The new owner of Hart Road Animal Hospital as of July 2014, Dr. Lauren M. Smith comes to us with 3 decades of valuable experience. With clinic ownership she can now say she has held every job there is in a small animal veterinary practice over those years. Lauren grew up on a small farm in Ellensburg, Washington where her first experience in veterinary medicine was volunteering at a mixed animal practice in her hometown in 7th grade. From that point forward she knew this was her calling. Lauren loves all critters and from early childhood her life mission was “to take care of kitties”. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, working her first paid veterinary job as a receptionist then veterinary assistant at an emergency animal hospital in Kirkland during those years. She obtained her undergraduate degree, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1987. After graduating from veterinary school at Washington State University in 1991 Dr. Smith returned to Seattle and began her professional life at a feline clinic. In 1996, Lauren and her future husband Rick Walker moved to Portland. They opened their first family business Aloha Music, a community musical instrument and repair shop (at the Aloha Mall-185th and TV Highway). Dr. Smith has practiced in the local community for over 20 years and prides herself at staying up-to date with current veterinary trends while remaining practical and maintaining a sense of humor. She has a passion for feline medicine and surgery and enjoys educating staff and clients about the benefits of preventive care. Her current family consists of 5 special kitties at home (plus 2 here at the clinic) and a rescue dog named “Melody”. In her limited spare time Dr. Smith enjoys music, gardening and spending time with her pets and Rick.
Jenny has been employed at Hart Road Animal Hospital as a Veterinary Assistant and Client Service Representative since July of 2013. Jenny loves working here because she gets to meet amazing pets and people every day and has grown to love the familiar human and furry faces that have been coming to Hart Road for years. Jenny’s favorite part of her job is furthering her knowledge of veterinary medicine and animal care on a daily basis. She is now studying at PCC to become a Certified Veterinary Technician to advance her career in the veterinary field. Leisurely, she loves to spend time with family and friends, cook, read, dance, travel, listen to music, watch television and movies. However, her favorite time is spent at home cuddling with one (or all) of her four cats or her rescued American foxhound, Buddy (see photo)
Shanna worked with preschool children before starting her work with animals. Because of her love of animals Shanna began working in the kennel area of another local veterinary hospital in 2005 where she met Dr Smith who also worked there at the time. When Dr Smith bought Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2014 she recruited Shanna to her team due to her excellent pet handling skills, compassion and attention to detail. Shanna was hired in 2014 here as a Veterinary Assistant but has morphed into an excellent Client Services Representative. She is perfect for this position since she loves greeting the clients and pets, helping with their concerns and talking to the clients. In her time away from work she loves going to movies, hanging out with her family and playing/cuddling with her two dogs Shadow and Mikki (see photo)
Huggie Bear is a special domestic long hair grey and white cat that first came to Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2008 for inappropriate urination. He was diagnosed with lower urinary tract disease but in 2009 he was brought in and signed over to the clinic due to this reoccurring problem. He has been the model clinic cat since then. Since getting him on the proper prescription diet, he has not since had any more urinary tract symptoms nor has inappropriately urinated in the hospital. The social and loving boy that he is, Huggie is HRAH’s designated door greeter to clients and provides smiles and comfort to everyone; especially staff. His favorite places to be are either in the reception lobby to welcome people, on the warm laundry or dryer, or perched on the kitty scale in the treatment area to observe his domain. Next time you come in feel free to say “hi” and give him pets, he is very soft!
In Memoriam: Gerber
Sept 15, 1999 to Oct 28, 2017
Gerber was a sweet senior citizen domestic long hair dark grey cat that first came to Hart Road as a client’s kitten in 1999. In 2008 Gerber was attacked by a raccoon and was treated here for severe injuries that included a skull fracture, nasal structure repair and severe lacerations all over his body. In July of 2014 shortly after Dr. Lauren Smith bought the clinic, Gerber was brought to Hart Road for euthanasia due to his owner moving out of state to an environment unsafe for him to be outside. When we met Gerbie we knew we had to save him and he could live here for the rest of his life. He adapted well to clinic life and thrived on the attention, treats and love he received form our team and clients. He was supported through his golden years with the loving geriatric medical care of our staff and lived out his final months on Dr. Smith’s desk until it was clear he was no longer having a good quality of life. We all really loved this sweet old scar-faced kitty and miss his hugs and snuffling snorts. RIP sweet prince.
Kattie is our lead Client Service Representative (aka receptionist) and has been at Hart Road Animal Hospital since 2006 (our longest term employee!) Her love for animals started at an early age but the real education started when she made HRAH her “home away from home”. She is married, has 3 kids and a beloved sweet orange tabby cat named Grover who was around 1 yo when she adopted him in 2007. When not working, Kattie loves to travel, hike and spend time with her family volunteering in the local community. Kattie has been a great asset to the clinic during the ownership transition in 2014. She is a consistent smiling face and bubbly personality to greet clients and pets alike.
Corri has been working with animals since she was 18 years old. She started her career as a kennel worker, supervised a pet resort that could house over 300 dogs, and worked as an overnight technician at an emergency clinic. She enjoys working with all types of animals. Through all the experiences she has handled some different types like lion cubs, nile monitor, different parrots and raptors as well as a very strange deer-like animal called a muntjac. She is married to her high school sweetheart that she met in South Carolina and they have been residents of Oregon since 2012. They have 2 children, lab mixes, Remy and Boca. The whole family loves to explore all the wonderful hiking trails and waterfalls the northwest has to offer.
Sonny grew up on a farm in Hillsboro, OR. and has been around animals her entire life. Some of her fondest memories are helping her grandfather feed the cows, baling hay and the constant company of many dogs and cats over the years. After graduation from Hillsboro High School she began working at a major pet retailer which was the start of her customer service career. She worked at boarding facilities and grooming salons before starting her veterinary career in 2001. After taking a break for a few years she has returned to the veterinary field as Hart Road Animal Hospital’s newest Client Service Representative in 2016. She lives in Beavteron now with her family which includes a hound dog named Angus and a papillion/yorkie mix named Pip. She also has 2 cats Frankie (who thinks he is a dog) and a stand-off-ish cat named Biffy. In her spare time she enjoys playing board games, taking day trips and spending time with her two and four legged family.
Tracy began her career in the veterinary industry in 2007 after working in hospice care for people. She has experience with all kinds of critters including farm animals (large animal medicine) parrots as well as dogs and cats. Tracy spends her spare time with her human family (husband and 3 kids) and her assortment of dogs and cats. Some of our long-term clients may recognize her as she was a team member here several years ago, we are fortunate to have her experience and caring back at Hard Road.