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About Passionate Paws

Our mission is to practice integrative medicine in partnership with you to provide the safest and most effective healthcare plan uniquely designed to treat your whole pet, not just the disease and create a visit experience that alleviates fear, anxiety, and stress.

100+ 5-star Google & Facebook Reviews

As my dog got older, I knew some difficult decisions were in the future, and it didn't feel right to keep him at Banfield. I wanted a place more personalized to his care that also felt overwhelming comfortable and welcoming. I first started taking my sweet boy Alfie for grooming and moved on for his annual visits. The entire staff took their time to get to know not just him, but me too, which made me feel like part of their family. When his health took a turn for the worse, we tried a couple options in hopes of extending his life a little longer and comfortably. They always reminded me that they supported any decision I made, and never pushed me in a direction I wasn't 100% okay with.On his final day here, they provided a private room with calming music, extra treats, as much time as I needed, and exactly what I was ever hoping for when that dreaded time came. While it was the hardest day of my life, I am incredibly grateful for Dr. Crovesi and Dr. Bonilla for being with me throughout the entire time they provided exceptional care for Alfie.
Laura Press
Laura Press
18:21 24 Dec 18
Love our vet and staff!! I feel that they care for my fur baby as much as I do. Our puppy finally has a good gut because of the care she received at passionate paws. My puppy loves going because of the “No Fear” policy.
Derha Davila
Derha Davila
12:39 19 Dec 18
Dr.B is the most kind woman in the world. I went in the other day thinking my little girl was worse than it was Dr.B set my mind at ease. In the way the office answers the phone just makes you feel like they care even more.
Ananda Segee
Ananda Segee
11:39 05 Dec 18
She is absolutely amazing! I'm definitely transferring all my furbabies here!
Brittany Mahon
Brittany Mahon
15:19 13 Sep 18
My husband and I have five small dogs, and my daughter has two dogs currently, and one who recently passed away, and we have chosen Passionate Paws Animal Hospital for our Veterinary care.. The entire Passionate Paws team is outstanding in terms of communication, compassion, treatment options, providing projected procedure costs, pet interaction, and knowledge. We and our pets adore Dr. Susan and her staff, and honestly, we feel like we are family. Recently, we have had the pleasure to have one of our dogs seen by Dr. Flavia Crovesi, and found her to be a delightful lady, full of life, compassionate, caring, and wonderful at communication. We appreciate that Dr. Crovesi sends us a follow-up report of our visit, just in case we forget a specific instruction. Overall, we feel Dr. Susan Bonilla and Dr. Flavia Crovesi are the gold standard of Veterinary care and appreciate relying on their knowledge and care of our beloved pets!
Pam Brake
Pam Brake
22:59 06 Sep 18
We switched to Passionate Paws because we were not happy with our previous vet. We made the right choice! They treat every pet individually. My dog, Sadie, was very nervous, but they made sure to bring her in the side door and did what ever it took to calm her. We got results immediately and had a plan to get her up to date on her health. Thanks to Dr. Crovesi who took the time to really care and do what was best for Sadie! Would highly recommend Passionate Paws!
Celeste Mattson
Celeste Mattson
18:12 04 Sep 18
Passionate Paws helped us out when we needed it most! I have an 8 year old african dwarf frog and his belly had become very swollen. My daughter is interning at their office and had asked if they had any amphibian experience. Dr. Crovesi said she didn't have any practical experience with frogs, but she would love to research and see what she could find. She did such an excellent job! She found several options and gave me tons of information. We decided to extract the fluid from his abdomen and check for infection. He already acts like he is feeling much better. Dr. Crovesi is so helpful and skilled! Let me say, anyone who can handle an african dwarf frog is talented! They are so small and fragile, and they get very jumpy when they are out of the water. She and the technicians (especially Dalton) did an amazing job!
Stacy Carr
Stacy Carr
01:56 09 Aug 18
My review is long overdue!! I am a pre-vet student and during the summer of 2017 I searched far and wide for a veterinarian who would show me some of the ropes with the little experience I had. I hit the jack pot with Dr. Bonilla and her team. The vet-techs and staff were so welcoming to me. She is caring, realistic, helpful and her wholistic, integrative approach makes owners feel comfortable putting their fur baby's health in her hands. She values educating the owner about how she goes about treating their pet and never prescribed anything without first explaining why --I think that is commendable. I learned so much just from about a week's worth of work with her. She taught me as she went and let me get hands-on experience. I even brought my own pup in to be groomed and Brittany Davis was so charming with my anxious labradoodle. Her work was great, seamless and she was very attentive to how I wanted his hair cut. While I have moved out of the area because of school, I would definitely continue to bring my pup their for his veterinary and grooming needs if I were still in Waxhaw. I would recommend her to anyone in the area!!Thanks, Passionate Paws!!
Alena Norton
Alena Norton
19:25 02 Aug 18
Wonderful vet and staff! Very caring. Dr. Susan just called me at home to check on my dog. How many doctors will personally call you just to check in? Love her!
Kelly Flanagan
Kelly Flanagan
00:08 22 Jun 18
I would drive for almost an hour for Susan Bonilla (and it was WORTH IT!). She is absolutely amazing, and I have never felt more comfortable with a Vet. I felt that she actually treated my dog, instead of treating my wallet. The entire staff is wonderful. They would all come in and take turns playing with my fur baby on the floor. He loved it there as well! He is a French Bulldog, & prone to many issues, and she would address every single one, and offer referrals if he needed anything specific. She could even get him in same day for emergencies. I am sadly relocating to another city, and one of the things I will miss the most is how comfortable we were with Passionate Paws. I am so sad to go!
Elaina Matthews
Elaina Matthews
15:46 13 Jun 18
Dr. Bonilla and the crew at Passionate Paws are the best! I followed Dr. Bonilla from her previous practice because I had such a positive experience working with her to treat my Jack Russell. He is now a senior dog, and Dr. Bonilla has knowledgeably and competently helped us treat and manage several health conditions.
Joe Pope
Joe Pope
02:38 22 May 18
Dr. Susan and staff at Passionate Paws are the most caring, knowledgeable, and personable veterinary practice in the area. She helped my friends life long dog with her bladder infection. I loved how Dr. Susan gets on the ground with the pets instead of making them stand on a steel exam table. Truly a warm experience,. I've also referred a family friend to them during an emergency, their sweet dog Puma was foaming at the mouth etc and Dr. Susan made time on a weekend to fit Puma in and correctly diagnose the issue. They are an integrative practice, meaning they offer an array of holistic treatments in addition to traditional vet medicine. All in all just the best place for your furry family members!
David Dygowski
David Dygowski
15:02 10 Apr 18
Dr. Bonilla is truly one of a kind, she has a true passion for animals. I was a veterinary technician for over three years and I can honestly say I have never seen a veterinarian as passionate as she is. I first met her when our cat needed his rabies vaccine, I was very hesitant on doing it because my cat Jasper has vaccine reactions that causes him to get extremely ill. When I told her my concern she informed me they use a vaccine called PUREVAX which is free of adjuvants and made specifically for cats. She decided it was best to give him a Benadryl injection to prevent a reaction. When I came to pick him up I was blown away at the quality of care my little guy had received. He was sitting up front being held by Erica. Jasper is usually extremely nervous at the vet and he seemed pretty content in the exam room. Dr. Bonilla examined him while he was on the cat condo and he was perfectly happy! We absolutely adore Dr. Bonilla and her amazing staff and are so happy we found them!
wizard xxvi
wizard xxvi
01:30 06 Apr 18
I only trust Dr Susi with my dog, I fly with him all the way from New Jersey 3 times a year. Her attention to detail, care, and bedside manner is unparalleled. Anyone not coming to Passionate Paws is missing out.
Matthew Mascari
Matthew Mascari
17:43 17 Mar 18
In my 7 years of owning my 2 dogs, I finally found a vet that I am comfortable calling home. The staff and Dr. Bonilla are SO friendly and you can tell they not only care about the health of your pets, but are mindful of the financial side of things when making recommendations -and aren't pushy, judgmental or rude about it (which I have experienced at other vets). The office is clean and beautiful too - my 2 little anxious dogs left happier than I anticipated! So grateful we found this place!
Kelly Hubatka
Kelly Hubatka
15:55 28 Feb 18
Passionate Paws is the most compassionate animal hospital I have ever been to. The staff is wonderful and Dr. Susan is very knowledgeable. The grooming services are great as well. Our dog loves it here and looks forward to her visits!
18:08 16 Jan 18


Meet The Team

Dr. Susan Bonilla, MS, CVA, CCRP, CACP Veterinarian Fear Free Certified Professional Logo

During my last year of Vet School my oldest dog, Ruffles, started to suffer from arthritic pain. Unfortunately, due to her advanced liver disease she could not take traditional pain medications. Even when I tried other types of pain medications, it would agitate her liver. Stephen and I were devastated that we might be forced to put our beloved dog down because she was in chronic pain. How can I, studying to become a veterinarian, be out of options to help Ruffles? Was I really going to put her to sleep not because of her liver shutting down but because of arthritic pain? I was distraught that I ran out of options to help my own dog.

Thankfully, my clinical year of Vet School was at the University of Florida where I was introduced to a vast range of complimentary options that would be able to help Ruffles. It was at this point I decided that I wanted to be an Integrative Veterinarian. I would use all my training learned in Vet school but also offer complimentary treatments such as acupuncture to all my patients.

Upon graduating Vet School, I fed my passion for complementary care and continued my education in integrative options. Over the course of a year, I became certified in acupuncture from the Chi Institute and canine rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee. Most recently, I became certified in animal chiropractic from Options for Animals Chiropractic College.

I am so happy to be able to offer all my patients advanced medicine while also offering complimentary options. And Ruffles benefitted from all of it! She lived a beautiful and pain-free life for 20 years and 3 months!


Dr. Flavia Crovesi Associate Veterinarian
Fear Free Certified Professional Logo

While I was never allowed to have pets growing up, I was considered the “dog mom” for all my friends’ and neighbors’ pets because I could create meaningful bonds quickly and take care of them as if they were my own. Ever since I was a child, I looked for opportunities to pet sit or take neighborhood dogs for a walk after school.

One pet that will always hold a special place in my heart is my neighbor’s golden retriever, Houston. He was the most handsome and gentle dog I’d ever met, and when his owners saw how excited I got when they walked him past my house, they suggested I start taking him for walks whenever I could. That turned into me bathing Houston every few weeks as well. He would stand on the back patio so calmly and wait for me to wash him and even clean his ears! He’d stand still while I toweled him dry and as soon as I was done, he would take off and roll in the grass and bask in the sun. As I got a bit older, Houston’s parents would leave him in my care while they went on vacation, and because I always felt bad that he was all alone in his house, I convinced my mom to let me bring him over for sleepovers!

Now, as a veterinarian, the feelings I had while I was younger have carried over into my work. I take pride in treating my patients with the same care as if they were my own and I look forward to getting to know your beloved pets!


Brittany Prather Pet Care Specialist
Fear Free Certified Professional Logo

I have had a love for animals for as long as I can remember. At a very young age I was introduced to the family dog Bandit, who was the most handsome Siberian Husky I have ever seen. I was known to show him my love with hugs and kisses, which at times I would go a bit overboard. When I was 3 years old, I gave one too many kisses on the nose and it resulted in me being bit on the face. Not once, did my love for Bandit go away. A few years after the accident my parents surprised my older sister and I with a Golden Retriever puppy named Brandy. I honestly didn’t know how much I could love a dog until Brandy came into my life. She wasn’t just my dog or my pet, she was part of the family. Whenever I needed her, she was right there by my side with those big brown eyes looking up at me. After she passed away, I didn’t know if we would get another dog and that’s when we found my Cheddar Bear. Cheddar stole my heart from the moment we rescued her. She’s 7 now and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. So when someone asks me “is that your dog?” I simply say no…that’s my best friend, my baby and my whole world.


Dolores Selkis Pet Care Assistant

After recently relocating here in 2014, I was working at a local veterinary clinic.  This is where I met her, a shy, malnourished, starved, flea infested and very broken 12 week old puppy.  A local rescue group brought her in on emergency.  One of her front legs was broken and shattered, one of her leg bones exposed and she had a severe infection in her leg.  She was the saddest sight I had ever seen in my 12 years as a vet assistant.  As I held her for the doctor to examine, she looked up at me, wagging her tail and trying to lick my face.  Holding back my tears, I thought to myself this is the saddest puppy I have ever seen.  The pain she has had to endure in her short life is unbearable, yet she is wagging her tail with what little energy she has left and licking me.  She is truly an angel!  Her prognosis was poor and the chance that she would survive surgery was not good.  I unfortunately was scheduled to leave the next day for a family vacation; she was all I could think about.  I told her before I left that I would be back for her and she would be coming home with me.  10 days later she did just that and we named her Lacey.  Her right front leg and shoulder were amputated.  Later, we would have surgery done on her left front leg to allow it to grow as this was affected by her previous injury.  Lacey now runs like the wind, smiles as bright as the sun, and can dig a hole faster than any of her four legged big sisters with what we affectionately refer to as her “shovel”. Along with her 2 big Labrador sisters, Lacey loves her cat family and her daddy too, especially Tito, our sphynx cat which is her BFF.


Melody Coleman, NDGAA Pet Stylist

After a year of marriage, my husband and I decided that we wanted to add a dog to our two-person family. I had grown up with many different dogs and other animals, but this was going to be my husband’s first pet. Having had a couple of boxers growing up, I knew this would be the perfect first dog for us. We decided to go through a breed rescue and were soon told about a boxer girl that had been returned to the rescue and was staying at a boarding facility. She was originally rescued from a puppy mill situation and was awaiting her forever family. My husband and I made the 3-hour drive to pick her up from the boarding facility. As soon as the staff brought Peaches out, her little nub began wagging and she greeted both of us with kisses. We knew she was finally coming home. It amazed me that a dog with such a horrific past could be so loving and eager to please. Shortly after we adopted Peaches, we decided to foster another boxer, Oliver. They became fast friends and he helped to ease Peaches’ separation anxiety. We knew he was now the other missing piece to our little family and he became our foster fail. Even though he had been abandoned at the shelter, we could not let him go. I’m thankful every day for the two wiggle butts that greet me at the door and continue to teach me about compassion and forgiveness.


Brittany Davis, NDGAA Pet Stylist

I have always had a connection and love for animals. Growing up we had family dogs. They were my best friends and I loved them dearly but I always saw them as “the family dogs.” It wasn’t until I was 19 when I got MY first dog. Nevada was a Standard Poodle and a very quirky one at that. When we was two he developed bloat and had to be rushed in the middle of the night for an emergency surgery. It wasn’t until that night that I truly understood the responsibility of being a pet parent and loving a dog as if it was truly my own child. I am now proud to say that I am not just a dog owner, I am a pet parent who would do anything for my fur babies.


Rachel Garavaglia Client Services Associate
Fear Free Certified Professional Logo

Growing up on a farm helped me realize my great love for working with animals. Over the years I have had the blessing of sharing a home with everything from hamsters to horses, and just about everything in between! At a very early age I knew I wanted to continue having these wonderful creatures in the center of my life’s work. I’ve always had a habit for trying to “rescue” animals I thought would have a disadvantage in trying to find a home. Whether it was as a child, determined to take home the most colorless, plainest Betta fish no one would possibly want in order to save it from it’s tiny bowl on a store shelf, to a teenager in highschool trying to scrape together my part time job money to buy promising horses left behind at busy auctions. I am always so pleased when I meet clients and other individuals that choose to help an animal in need of a happy, loving home through adoption or rescue!


Daniela Palafox Client Services Associate

At the hospital I previously worked at, one of the doctors brought in a very sick puppy she rescued. This puppy had a lot of health problems and complications including the inability to use its hind legs. The doctor was leaving soon for a week trip and needed a temporary caregiver. I jumped on the opportunity to help. By the end of my week with him, I realized that I wanted to see this puppy through to recovery and when the doctor returned I became his permanent caregiver. Day by day his strength grew as did my love for him. When it was time to find him a furever home, I always seemed to find an excuse for why each one wasn’t good enough. How could I trust someone to continue to put as much love and devotion into caring for him as I did? The puppy was still very sick with a long road to recovery and a potential for future health issues. I couldn’t live with myself if I abandoned him because he wasn’t the picture perfect puppy. He was my puppy and I named him Turtle.


Briana Sosa Client Services Associate

I have always had a strong passion for animals.  I remember being a little girl and helping my grandpa save injured animals and nursing them back to health.  I still carry this passion for helpless animals, which is what brought me into the veterinary field with hopes of becoming a veterinarian one day.  This love for animals also brought my two-year-old cat Jasper into my life.  I was working at an animal hospital in Florida when a severely malnourished 6-week old kitten came in.  The kitten’s owner wanted to euthanize him because she wasn’t willing to nurse him back to health.  That is when I stepped in and asked the veterinarian if I could adopt him and try to save his life.  I was nervous at first because I never owned a cat.  Before I knew it, I was bottle feeding him and administering fluids due to how dehydrated he was.  As the days went by he got stronger, more alert, and he even started playing.  He has been like a child to me ever since.


Stephen Bonilla, MBA Hospital Administrator
Fear Free Certified Professional Logo

I have always been that person pets gravitate toward, especially the ones that “never go up to new people”. This quality is what brought our middle fur-baby, Scrappy, into our home and hearts. I found Scrappy abandoned on the street, malnourished, and completely matted and filthy. That first night with us, Scrappy slept in the washroom, I slept just near to the room so she would not feel alone. When Dr. Bonilla checked on us in the morning, Scrappy had made her way to me during the night and curled up comfortably next to my head. From that moment on, we have been inseparable.


Our Mission Is Integrative Pet Healthcare

Conventional veterinary medicine focuses on treating acute disease and multiple symptoms, with an emphasis on episodic care — restoring your pet to a previous level of functioning. This model of pet healthcare has been very successful over the years due to continued advances in medical research, pharmaceuticals, and treatment procedures.

However, this pet healthcare model is not without its drawbacks. Its emphasis on episodic care means treating pets only when they are sick, which creates a reactionary system of healthcare. Time and effort understanding the underlying causes of disease and its prevention are unfortunately pushed aside in favor of sick care. This model, like a sick pet, is out of balance.

Integrative pet healthcare restores this balance. It does not just focus on symptoms, but puts the pet at the center, addressing the real causes of illness while promoting wellness and maintenance of health. By definition, integrative pet healthcare strengthens the bond among veterinarian, pet, and pet parent, focuses on the whole pet, is evidence based, and
utilizes all appropriate therapeutic approaches (both conventional and complementary) as well as veterinary specialists to deliver optimal health and well being.

At Passionate Paws it is our mission to practice integrative medicine in partnership with you to provide the safest and most effective healthcare plan uniquely designed to treat your whole pet, not just the disease and create a visit experience that alleviates fear, anxiety, and stress. You will never find a one-size-fits-all approach at Passionate Paws.

Our Culture

Passion: Be passionate in all you do.
Empowerment: Know you can solve the problem at hand.
Learning: Push the boundaries of your knowledge.
Education: Teach others.
Innovation: Do not settle for complacency.
Community: Reach out to those around us.
Respect: Our pets, pet parents, environment, and one another.
Fun: Remember to have it, this is the most rewarding career in the world.

Our Dream

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital was founded in 2016 by husband and wife team, Stephen Bonilla and Dr. Susan Bonilla, and located in Waxhaw, North Carolina. This hospital represents 8 years of planning, starting the day Dr. Bonilla began veterinary school.

Everything the Bonilla’s have done since 2008 has been in careful preparation of one day opening their own small animal hospital.

Their passion and drive is infectious and inspirational and their attention to detail is well received. It can be seen in every inch of their hospital from design to patient care to pet parent service.

The Bonilla’s eagerly await meeting each and everyone of your pets to provide them with the care they deserve.

Pet Insurance

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