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FIRST LIVE VETERINARY ADVICE HOTLINE LAUNCHED NATIONWIDE: 1-900-TEL-A-VET

 FIRST LIVE VETERINARY ADVICE HOTLINE LAUNCHED NATIONWIDE:
 1-900-TEL-A-VET
 ITHACA, N.Y., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- "TEL-A-VET is a new information service that has been launched to offer live round-the-clock telephone medical counseling for pet owners, delivered by licensed veterinarians," it was announced today by J. Michael Kehoe, D.V.M., president and co-founder of the service.
 The 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week, 365-days-a-year service handles callers who are charged on a per/minute basis, which is added to their monthly phone bill. With this new service, TEL-A-VET is at the forefront of contemporary technology in both the telecommunications and the veterinary fields.
 Telecommunications-health professional interaction has numerous advantages in providing service to the American pet-owning public who today own approximately 75 million cats and 70 million dogs plus all the exotic pets: birds, reptiles, rodents, etc., as well as horses and livestock. The service is not meant to replace a typical pet- owner/veterinarian relationship. Rather, it is complementary to regular vet care by providing immediate, easily accessible counseling for emergencies, during off hours, or for advice not requiring a personal visit. TEL-A-VET is less expensive than a typical vet visit, and, of course, more convenient.
 While TEL-A-VET is a new concept with regard to pet medical care, phone consultation services, such as Dial-A-Doctor and Dial-A-Lawyer, are not. The success of these services, coupled with the growing use of the phone as a communications tool (shop-at-home, home computers, etc...), indicates a willingness by the consumer to use the phone in new and different ways. TEL-A-VET hopes to capitalize on this trend with its pet-medical-consultation-by-phone concept. It is believed that the callers' live interaction with experienced veterinary practitioners will provide a sense of reality that some current "menu-based" phone interactions cannot provide.
 While demographics may differ by type of pet owner, generally anyone owning and caring for a pet is a potential user of the TEL-A-VET service. Everyone who owns a pet needs veterinary advice at some time, often at inconvenient hours. Service may be particularly useful for individuals who do not get around so easily anymore, such as the aged or infirm.
 The idea for the TEL-A-VET concept came up when Kehoe was watching T.V. at home and realized that the 1-900 and 1-800 concept could be applicable to the provision of advice on veterinary-related topics. According to Kehoe, "The concept is to provide callers with guidance on how to handle pet problems but not to practice medicine on the phone. The service uses the convenience of the phone, at a reasonable price, to get live advice on a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year basis," he added.
 TEL-A-VET has been co-founded by two Cornell University-trained veterinarians: J. Michael Kehoe, D.V.M., and Jay Hyman, D.V.M., who together have over 60 years' experience in the veterinary field. The board members' backgrounds include academia and the corporate world as well as private medical practice.
 While TEL-A-VET is capable of responding to calls nationwide, it is initially testing the Northeast with a media blitz to inform consumers of the new service. In the future, TEL-A-VET envisions expanding internationally contingent on public demand and availability of global telecommunications systems.
 Analysts project the overall 900 system to grow from $800 million in revenues in 1990-91 to $3.4 billion in 1994-95. With TEL-A-VET information service being a preeminent entry into this aspect of the telecommunications industry, it should advance in growth along with the other 900 systems.
 -0- 2/12/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: TEL-A-VET logo and photo of J. Michael Kehoe, D.V.M., co-founder, available upon request/
 /CONTACT: J. Michael Kehoe of TEL-A-VET, 607-272-5838; or Rhonda Gainer, 212-730-2520, for TEL-A-VET/ CO: TEL-A-VET ST: New York IN: TLS SU:


GK-OS -- NY017 -- 9176 02/12/92 10:59 EST
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Date:Feb 12, 1992
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