Dr. Kristine Jones opened Animal Medical Center of Louisa in March of 1993, a move that she describes as “one of the best decisions I ever made.”
“I had been driving quite some distance to work elsewhere and wanted to be closer to home, more a part of my community and available to my family,” she said.
Jones says that she thinks of herself more as a veterinarian than a business owner.
“We feel we are a veterinary medical practice and the business end will take care of itself if we provide a good service,” she said. “Our focus is on medicine and caring for our patients and owners.”
There have been many pet owners that have stayed with Jones and her practice for years, some even since she first opened.
“The folks who have been with us since the beginning are pretty special to us,” Jones said. “By now, the pets that we met them with have all passed away, but it is rewarding to help them with the new additions that have come their way. It feels like we’re all getting older together.”
Of all the challenges the hospital has faced in the nearly 30 years it’s been open, Jones says the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest.
“There is no place in most veterinary hospitals to be socially distanced, which means we’re running in and out of the building all day and treating our patients without their owners present,” she said. “Thankfully, most people understand and are appreciative, but it does take a lot of the fun out of it. We miss chatting with our clients and jointly fussing over their pets. We still fuss, but we miss the chit-chat and social interaction.”
The best advice Jones can give to anyone looking to open a business in Louisa is pretty straightforward: Go for it.
“You’ll always wonder if it would have worked if you don’t give it a try,” she said.