MAIDEN â€“ Since 1997, Dr. Kim Mitchell has owned up to having a wonderful position with a terrific company. The best part about her job is the thanks she gets from grateful clients.
â€œItâ€™s a great job,â€ said Mitchell. â€œI get a thousand kisses from my patients every day.â€
Mitchell, however, isnâ€™t referring to human patients. Sheâ€™s referring to dogs and cats. She owns and operates Maiden Small Animal Hospital.
Both Mitchell and Dr. Paula Ulrich see between 15-20 animals per day on average, according to practice manager Lori Mitchell.
â€œWe used to also handle exotic animals, but due to the continuing education and time spent with clients â€“ up to two hours â€“ we felt it wasnâ€™t cost productive,â€ she said.
According to Mitchell, the practice was actually started several years before as a small and large animal hospital by Dr. John Martin.
â€œDr. Martin hired Kimâ€™s husband, Ty, and the pair hired Dr. Paula Ulrich to be the small animal hospital doctor,â€ said Lori.
Over time, however, Martin and Ty felt they had to concentrate their energies on the large animal practice, according to Lori Mitchell.
â€œSo eight years ago, Dr. Mitchell bought the practice outright,â€ she said.
Besides veterinary consultations, surgery and dentistry is also offered through the hospital.
However, the main message at Maiden Small Animal Hospital is preventive care.
â€œWeâ€™ve stressed preventive health care since day one. The doctors spend time teaching, educating pet owners into whatâ€™s wrong and how to go about treating the problem,â€ said Mitchell.
One of the unique aspects of Maiden Small Animal Hospital is the attention each individual four-legged patient is given.
â€œTheyâ€™re not meant to be rushed,â€ said Mitchell. â€œHere, we like the slower pace. Our appointment times do run behind, however, because if a patient needs extra time, they get it.â€
Dr. Mitchell was treating Bravo, a 10 month-old Airedale whose human companions are Ron and Julie Vega of Denver.
â€œHe had a little too much fun while at the kennel,â€ she said, eluding to Bravoâ€™s red eye.
As of Thursday, Bravo and his brother, Bucca, are still at the vet according to Julie Vega.
â€œWe could go to any other vet,â€ she said, â€œbut we choose to go Maiden Small Animal Hospital because we trust them.â€
Whatâ€™s also unique about the hospital is communication between patient and doctor.
â€œOur patients canâ€™t talk and tell us whatâ€™s wrong,â€ said Mitchell. â€œItâ€™s a unique situation where our doctors have to figure out whatâ€™s wrong.â€
Do unto others
According to Lori, the staff at the hospital treat their patients the way they want to be treated.
â€œWeâ€™ve tried to keep the practice small since Itâ€™s family owned,â€ said Mitchell. â€œWeâ€™re a family and we treat our clients like family.â€
Each month, Maiden Small Animal Hospital holds specials.
For November, itâ€™s rabies awareness month, where first-time rabies shots are $8 each.
â€œA lot of people take advantage of the shots,â€ said Dr. Ulrich. â€œAnd many do wait until the last minute.â€
Looking for a vet?
Maiden Small Animal Hospital is located on U.S. 321-Business, Maiden. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (828) 428-0010.
by Jon Mayhew