My love for animals started long before I can even remember and as soon as I was old enough to understand what jobs were…I knew I wanted to work with animals. My career in veterinary medicine started in Yokosuka, Japan in 1998 where I worked as a volunteer at the Veterinary Treatment Facility and was Vice President of the local animal shelter. In Japan, at the time, the stray cat population was three times worse than anywhere in the world. Taking care of all of the stray cats that came through the shelter and assisting in there medical treatment and surgery just solidified that this was the career choice for me. I realized then that I could make a difference in the lives of animals and in the lives of the humans that loved them just as much as I did.
After leaving Japan in 2001, I moved to New Jersey and worked in general practice at an animal hospital not far from the military base I lived on. In New Jersey, we treated a lot of dogs that were associated with dog fighting. Client education and patient advocating was an important part of what I learned in New Jersey. From New Jersey, I moved to Italy. It was a challenge to get a job in Italy, but I ended up at the Veterinary Treatment Facility in Naples, in addition to working at an outdoor recreation center. In Italy, I learned that preventative medicine changes depending on the country you live in. There was so much to learn, and I wanted to know more and more about what my career choice had to teach me.
My military travels ended in Italy in 2003 and I found my way back to Maryland. I started working at an animal hospital in College Park just a few days after arriving back in Maryland, and was there for a couple years. I then moved to another hospital in Silver Spring, and then Gaithersburg. I stayed at the animal hospital in Gaithersburg for seven years, where I learned a lot about alternative medicine. It was there, that I decided to become licensed and started taking classes in 2006. I have been taking classes since, and am nearing the end of my certification. It has been quite a challenge working full time, taking care of my family, and going to school…but I am determined to finish.
My love and passion for the veterinary profession is what ultimately brought me to Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, Maryland. At Kingsbrook, I have found a team of people that share the same feelings that I have for the job that I love to do. They encourage me every day and support my efforts in obtaining my license. I am so fortunate to work with such a great group of people and look forward to years to come.
Written by Tiffanie Thayer