I just wanted to offer a little personal note and information about myself to everyone who loves and supports SpayToday as I thoughtfully transition in as Medical Director with this amazing organization.
First and foremost, I LOVE my animals! And I love your animals too—I love all animals! I have six small dogs and all of them are seniors and special-needs animals, each of them coming from some unfortunate situation. I have two paralyzed dogs, another is diabetic, another one in heart failure, and the others have a myriad of other issues and no teeth! I have a senior cat in heart failure as well, a 25-year-old Eclectus parrot and a large tank full of beautiful goldfish. My animals are my life, but I also enjoy writing, reading, motorcycling, traveling and spending time with my family and friends. And Facebook, though sometimes a source of unpleasant information, is also great place to watch cute and funny animal videos and is a means for me to stay connected with my friends and family back in Alabama and Georgia.
I became a veterinarian late in life—it was a second career for me and I am so thankful I made that decision, though it was a hard climb from my already established career as an actor/singer in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I remember actually declaring a pre-vet major when I first entered college in 1985, but for some reason, I didn’t think I was smart enough to go through with it. My father was a PhD in Civil Engineering and I thought THAT was the definition of smart—and I was most certainly not a Civil Engineer! I went on to pursue what came very naturally for me, music and theatre, and it was definitely an apt and valuable direction for learning and growing and understanding how to work with and connect with people. I can honestly say that it positively cultivated who I am today and how I practice medicine and regard my work and personal relationships. I truly loved my life as an actor and singer, but I realized that it did not bring me the purpose I was seeking in my life.
All while singing and acting, I held a job as a veterinary technician at several local metro-Atlanta veterinary hospitals, but when I moved to Nashville to try to break into the country music business, I didn’t continue working as a vet tech. And I realized about year into being there that I really missed working with animals—I wanted to be a doctor. So, I chucked it all in and went back to school in my thirties (starting with Chemistry 101!), entering vet school at 36 and graduating at the age of 40.
It was quite an undertaking, moving from a right brain life to a left brain life! And I am so glad I did. Being a veterinarian has brought me joy and purpose that I would have never known—and working in so many different fields in the past 10 years has allowed me to hone in on where my gifts lie and how to use them to help others in the field of veterinary medicine. There are two specific areas where I find my heart—in helping the less fortunate with veterinary care for their pets, which brought me to start my own local non-profit organization called Peace, Love & Paws, whose mission is to provide free veterinary care and pet supplies to the homeless and indigent; and preventing pet homelessness and the needless deaths of animals by spaying and neutering, vaccinating and microchipping dogs and cats in our communities. Having worked in shelter medicine for many years, I have come to see the suffering and devastation that our animal friends endure when dogs and cats are unvaccinated and/or continue to breed unsuppressed. After witnessing thousands of preventable animal deaths and euthanasias over the years, I know there is an answer—to vaccinate and to spay and neuter our pets. And Spay Today’s mission is to do exactly that by offering affordable spay/neuter services, vaccines and microchips to the pets in our communities.
I am delighted to become part of the Spay Today family and to transition in to the position of Medical Director for such a well-respected and highly-regarded spay/neuter clinic in the Denver area. I have been doing relief work for Spay Today for over five years and have worked with much of the established staff and Dr. Piccoli during that time—in fact, Dr. Piccoli has been an invaluable mentor for me in the area of high-quality, high-volume surgery. I am honored to be succeeding Dr. P as Medical Director and hope to maintain the same mission she has brought to fruition over the past 10 years—as well as help develop new pet wellness programs that will provide additional assistance to those who may be struggling financially with sustaining veterinary care for their pets.
It’s going to be a great year and a great opportunity for Spay Today to grow and continue to help the people and animals in our community—and I am so excited to be part of it!
Carolyn Karrh, DVM