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New veterinarian in charge

NEW VETERINARIAN — Dr. Jessica Vittek, the new veterinarian at the Community Care Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic in Follansbee, poses for a Christmas photo with one of her furry friends. -- Warren Scott

FOLLANSBEE — A new veterinarian now is in charge of Community Care Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic, but recent visitors to the veterinary office will recognize her.

Dr. Jessica Vittek worked side by side with Dr. Holly Kossuth, who has practiced in Brooke County for 16 years, to ensure a smooth transition when Kossuth departed to help establish a veterinary technician program at West Virginia University.

Vittek acknowledged she will have big shoes to fill.

“She has a lot of clients who depend on her,” Vittek said of Kossuth, who last year was named the West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year.

“The first time I met her I knew we had a lot in common in the way she cares about animals,” Vittek added.

“We both strongly believe in the human-animal bond and the unique ways pets can touch our lives. And we are both committed to providing the absolute best veterinary care to help our patients lead long and healthy lives.”

She said she learned a lot from Kossuth about animal dentistry, adding the office is among few that offer dental X-rays and surgery for pets.

A graduate of Buckeye Local High School, Vittek earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Ohio State University.

From there she went to work at the Ohio Valley Animal Care Center in Moundsville, where she honed her medical and surgical skills and gained experience with exotic pets such as reptiles, birds and small mammals such as rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a love for animals,” said Vittek, who recalled her first pet was a collie-shepherd mix and how sad she was when it died.

Her first pets as an adult were a dachshund-terrier mix, beagle and calico cat. They appear in the hospital’s new logo as silhouettes facing two hearts.

Several of Vittek’s pets over the years appear in pictures throughout the office.

“I currently have four fur babies at home: an energetic and loving beagle named Ruby, a super sweet and cuddly Jack Russell mix named Ralphie, a beautiful and sassy buff tabby cat named Violet and a cuddly black kitten named Stella I recently adopted,” she said.

Vittek said not much will change in the way the office serves its four-footed clientele and other pets.

“We wanted to keep our services and hours as close as possible,” she said.

Located at 2003 Eldersville Road near Hooverson Heights, the animal hospital is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays,

to accommodate the work schedules of pet owners; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Wednesdays normally are reserved for surgeries.

Appointments are encouraged by calling (304) 527-5270 but walk-ins are welcome, especially in emergencies.

In addition to surgery and dentistry, Vittek and her staff offer vaccinations; geriatric care for older pets; cat boarding; microchipping to help pet owners find their furry friends when they are missing; and advice on weight control because obesity can be a serious issue for animals as they grow older.

Vittek said she’s pleased with the warm welcome she received at the recent open house held at the hospital.

“We have a lot of great clients and they have been very accepting of the transition,” she said.

It was a bittersweet occasion in some regards.

Kossuth also was on hand to say farewell to the hospital’s clients, while Vittek’s boyfriend, Daniel Stone of Tiltonsville, created a second milestone for Vittek when he proposed to her.

Information about Community Care Animal Hospital and Cat Clinic can be found at www.communitycareanimalhospital.com.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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