I am from the small town of Austintown, Ohio and had several dogs and cats growing up. I loved my feline and canine friends, but always dreamed about owning a horse to ride and build the special bond that humans and horses can forge.
I decided early on in my life (around age five) that I would be a veterinarian when I grew up, and after college, chose to attend veterinary school due to this early interaction and fascination with animals.
After veterinary school, I bought that horse, even though I was just coming out of college and didn’t even have enough money to buy a saddle. I practiced in Mansfield for a while prior to being hired by Dr. Henley, the original owner of Animal Hospital, and relocated to Willoughby two years before Dr. Dennis and I realized our shared dream of having our own practice and purchased Animal Hospital.
My personal and professional accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the support of my wonderful wife and children. My oldest daughter is an emergency room physician and my son is in his second year of medical school ( I guess it runs in the family!), while my youngest daughter attends Notre Dame Elementary School (she’s a little too young for medical school, but she’ll get there) and is on a national volleyball travel team. My wife has a master’s degree in exercise science and is the glue that holds us all together.
I am blessed with an amazing family, community, and an amazing work family that make Animal Hospital what it is, and allow us to have such an amazing idea of what it means to truly love the work that you do.
Growing up in Rocky River, my cats, parakeets, and fish were my constant companions. These early connections to such different types of animals fascinated me, and in middle school, I decided that I wanted to be a veterinarian to further understand these animals that brought me so much joy. Perhaps a late bloomer when it comes to having a dog, I got a Labrador retriever my junior year of high school, and became further fascinated with animal behavior after learning what not to do in relation to training a dog. Experience brings wisdom, right?
Also while in high school, I began work with the first female vet to own her own practice in Ohio. She taught me the values of customer service, even with the most difficult of clients, and the value of training and good nutrition as a way of helping to improve the lives of the animals that we love.
She became my mentor, and I continued to work for her and gain experience in multiple facets of the veterinary field until I graduated from veterinary school at The Ohio State University in 1986.
After a few years of work at diverse practices, I began looking to buy my own practice. It was one of life’s serendipitous moments when I found out that Dr. Murray, someone I’d known since veterinary school and been neighbors with in Chardon, was also looking to buy his own practice, and happened to know of a certain Animal Hospital that would be available for sale.
Dr. Murray and I are equal partners in Animal Hospital Inc. We put a lot of effort, hard work, and most of our income (even our homes!) into AHI to make our dream a reality, but with the combined support of the community and our families, we did just that. The practice has grown more than we could fathom as the recent veterinary school grads who had the hope of treating the animals we love and building community relationships way back when, but we still keep the tenets that we had as idealistic young animal lovers at the forefront of what we do.
Animal Hospital Inc.
Dr. Phil Henley built Animal Hospital, Inc from the ground up in 1961. His strong work ethic and commitment to patient care and the community laid the groundwork for AHI’s past, present, and future success.
In 1991, Drs. Debbie Dennis and Scott Murray purchased AHI. With a stellar framework already in place, Drs. Murray and Dennis slowly added a diverse menu of ancillary services, including grooming and boarding. As the practice began to outgrow its 7,000 square foot facility, it became apparent that a change was needed. An extensive remodel/rebuild began in December of 2004, and soon after we moved into our recognizable 14,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility.
Animal Hospital, Inc. provides the best care possible by utilizing state-of-the-art surgical, diagnostic, and medical technology allowed by our advanced facility and highly trained staff. By forging a close personal relationship with both pets and their owners, we provide compassionate, lifelong care to some of the most important members of your family while encouraging a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, preventative medicine, and behavioral awareness that goes far beyond the purview of your average veterinarian.