Thursday, April 26th, 2018

S Shopper Stories


Embracing all types of animals with amazing results

by Candance Moore

Dr. Redding and Dr. Klemm

Dr. Redding and Dr. Klemm

Miracles happen every day at Hickory Veterinary Hospital. Arthritic animals, once crippled by pain and inflammation, receive treatment beyond a few painkillers and then cheerily walk out. Pets with seizure disorders see dramatic improvement while lessening dependence on drugs. Some pets even sentenced to euthanasia are rescued from the brink of death.

For the past four years, the team at this clinic has redefined veterinary care in Hampton Roads by integrating a wide scope of treatments from around the world. Dr. Jerry Redding II, who acquired the business from Dr. Jeffrey Klemm, is certified in various forms of eastern medicine, including acupuncture, food therapy, and Chinese herbalism. Dr. Klemm, who continues to work part-time to everyone’s delight, remains updated on Western methods. Between them, they offer alternative treatments that use the best of both, which results in truly impressive turnaround for their patients.

And those turnarounds are attracting attention. After starting as a small family business, Hickory Veterinary Hospital has grown into an established practice with regional influence. The clinic now employs some 17 people and handles a bustling daily schedule, with patients routinely visiting from out-of-town.

For the past four years,
the team at this clinic has redefined
veterinary care in Hampton Roads
by integrating a wide scope of treatments
from around the world.

The clinic offers regular check ups as well as same-day visits, on-site lab work, digital x-rays, and many common surgical procedures. Acupuncture, available in three modalities, takes place in a large private room where the pet parent can relax on a comfy sofa while their pet receives treatment. Extensive dental care and special-order foods are also available. Although it is not an emergency hospital, extended hours Saturday mornings and some evenings allow for urgent situations.

Boarding accommodations for cats or dogs offer healthy snacks and lots of extra kisses, overseen directly by the same clinic staff. Boarders even get to play catch outside in a fenced grassy yard.

Practice Manager Beth Hammes never knows from one day to the next what sort of patient may come in next. She recounts a recent desperate call from North Carolina when a cat was wrongly diagnosed with rabies; the Hickory clinic intervened to save its life. The next day they might be asked to investigate a sick flock of chickens, or to assess a baby pig, or to treat a pet monkey. As word of the clinic’s success gets around, new challenges emerge – and the staff embraces each one.

Dr. Redding and Voodoo

Dr. Redding and Voodoo

“We advocate for animals of every variety,” Beth asserts. “The common cute ones, the exotic ones, even the misunderstood ones. Several of us own exotic pets ourselves, so we treat them from personal experience. And, though we do have a pharmacy, we are often able to treat illnesses with lower cost drug-free methods.”

As if to prove her devotion, there’s a tiny African dwarf frog in a tank on her desk, happy to chat with visitors through the glass. Then there’s Voodoo, a homeless kitten rescued from wandering on the road by Veterinary Assistant Torii Rodgers. Voodoo meanders around Beth’s office learning to socialize with every person who walks in.

“Everyone who works here is absolutely in love with animals,” Beth remarks.

This love for animals shines through in every area of the practice. A large, colorful fish tank in the lobby seems adorable enough – until visitors realize it serves a dual purpose to also entertain cats in boarding! Meanwhile, boarded dogs doze in a clean, well-lit space where employees often visit just for a nuzzle.

Lead Receptionist April Mosco is one of the people who keep the clinic so clean and efficient. As an employee with several years’ experience, she’s watched it grow as its reputation expanded.

“Dr. Klemm was doing fantastic work alone, but when Dr. Redding joined, it just added so much more we could offer,” April recalls. “Like many, I had my doubts about eastern medicine in the veterinary world at first, but I’ve seen the results. This is a very dynamic clinic. It’s exciting to work here.”

April owns three snakes at home, so she’s become a source of knowledge for the rest of the staff. In fact, with her help, several teammates overcame snake phobias and now look forward to seeing serpentine patients.

Angie Black, who also works at the front desk, joined in 2016. She has developed a passion for the exotic animals who may suffer shunning elsewhere. Her colleague Julie Loxley, with three years at the clinic, loves to meet adorable babies of any species.

Veterinary Assistant Rachel also enjoys reception and board care, so she can be found doing a bit of everything. She’s also a pet owner and rescue fosterer. Since 2015, she’s enjoyed hands-on interaction with patients at the clinic.

Veterinary Assistant Amber Estes usually spends her days working with the doctors, but she also enjoys frequent trips to boarding so she can check on her four-legged friends. After six years at a prior veterinary hospital, Amber came to Hickory in 2015, looking for a more diverse practice. As a pet lover who owns a marmoset, she’s also passionate about caring for less popular pets.

Torii also works as a veterinary assistant. Like Amber, she was attracted to the less conventional treatment options at Hickory, so she joined in 2014. Since then she’s never stopped learning about lower-cost, natural treatment options.

“Everyone who works here is
absolutely in love with animals.”

—Beth Hammes

When patients need surgery or diagnostic procedures, licensed technician Wendy Proulx assists the doctors. She also joined in 2015 to find a clinic with more options.

Although the staff has grown quite a bit in a short time, Wendy says her coworkers have come together well, and the teamwork is her favorite part of the clinic.

“We have loyal patients because we have such dedicated staff,” Beth notes. “We’re thankful to so many people who support our practice. As we grow in the future, we will keep our love for animals as the focus.”

Hickory Veterinary Hospital

100 Kegman Rd
Chesapeake, VA 23322