GET A GLIMPSE | Dr. Courtney Smock, 35

Veterinarian at Care Pets Animal Hospital & Wellness Center in Sellersburg 

Compiled by Stacy Thomas | Photo by Danny Alexander

I have always been around animals. I was originally interested in human medicine, but I did not want to specialize. As a veterinarian, I get to be the general physician, the dermatologist and the surgeon all in one. I am attracted to the variety of things I get to do and experience as a vet. My job is a really great combination of animals and people. Every animal I see is attached to a person. I have always been interested in science. In vet medicine, there are constantly new developments and something interesting and different everyday.

I have been at Care Pets for almost four months, before that I was an ER vet at Blue Pearl Animal Hospital. The hardest challenge about being an ER vet was that the patient was really sick, and they did not know me. I had to create trust very quickly between the pet, their owners and myself. I had a very small window to decide what was best for them and their pets. In an ER setting, there is a constant influx of patients, and you don’t get the chance to really grow with your clients.

My husband, Dr. David Rowland, is also a vet at Access Veterinary Care in Jeffersonville. I help there as well, mostly administrative. We met in vet school at Purdue University. We were standing in line, alphabetically, for our student IDs. Luckily the girl between us was short, so we could talk over her. We were really close as a class. She is a good friend and attended our wedding.

My husband and I own several pets: one dog, two cats, one bearded dragon and two snakes. In the ER, I saw mostly dogs and cats. At Care Pets, I have seen a variety of pets: guinea pigs, bearded dragon, turtles and other fun pocket pets. My husband helped a case with a tiger in Charlestown. That is probably the most exotic animal either one of us has worked with.

I don’t think you can understand the connection and unconditional love you get from an animal until you experience it firsthand. A lot of people say “they are pets, not children.” Yes, it is a different relationship to a human one, but it is a relationship. A pet is the one being in this world that totally “gets you.” You get responses from them. You develop a desire to care for them.

Working with animals, I find it so incredible how happy, good natured, and forgiving so many pets can be even when they are sick. I can be a bit of an anxious person. When I look at life through the perspective of a pet – if you have a roof over your head and people who love you, that’s the best you can get. I am moved by the number of people who are so dedicated to their pets, the rescue community – those that live their daily lives helping a living being, they inspire me. The people that go out of their way to anonymously pay a medical bill for a pet in need, I am honored to be a part of that experience.


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