I was like, O this is gonna cost ya big ones. This sounds like something worth actually helping out on. He will catch on quickly. Great article. But if he does ask for money? Then the FDA gets involved. Kind of sucks. So, I figure these are under the table donations.


Sun, Nov 27, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

Actually, FDA doesn't do much for animal regulation in the sense you mean (food animals are a different department). Medications for veterinary use don't even need to prove efficacy. Truth. One horrible small biotech in the area explored that option briefly, but the senior management wasn't versed enough in empathy that they could comprehend how people would care about animals enough to pay for expensive speculative "treatment".


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

I never knew about this! Thank you so much! You are a blessing!


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

Thank you Mr. Thompson!! We need more people like you in this world!!!


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

I think is a wonderful service. I hope that when he gets his tax status he lets know so that people will be aware that he can take donations. I still would encourage people to reach out to thier neighbors, get to know them, exchange phone numbers with them and call eachother in times of need. I realize not all neighbors are the same but luckily 1. I have had the same neighbors a long time and 2. many of them have dogs and would understand the need for help. I would also encourage people to take an animal first aid class (if you can find one). I think the HSHV would be wise to hold one if they already don't. Or even watch how to give a dog CPR clips on youtube.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

yes, jcj, I understand this from the article. I meant larger donations (or any) from people not actually using the service. Myself I would call a neighbor (one I know actually has had extensive dog first aid training), but I would happily give what I could. I don't like to give money to polically motivated groups or radical groups (like PETA). I would rather give something local. I would also feel more comfortable giving to a group with the proper tax status.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

He can take donations now he just can't ask for them, is my understanding.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Another good story about a man who has his heart and brain in the right place. Thanks to for making us aware pf him and thanks to Mr. Thompson for providing this wonderful service.


Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

I have never heard about this type of service. Being an animal lover, and working at the Humane Society of Huron Valley, I have known people who have been in this situation before. I am ecstatic that this is being offered in our community. Wonderful---thank yo so much. Huge Pet Fest last weekend--wish he would have been there to get his name circulated.

Karen Hart

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

What a great service! It's good to know about this. Hope he gets a lot of publicity.