Loving Care Veterinary Hospital, located on Union Valley Road right across from Town Hall, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday.
“The reason I opened this practice is because I want to be able to help as many animals as I can,” said owner and lead veterinarian, Dr. Kristie Steele. “And that’s honestly my goal.”
Steele, a longtime West Milford resident, had worked at a number of veterinary hospitals in the surrounding areas before deciding to open up her own space right here in town.
“I just said enough of this, I’m going to open my own practice,” Steele said. “That’s what I always wanted.”
According to Steele, she knew she wanted to be a vet since she was three years old and started helping out at the animal shelter when she was just seven.
She’s now been practicing veterinary medicine for over 15 years and when a doctor she knew told her about some space available in his building a little while ago, she jumped at the opportunity to open up her own place right in her hometown.
“We redid 90 percent of the inside of the building,” Steele said.
With the help of her contractor, Steele completely redesigned the new space and, according to staff members, so far, so good.
“We’ve been open since September and we’ve had a steady flow of people coming through,” said Practice Manager Susan Hollandswroth, who Steele credits with doing everything she can’t do.
Steele said that many of the people who came in with their pets when they first opened up told her and her staff that they’d been waiting for them to open.
“A lot of people came in and were like, ‘Yeah, we haven’t brought our animal to the vet in years,’” she said.
While Loving Care Veterinary Hospital did officially open back in September, Steele and her staff decided to celebrate the occasion on Saturday by inviting members of the community out for some food, fun, and games.
Steele and staff members even held a Halloween parade with some local children as well as some local pets, followed by a couple of costume contests for the parade participants.
The winning kids and costumed pets were awarded with some fun prizes.
“I was really happy with all the people that came out,” Steele said of the opening.
Mayor Michele Dale was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony as well.
“It’s great to have another new business in town,” Mayor Dale said. “It’s right in the center of town, which is really nice, and they did a great job getting everybody out here today.”
According to its website, the new veterinary hospital offers wellness and medical care for dogs, cats, and rabbits, including vaccinations, laboratory testing and full diagnostic, surgical, and dental care.
The hospital also has designated and certified cat-friendly facilities on the premises.
To learn more about Loving Care Veterinary Hospital, you can visit their website at www.lovingcareveterinaryhospital.com.