Veterinary Care with a Personal Touch

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Where do you go when your beloved pet needs medical care? For years I have been taking my dog Daphne and two cats, Tricky and Sunshine, to Jonesville Animal Hospital where the staff treat them as though they are theirvery own. I was curious to learn more about Dr. Jill Lerman and Dr. Kathy Vliet and what made their practice the special place that it is today.

Q- Did you have an interest in pets as a child?

Dr. Lerman- I have always loved being around animals. I was the typical animal loving kid….trying to save injured birds, looking at the pet lost ads in the paper and riding my bike around trying to find the animals that were lost.

Dr. Vliet-Yes, both of my parents loved animals, and they were always a part of our lives. Any stray I rescued was welcome. Pets were considered part of the family, and their wellbeing as important as any other family members. From my earliest memories, there was always a dog or cat to sleep with. All the pets, including the cats and guinea pigs, went on family vacations.

Q- Was there a person, animal or moment that made you know that becoming a veterinarian was what you wanted to do?

Dr. Lerman-Since I was 8 yrs old, I just knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. I grew up with a Shih Tzu who was my best friend. I would hold him and cry on him when I was sad. I would talk and he would just listen. I loved taking care of him…..feeding, walking, and grooming him. It didn’t matter how cold outside it was or how early I had to get up before school to feed and walk him. I guess he was what made me realize that I wanted to spend my life taking care of animals.

Dr. Vliet – When I look back I always wanted to be a veterinarian. It took awhile for me to get there however. After college I co-owned and managed a veterinary hospital in Vermont. We transformed the garage and basement of our house into a small country animal hospital. Living day and night taking care of sick animals, sleeping with a critical patient next to the bed at night and letting dinner get cold to take care of an emergency was the inspiration to follow my dream. I finally applied to veterinary school when I was 40 years old.

Q-Where did you go to veterinary school?

Dr. Lerman – I went to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. I graduated in 1990.

Dr. Vliet – I attended the University of Florida College of veterinary Medicine and graduated in 1996.

Q-How did you both meet and start the hospital?

Dr. Lerman-Dr. Vliet and I were associates for about 6 years at another hospital in Gainesville. We were happy at our jobs but we both were interested in being a practice owner. We had similar visions as to the type of care and service that we wanted to provide care for our patients and clients so we decided to venture out on our own as partners.

Q- How and why did you choose Jonesville for your practice?

Dr. Lerman-We were looking for an area of growth in Gainesville in which we could offer exceptional and personalized veterinary care and service to pets and their owners. Jonesville seemed to be a good fit for us.

Q- Is there one particular patient that stands out in your memory?

Dr. Lerman-In my first few years of practice, I remember a dachshund that came into the hospital and had been hit by a car. He was bleeding internally and required emergency surgery. I discovered that he was bleeding from an area in his liver. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be removed so I had to try to stop the bleeding. I did what I could surgically, gave him a blood transfusion and supportive care. I took him home with me that night to take care of him through the night. I was so worried that I was going to lose him. I finally fell asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up he was wagging his tail and stood up to greet me. That was one of my happiest days.

Dr. Vliet – A cat named Toby. He had been hit by a car, his pelvis was shattered and he had serious internal injuries. He was a feral kitten and he was terrified. The woman who brought him in had been told euthanasia was the humane thing to do. She did not want to give up and came to me for help. Together we spent months rehabilitating Toby. He lived and thrived, and filled her life with joy. He was her solace during hard times, the comedian that made her laugh and the confidante that never judged. Toby’s owner and I became good friends. She always reminds me that I made such a difference in her life because I did not give up on Toby. It is the reason I love my job.

Q- How does Jonesville Animal Hospital stay current with new technology, medications. etc?

Dr. Lerman-With the fast paced changes in medicine and the advanced technology and medical treatments that are available, it is critical that we stay current with the treatment options available to our patients. Dr. Vliet and I regularly attend veterinary conferences so we can continually educate ourselves and ensure that we offer our patients the best treatment options available. We also consult frequently with veterinary specialists and refer our patients to specialists when they require advanced diagnostics or specialized care. Our greatest priority is offering our patients the best care possible, whether it is with one of the doctors at Jonesville Animal Hospital or with a veterinary specialist in a referral hospital.

Q-Whatmakes the practice unique?

Dr. Lerman I don’t think anyone could ever see what sets us apart from other hospitals until they actually visit our facility. There is so much love, caring and compassion for the animals in this hospital. Our most important goal is that the pets are treated with gentleness, patience, kindness and compassion. We take a tremendous amount of care and time to make sure that every pet is as relaxed as possible during their visit. We make it our priority to always perform a complete exam, discuss all treatment options, and be sure all of our client’s questions and concerns are addressed. Our doctors are always available by phone for our clients if they have concerns and questions even after a pet’s visit.

Q- What can you tell me about the talented and friendly staff at Jonesville Animal Hospital?

Dr. Lerman-We have the most amazing people on our staff! We look long and hard to find the right people who are kind, compassionate, and love animals and people, and then put them through a very detailed, thorough and lengthy training process. We have very specific goals for our technicians and receptionists and we invest a lot of time and training in helping them to meet our very high expectations. Everyone here works hard to always provide the best care and service for our clients and their pets.

Q- Can people drop by or do they need an appointment?

Dr. Lerman- Patients are seen by appointment. Pet emergencies are seen immediately upon arrival. Walk-ins are worked into the schedule and seen as soon as possible. For the convenience of our clients, a courtesy service is offered where a pet can be dropped off and spend the day so the doctor can examine their pet.

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Jonesville Animal Hospital is located on Newberry Road in Jonesville across the street from Publix.
352 331 7050
www.JonesvilleVet.com
jonesvilleah@gmail.com www.facebook.com/jonesvillevet

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