This year, for The Valley Reporter's annual dog issue staff wanted to highlight the work of all the great people who allow local veterinarians to do what they do. Everybody knows them by name but most folks don't know much more about staff. Here is what we learned about some of the staff at Valley Animal Hospital (VAH) in Waitsfield.
Name: Alex Pelkey, Barre, VT.
How long have you been at VAH? It will be five years in March.
What is your background in caring for animals? I really didn’t have much experience with animals before working at the clinic. Yes, I did have my various animals growing up that I brought to Dr Hadden -- cats, dogs, and plenty of rodents -- but that’s it. So honestly the amount of patience that Dr. Hadden and all of my coworkers (Donna, Kim, Jess) had toward me at first and even now has been wonderful and I have learned so much from them all.
What made you want to work with animals? Ever since I was younger I wanted to work at a veterinary clinic. So, the fact that I get to has been awesome. I have always had a passion for animals and am happy I get to deal with them on a daily basis.
What's the best part of your job? Best part of the job would be dealing with the clients. Yes, I love taking care of the animals but what I learned very quickly was that you aren’t just taking care of the pets but also their owners.
Name: Jessica Paulin (Jess), grew up in Jeffersonville and have called Warren home for the past seven years.
How long have you been at VAH: I have been here for just over six years
What is your background in caring for animals? I started at 11-12 years working on a retired racehorse farm for Standardbreds. Then from about age 14, I worked at an Arabian breeding/training farm. I did a vocational program through high school that got me into a vet office learning how to be a veterinary technician. I became a dog groomer as an adult and did that off and on for about 15 years and than just realized I missed working in a hospital setting and came back to working at a vet's for the past nine years.
What made you want to work with animals? I have always wanted to work with animals from a young age so it just made sense to make my jobs animal-related
What is the best part of your job? Helping people’s pets live happy, healthy lives.
Name: Kim K, Warren.
How long have you worked at VAH? I have worked at Valley Animal Hospital too many years. I started in 1994 with a job shadow that turned into a long-term internship while I went to school at VTC through 2000. I left for a few years and worked as a nutritional consultant for two pet food companies. I came back to the hospital part time in 2008.
What is your background in caring for animals? I was born and grew up here in The Valley on my family's homestead where we still have all kinds of animals, big and small.
What made you want to work with animals? I have always been interested in medicine, I was a volunteer with Mad River Valley Ambulance for 20 years and went to school for veterinary technician in Randolph at Vermont Technical Collage. Animals are a bit easier than people.
What’s the best part of your job? This job is never boring, you never know who or what is coming through the door and things are ever-changing.