Full-service care for your pets
by Karen Beardslee-Kwasny
When Henry Born moved from Virginia Beach to Chesapeake, one of the first things on his agenda was finding a new veterinarian for Shadow, Princess and Sweety — his loyal feline companions.
For animal lovers like Henry, choosing the right doctor for a beloved pet can be as difficult as finding the right pediatrician for a new child. But Henry’s search was not as complicated as he anticipated. In fact, he made his choice after his first visit to Animal Medical on North Battlefield Blvd.
“I live close to Animal Medical,” Henry explains. “So I decided to stop in and talk with the people there. It was immediately evident that they all share my interest in and love for animals and that caring for them is not just a business to Dr. Loretta Carrico or her staff – it is a passionate commitment they share.”
Dr. Loretta Carrico with Naomi
Dr. Carrico knew she wanted to be a veterinarian from the time she was a small girl. Her parents loved animals, and caring for them was a daily part of Dr. Carrico’s life as she grew up in the mountains of Kentucky. “We lived in the country,” Dr. Carrico remembers. “And we had dozens and dozens of animals, from companion animals like dogs and cats, to wildlife like birds and squirrels, which my parents rehabilitated.” Dr. Carrico’s father could coax almost any animal to come to him, and Dr. Carrico learned from him to be patient and to take the time necessary for animals to trust her. Dr. Carrico’s mother cared for any injured animal that came her way and Dr. Carrico learned from her to be nurturing and to give pets and wildlife the affection and attention they require in order to thrive. “This is where I got my basic training,” Dr. Carrico says with affectionate pride. “My father and my mother were my early educational guides and my incentive to go to school.”
Dr. Carrico received a B.S. cum laude in Biology, Chemistry and Agriculture from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, in 1983. Although her heart’s desire was to go on to veterinary school, she took a few detours before doing so. “A couple of my family members told me I was meant to be a “real doctor” and I wondered if they knew something about me that I didn’t,” Dr. Carrico explains. “So I took some time after college to see what I was really meant to do.”
For two years, as Co-Director of the Appalachian Student Health Coalition, Dr. Carrico provided health services to rural low-income communities in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. She also served as a volunteer Crisis Intervention Counselor and Maternal and Infant Health Outreach Project worker. “I learned a great deal during my time in the social work field,” Dr. Carrico says. “It was extremely rewarding work. But my love was still with the animals. I realized that was where I needed to be. I decided to take what I had learned and help the animals in a similar fashion.”
Lab puppy Petri gets ready for a procedure.
Dr. Carrico entered the Veterinary Medicine program at Auburn University in Alabama in 1986 and in 1990 she graduated cum laude. During her time there, Dr. Carrico worked as an animal careworker in the Auburn Small and Large Animal Clinics and, during her senior year, she was one of four students chosen to be an in-house Resident at the Auburn Small Animal Clinic. Upon graduation, Dr. Carrico had amassed enough experience with small animals to know that working with them was what she wanted to do. She came to Chesapeake in order to fulfill that goal.
“What I like best about her
is that she knows how you feel
about your pet and she appreciates
that and respects it. She and her staff
bring to the animals of Chesapeake
the old-fashioned caring, compassionate
service they deserve.”
— Cheryl Hindle
President of the Chesapeake Humane Society
Before opening her own practice, Dr. Carrico worked at a multi-doctor facility with multiple locations and at the Tidewater Veterinary Emergency Hospital. She also served as a relief veterinarian for area hospitals.
“Working in emergency medicine meant I would be on one week and off the next,” explains Dr. Carrico. “On my days off, I would work at other hospitals fulfilling a temporary or intermittent need they had for a veterinarian. I worked with almost all of the veterinarians in town and I enhanced my skills and my knowledge base that way.”
One of the hospitals Dr. Carrico provided relief services for was Animal Medical. It was the place that felt most like home to her and, so, when the owner decided to sell the practice in 1999, Dr. Carrico didn’t hesitate to purchase it.
“I liked the cozy family feel here right from the start,” Dr. Carrico proclaims with a wide smile. “And I was impressed by the relationships between the staff and the patients and families of the pets. I was ready for my own practice and I knew I had found a perfect fit.”
At Animal Medical they get to know their clients on a personal level so that they can provide them with the most efficient care possible. Along with Dr. Carrico, the other professionals there — Caroline Bundy D.V.M.; Sylvia Forbes, Licensed Veterinary Technician; receptionists Kim Burkhart and Katy Adams; veterinary assistants Aimee Walker, Nichole Zechman, Heather Negri and Angie Sherer, and groomer Angela Hatfield — pride themselves on the close, easy relationships they build with their animal patients and families, and their dedication to client education and patient care.
“Chesapeake is a very family-oriented place,” Dr. Carrico expresses. “And that extends to pets as well. Here they are members of the family, not extensions of it. That means their families expect nothing less than highest level of compassion, efficiency and expertise for their four-legged companions and they know we provide that because we share their view of animals and their love for them as well.”
Long-time Animal Medical client Robert Morell wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.
“When we moved to Suffolk, we knew we’d still be bringing Daisy back to Animal Medical for care,” Robert says. “There are veterinarians within three miles of us, but but we couldn’t give up what we have with Dr. Carrico. It’s a wonderful place and Dr. Carrico is a super doc.”
Animal Medical is a full-service veterinary practice with long-term friendships with the Chesapeake Animal Assistance League and the Chesapeake Humane Society, as well as many local animal agility and assistance groups. They offer fun, educational tours to school classes, small groups and individuals who own pets, and they encourage visits from clients who share their belief in the power of the human-animal bond to comfort, heal, motivate and enrich our lives.
“Dr. Carrico is an exemplary veterinarian,” Cheryl Hindle, President of the Chesapeake Humane Society and an Animal Medical client for quite some time says. “But what I like best about her is that she knows how you feel about your pet and she appreciates that and respects it. She and her staff bring to the animals of Chesapeake the old-fashioned caring, compassionate service they deserve.”
921 N. Battlefield Blvd.
Chesapeake, VA 23320