Saturday, October 21st, 2017

S Shopper Stories


BAY BEACH VETERINARY EMERGENCY HOSPITAL

Compassionate emergency health care for your pet

by Rowena Gesick


Dr. Kimberly Key recently opened Bay Beach Veterinary Emergency Hospital in the courthouse marketplace of Virginia Beach in order to better serve the city’s south side.

Dr. Kimberly Key recently opened Bay Beach Veterinary Emergency Hospital in the courthouse marketplace of Virginia Beach in order to better serve the city’s south side.

Bay Beach Veterinary Emergency Hospital is a new 24-hour emergency care facility located in the courthouse marketplace of Virginia Beach. A division of Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital, which has served the Tidewater area for over 40 years, it offers the same high quality care after normal business hours on week days, and 24 hours a day on weekends.

The south side of Virginia Beach area had limited options for emergency veterinary care. When one of those options recently closed its doors, Dr. Kimberly Key—Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital owner—felt it was necessary to provide the community with 24 -hour emergency veterinary care. The courthouse marketplace location opened on July 1st.

“I felt like we also needed to serve the people of the south side of Virginia Beach,” Dr. Key says. “Our mission is to provide the absolute highest standard of medical and surgical care for our patients. To put it simply, we understand your pet is a treasured member of your family. We have a dedicated team with the skill and experience to provide the most progressive and compassionate care for your pet’s health needs.”

The staff of Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital and Bay Beach Veterinary Emergency Hospital consists of 14 veterinarians, a dozen veterinary technicians, and over 20 office staff and assistants.

Growing up in a rural community just outside of Richmond, Dr. Key always had a love of animals, but she never imagined she would go into veterinary medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University, and because of her interest in marine life, she worked at the Virginia Aquarium. However, a trusted veterinarian and friend at the aquarium encouraged her to pursue her passion of helping animals by applying to veterinary school.   “Once it  was suggested that I head in that direction, I knew that it was what I really needed to be doing,” she says. “I never looked back.”



Dr. Key with her most devoted supporters:  husband Michael and (left to right) daughters Hannah and Molly.

Dr. Key with her most devoted supporters: husband Michael and (left to right) daughters Hannah and Molly.


Dr. Key graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. Prior to attending veterinary school, she worked at Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant for many years. She then joined the staff as a veterinarian. In 2014, she became Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital’s third owner.

Dr. Key is dedicated to providing the community with  the same high quality veterinary care that Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital has offered since 1965. “My main goal—and what makes me happy—is to continue offering this level of service,” she explains.  “We have families who have been bringing their pets  to us for three generations. Someone will come in and tell us how their grandparents used to come to our hospital with their pets.”


 “We understand your pet
is a treasured member of your family.
We have the skill and experience
to provide the most progressive, compassionate care
for your pet’s health needs.”

—Dr. Kimberly Key



When asked if the hospital provides veterinary care for all types of pets, including exotic pets, Dr. Key replies with a smile,“We will see anything that fits through the door. Our veterinarians are ready for anything. The two coolest animals that have come into our main clinic were an albino skunk and a three-toed sloth.”  Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital also provides the Virginia Aquarium with emergency care as needed.

“Being a privately-owned hospital is very important,” Dr. Key states proudly. “It affords us so much more freedom to work with pet owners based on what they can afford, while still providing excellent veterinary care. I think gold standard veterinary care can be given regardless of one’s budget.”

Dr. Key also points out that they are able to provide quality veterinary care because they are supported by local veterinary offices. Local vets recommend their services in times of emergencies when they are not able to provide care for their patients. She points out that most veterinary offices are closed at 5 p.m., and that a lot of  her business is based on referrals. “I think the great  success of the emergency side of our hospital is because of the support we receive from our area veterinarians,” she says. “We would not be able to thrive if it weren’t for supporting businesses.”

Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital and Bay Beach Veterinary Emergency Hospital help local veterinarians by not only providing gold star veterinary care, but also by adhering to a strict code of ethics and standards. “We have a very specific policy,” Dr. Key declares. “If a pet owner comes to see us with an emergency, and they have records established with any other area vet, they cannot become a regular client with us.”

Dr. Key also credits her family for her professional success. Her husband Michael helps with the financial side of the business. “Of course, I would not have been able to do any of this without my husband,” she insists.  Michael is joined by daughters Hannah and Molly in supporting their veterinarian wife/mother as the owner of two thriving businesses. The Key family wouldn’t be complete without their fur babies, which includes their cats and two adorable Pugs.

When not running two veterinary hospitals, and being a wife and mom, Dr. Key enjoys hot yoga—when she is able to make time for it. “It’s an awesome workout,” she states. She also enjoys reading, and spending time with her family. “I love spending time with my family,” she says with a smile. “When I am home, it’s my treasure time. I’m also lucky to be living in the best place in the world. I love the beach.”

Dr. Key is proud of her humble beginnings, growing up in a country home outside of Richmond, but as a woman, a dedicated wife and a working mom of two, she is also proud of her professional accomplishments.  “Hopefully I can be a role model to other women and young girls out there,” she says. “I think that’s really important.”

With a supportive family by her side, and as the owner of two very successful veterinary hospitals, Dr. Key is more than just a role model: She’s a pillar of the community.




Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital

4340 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

757-340-3913

2476 Nimmo Parkway, Unit #101

Virginia Beach, VA  23456