Please note: We will be closed Saturday, December 24th in observance of Christmas!

our fascinating story

Care-Pets Animal Hospital’s History

Please read below to learn more about how Care-Pets Animal Hospital came to be. Our story is a fascinating one, you won’t want to miss it!

our fascinating story

Care-Pets Animal Hospital’s History

Please read below to learn more about how Care-Pets Animal Hospital came to be. Our story is a fascinating one, you won’t want to miss it!

Care-Pets Animal Hospital’s Founder

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Hi, I’m Joan Evinger. As I teeter on the brink of my retirement, I’ve been asked to share a synopsis of my career in veterinary medicine. I’m not sure whether I should start out with “Once upon a time — “ or “Long, Long Ago — in a galaxy Far, Far away —” In either case, my career in veterinary medicine started when I was 14 years old. I showed up at a local veterinary practice and asked if I could hang around. After all — I was interested in medicine and science and had a certain affinity for animals. This combination of interests made me think that veterinary medicine might be the place I should plan on spending my adult career. How was I going to determine if that was the case if I didn’t have exposure to the ins and outs of the profession? The permission for me to stay that day “and watch” was given grudgingly but the doctor was sure he could dissuade me as “women really didn’t have a place in veterinary medicine.”

That first day came and went and I’d figured how to sweep the floor and disinfect the examination table between patients. This endeared me to the veterinary assistants that worked there as those were tasks they did not have to do when I was around. Before you knew it the assistants were allowing me to help with evening and/or morning kennel work. Poop scooping is step one in becoming a veterinarian. By that time I’d become a fixture and even the doctor started letting me restrain patients for examinations and treatments of hospital cases.

Things were much different back then and there was not a concern that the practice would be sued if a volunteer was injured. I got my share of bites and scratches — and kicks and shoves and butts as the practice was mixed at that time and I was occasionally allowed to accompany the doctor on farm calls. This man, who grudgingly allowed me to “hang around” that first day became my second father. He taught me the joys of assisting at Caesarean sections, the pain and responsibility involved in performing euthanasia, and all things in between.

High school graduation came and went and I left home for college — Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University. The required classes for the pre-vet curriculum were in the school of Agriculture, a male-dominated area. Women were tolerated but not always welcomed. All you had to do as a woman was to stand your ground, make your grade, and not wimp out. Those of us women in those classes in the 1960s, who proved we could do the same work that men could, did more for women’s rights than all the bra burners put together.

dr. evinger veterinarian
Four years of veterinary school was next on the docket. One of the happiest days of my life was getting the letter that I had been accepted into the veterinary class of 1967. There were 7 women in a class of 60 students. Again, many of the staff and even our male classmates were not that happy with “so many” women in the class who were taking the place of a man who would actually USE his education and not decide to become a wife and mother instead. What a horror! Veterinary medicine was “being taken over by women.” Those who predicted that were correct. Today the male:female ratio of students in veterinary schools is reversed.

After Veterinary School graduation, I returned home and worked for 12 years at the practice where I had volunteered and worked through high school and college. I married my soul mate, Dan, in 1979.

2 1⁄2 years were spent out of the area and upon return home, CARE-PETS ANIMAL HOSPITAL was started. Dan was instrumental in remodeling the building for the “first” Care-Pets…just 1 mile from the present location. He managed the construction of our present building and managed the practice until his death in 2010. The past 54 1⁄2 years have been filled with a lot of joy, some sorrow, and always chances to learn something new and exciting. Wonderful staff members, clients, and awesome patients have made my time as a veterinarian one that I would not have changed for the world. The plans for continuing the practice are awesome. Please stick around, watch, and be a part of it.

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