Welcome to Animal Emergency & Specialty Center (AESC)

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center (AESC) of Poulsbo has provided trusted pet emergency veterinary care since 1993, serving Kitsap County and the surrounding areas.

Few aspects of pet ownership are more frightening than an emergency when your family veterinarian’s office is closed. Animal Emergency is an emergency animal hospital that focuses on the treatment of trauma, critical care and complicated medical problems.

Animal Emergency and Trauma Center (AETC) was established in 1993 as a critical care animal hospital to care for your pet’s veterinary needs. In 2022, we grew to meet the needs of our community moving to a larger, state-of-the-art facility and adding specialty services to expand our offerings.

Now, as Animal Emergency & Specialty Center (AESC), we continue work as a team with your family veterinarian, sharing information and common goals. We are no further away than your phone. A well trained, experienced and caring team member can answer your questions and advise you regarding your pet’s problem.

At AESC, our doctors dedicate themselves to emergency and critical care of companion animals. Our emergency animal hospital is available nights, weekends and holidays. AESC focuses on pet emergencies in and around Kitsap County including Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard, Bainbridge Islands, Kingston, Belfair, Port Townsend, Gorst, Port Ludlow, Sequim, Shelton, Gig Harbor, Poulsbo and Port Angeles.


In 1993, Drs. Burgess and Zimmers worked together to create the first after-hours emergency animal hospital which serves the Kitsap Peninsula and surrounding areas. The hospital steadily grew as more and more local veterinary practices began utilizing the services provided by AETC. Dr. Zimmers retired in 2013 and Dr. Burgess became the sole owner of the practice. In 2017, Dr. Burgess sold 70% of the practice to National Veterinary Association (NVA). For 3 years he remained part owner and managing DVM. In June of 2020, Dr. Burgess retired and sold the 30% ownership to NVA. Dr. Burgess still works several shifts a month as a DVM at AETC.

Now as AESC, our hospital serves more than 50 area veterinarians and continues to have a close relationship with their hospitals. We service animal hospitals in Kitsap County including Bremerton and Silverdale and as far South as Gig Harbor. We also take pet emergencies from north Kitsap County including Kingston and across the Hood Canal bridge to Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend and the rest of the Olympic Peninsula. Our service area also includes the veterinary hospitals on Bainbridge Island.

AESC works closely with your family veterinarian to help provide complete veterinary care for your pet. We are open when your family veterinarian is not available and we provide services for pets that do not yet have a local family veterinarian. We are able to treat trauma, illness, surgical and critical care cases. We provide specialized hospitalization for critically ill patients and perform complex diagnostic procedures.

All patient information is sent directly to your primary care veterinarian after a visit to AESC or daily if your pet is hospitalized. We consult regularly with your primary care veterinarian and work as a team to give your pet the best medical care available.


Our dedicated team is here for your family during your pet’s unexpected and difficult time by providing quality, compassionate and professional care.

Animal Emergency & Specialty Center is a caring extension of your family veterinarian. We exist to provide compassionate and state-of-the-art medical care when your family veterinarian is not available. Our entire staff is committed to providing a caring environment where people and pets are treated with dignity, kindness and respect.

At Animal Emergency & Specialty Center we care about that one special pet – yours! We understand that it takes compassion and dedication as well as excellent medicine to give your pets the care they deserve.

We’re here when you need us, fully-staffed for any emergency…days, nights, weekends, and holidays.


  • Compassion – you are not alone
  • Teamwork – communication and cooperation
  • Integrity – do the right thing
  • Advocate for Patients – so clients can make an informed decision
  • Respect/Trust/Honesty – transparency
  • Adaptable – meeting every individual need
  • Composure – calm, cool and collected
  • Family focused – we are going through this with you
  • Personal Growth – challenge and strive to learn more
  • Dedication/Passion – it’s personal
  • Open Environment – supportive, humor and managements support with accountability for all we do