About our Firm

Animal Arts was first established in 1979 by Lawrence A. Gates and Mark R. Hafen, AIA, NCARB as Gates Hafen Architects.  In 1986 we won our first Veterinary Economics Architectural Excellence Award.  Tony L. Cochrane, AIA joined the firm in 1988, and the newly renamed firm of Gates Hafen Cochrane quickly grew to be a design leader in the animal care industry.

Reflecting our continued commitment to the animal care industry, we changed our name in 2004 to Animal Arts Design Studios and added three new principals to the firm, Bryan M. King, AIA, Heather E. Lewis, AIA, NCARB, and Vernita K. Cannon.   More recently we added the new perspectives of Vicki J. Pollard, CVT in 2008 and Ashley M. Shoults in 2012 to the management team.

From the outset Animal Arts has demonstrated a unique ability to design leading-edge, award-winning facilities that are responsive to our clients’ very specific needs.  We have built our firm’s success on the personal and immediate relationships that we develop with our clients.

Speakers at major veterinary and shelter shows including:

Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference
North American Veterinary Conference
Western Veterinary Conference
Society of Animal Welfare Administrators
Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo
Veterinary Specialists in Private Practice Conference

Writers Of:


Veterinary Economics

Animal Sheltering


Designing the Future:  Innovative Solutions for Veterinary Medical Facilities

Planning and Building an Animal Shelter, Operations Guide for the American Humane Association

Reference Materials:

Veterinary Practice Building, Design Starter Kit Handbook, AAHA

Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management