Pilchuck History

Jim McCutchan, DVM, Medical Director

Jim McCutchan CEO

As a teen growing up in Seattle, Dr. McCutchan looked forward to spending his summers in Central Illinois, working at his uncle’s mixed-animal veterinary practice. His uncle’s mentorship set him on the path to becoming a large animal veterinarian. Having graduated from Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, Dr. McCutchan joined Pilchuck’s staff of large animal veterinarians. His special interest is dairy production medicine and veterinary practice management. Dr. McCutchan is passionate about Pilchuck’s ongoing development as a premier veterinary facility and the hospital’s positive contribution to the community. Dr. McCutchan enjoys golfing, skiing with his family, and traveling.


At Pilchuck, we believe that the best possible care for our patients results from operating based on our core values:

  • Provide compassionate care to our patients, and practice compassion towards our clients and colleagues.
  • Commit to do what it takes to ensure success.
  • Provide high quality and unique resources for veterinary care in the Puget Sound Region.
  • Strive constantly for excellence in everything we do.
  • Behave with honesty and integrity at all times.


Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital opened in 1963 and its practice has been part of the Puget Sound community for 50+ years. Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital came to be because of the pioneering veterinary spirit and vision of three outstanding men. Their goals and mission were to offer medical care for horses, dogs, cats, dairy and beef cattle, llamas, alpacas, goats and sheep. Serving Snohomish and the Puget Sound region as a full-service mixed-animal practice, it is now one of the largest multi-species veterinary practices in the United States.

Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital was started by Dr. Bob Darlington, a graduate of CVM-WSU, who purchased of Dr. Wayne Klizer ‘s veterinary practice located at the site which is now the Snohomish Inn. The practice became busier and in 1964 Dr. Darlington invited his classmate, Dr. Gary Duskin, to join him in his practice here in Snohomish. Their practice entailed house calls to administer care for both small and large animals from their trucks.

Then a unique practice came to fruition: they relocated to a “haul in facility” mainly for cattle. This was a new concept in the large animal veterinary field. This led both of them to the work they truly loved: Bob becoming the dairy cattle veterinarian and Gary the equine medicine and surgery practitioner.

Dr. Darlington and Dr. Duskin realized one more area of veterinarian medicine needed to be fulfilled, so Dr. John Mitten was asked to join their practice in 1970 as the small companion animal doctor. At this point Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital was considered the most departmentalized animal medical facility at that time.

In 1972, the practice was outgrowing its current building, so planning the new developed into the construction of an 11,000 sq. foot building where it is now located in 1974. It was “baptized” in December 1975 with three feet of water from their first flood. A second expansion took place in 2000 enlarging and reworking the Equine Referral Department as well as expanding the Small andimal and Emergency department, and the most current enlargement began in 2006 adding on an Integrative medicinebuilding as well as three surgical suites and separate Equine Diagnostics and reception area— evolving and growing into the State of the Arts Facility we envision for the Future of our Community today!

What makes Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital different from other practices?

  • Innovation, departmentalization, facility equipment, and exemplary customer service.
  • Cutting edge medical technologies and techniques.
  • Passion and encouragement for continuing education for veterinarians, technicians, our staff, and clients.
  • Long-standing personal and professional partnership, acting as a team, even with the departmentalization and specialization that has evolved here at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital.
  • Our history, combined with our present goals and true commitment, make us what we are today – a world class veterinary facility delivering world class veterinary care and service.