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Calm and Competence in an Emergency-Sarah Raskin and John Kerl from Big Stone Gap, VA
Pet Name: Scout
The VCA Highlands staff, in particular Dr. Matt Mink and technicians Sharon and Kayla, are among the most competent and personable I have ever known in my fifteen years of pet ownership.
On the evening of July 20 2010 my beloved dog Scout incurred a complex injury to her rear left leg and ankle joint after she was hit by a speeding car in our residential neighborhood in Big Stone Gap. Being newly-returned to this area, I was panic-stricken over what to do – I hadn’t yet identified a veterinarian to give Scout routine care, and I’d become used to living in bigger cities with many nearby emergency vet options. I found VCA Highlands online and was delighted that Dr. Mink was able to see us right away. He treated us with respect, calm, empathy, good decision-making, humility and honesty about his status as a younger vet, and, ultimately, high quality care. He has remained our veterinarian ever since, in spite of the far distance between my home and VCA Highlands.
Throughout Scout’s 14 weeks of treatment and rehabilitation Dr. Mink and his technicians, in particular Sharon and Kayla, were an absolute joy to work with. They answered my every question thoroughly and patiently, whether in person or by phone. They indulged my "nerdier" side (I’m a medical anthropologist) by explaining clinical information in great detail and allowing me into the treatment room to see Scout’s progress and feel comforted by seeing how she "behaved" under anesthesia. They coordinated with vets in four other cities when Scout and I had to make some pre-scheduled travel, in order to maintain her splint changes and, later, cast placement on schedule. And when those veterinarians questioned my decision to travel at all, or allow Scout some small amount of exercise, Dr. Mink helped me regain my confidence in decision to not restrain her for the 3+ months of treatment by reminding me that we had to treat her as an individual, and that her personality would not or could not respond well to such an restrictive approach. Sensitive to the high cost of Scout’s treatment-over-time plus the travel costs that I incurred Dr. Mink waived his fee a couple of times, a courtesy for which I, as a graduate student, am so grateful.
Scout has since made what seems like as full a recovery as possible. She’ll never have full use of her leg again, but she’s darn close! Dr. Mink’s elation at her recovery was palpable, as was his bittersweet acknowledgment that he wouldn’t be seeing her routinely. I was impressed by how clear his investment in her was…is.
In closing I want to reiterate my gratitude for VCA Highlands, and for Dr. Brinson, for hiring and supervising such a wonderful staff. I look forward to many more years of relationship with VCA Highlands.
Thank you for your compassion-Dennis and Linda from Abingdon, VA
Pet Name: Licorice
We were forced to make a very difficult decision to have one of our dogs euthanized. She was suffering and no longer had any quality of life. Although we knew what had to be done, we really struggled with it. I cannot tell you how much it meant to get not one, but two phone calls from the vet to be sure we were okay. The staff was equally wonderful. Thank you for helping us through a horrible time.
Abigail-Cindy from Abingdon, VA
Pet Name: Abigail Dickenson
The staff at Highlands VCA always goes above and beyond expectations in the care of our blind diabetic basset hound. It is such a comfort to know that she is so well taken care of and her needs are met with such kindness and concern. Dr. Robinson provides so much information and help-she has made this journey possible. Thanks so much for everything!
Went Above and Beyond for Pie-Pie-Jessica Street from Bristol, VA
Pet Name: Pie-Pie
Our 2 year old Sheltie, Pie-Pie, became suddenly ill on a Saturday morning. Pie-Pie's vet office was closed and after searching on the internet, we found VCA Highlands.
They took her right in and cared for our Pie like family, not a patient. They called post-office hours with updates. Unfortunately, Pie-Pie went into complete kidney failure and at 11:30 pm, Dr. Hill called and asked what we would like to do. Pie-Pie was humanely euthanized and placed in a safe place until we could pick her up. It was the hardest thing we have had to do but VCA Highlands comforted us so much. We have another dog, Pearl, who will now be a client for life at VCA Highlands.
Snowy Night-Rita Jo Porter from Coeburn, VA
Pet Name: Tucker
I have been a client at VCA for at least 20 years. They have always been there for me regardless of the time of day or night. One snowy night well after hours, as with most emergencies, I had a dog in congestive heart failure. The weather was terrible, snow was quickly covering the highway but when I called the emergency number the doctor on call was there for me. Despite the fact it took us twice the amount of time to make the journey he was there waiting for us. This my friends is peace of mind.
We have seen many of our fur children lives extended lives because of the excellent care they have received from the staff at VCA Highlands Animal Hospital.
Everyone at VCA Highlands Cares-Becky Porter from Gray, TN
Pet Name: Kady
The doctors and staff at VCA Highlands Animal Hospital are the most knowledgeable, caring and compassionate that I have ever known. They treat my dogs like members of my family, not just as a pet or animal. The care and concern shown for the well-being of my dogs and me have gone beyond my expectations for veterinary health care. Every member of the staff with which I have had contact, including the technicians and groomers, all greet the girls and me by name, which shows the importance they place on making everyone welcome and comfortable in that setting. I really can't say enough good things about everyone at VCA Highlands. I wouldn't trust the care of my 'girls' to just anyone, but I feel so comfortable in bringing them to Highlands. The care and concern that everyone showed when I lost Maggie was beyond believable; and the joy that everyone shared with me when I brought Kady and Lilli to the office the first time was heartwarming. Thanks a million times for everything.