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Veterinary clinic opens under new ownership

Since their childhood, Angela and Jonathan Collins have always had a love for animals, and now they are finally able to share that love with the community.

The Collins recently became the new owners of the Halifax County Veterinary Clinic in June. 

“The people of Halifax County mean a lot to my family,” Angela said of the McDowell clan from the Java community.

A Halifax County native, Angela grew up on a farm in Java where she fostered a love for animals. But she didn’t always plan to go to veterinarian school.  

Originally, her plans were to go to the University of Virginia to study journalism after completing high school.

She remembers when all that changed one day when one of her dad’s cows calved while she was at home alone. 

She attempted to help deliver the calf by herself, but ultimately she had to seek help from her father. 

At that moment, Angela said she knew being a veterinarian was her life’s calling.

“I don’t like seeing animals suffer, and I wanted to relieve the animals suffering the best way I could,” she said.

Jonathan also grew up caring for animals, and he recalled spending time in Alabama with his uncle who was a veterinarian. 

Working with his uncle allowed him to see how great it was to help people and their animals at an early age, he said.

Both Angela and Jonathan received their Bachelor of Science degrees in animal and poultry sciences and their doctorate degrees in veterinary medicine from Virginia Tech.

Jonathan started working at the Halifax County Veterinary Center in 2005, and until recently Angela stayed at home with their two daughters and several pets.  

The Collins have two short-hair cats named Ashley and Wilmer.  They also have two dogs, Lily, a golden retriever-poodle mix, and Jasmine, a border collie. They have two rabbits named Happy and Snappy, and a few cattle.

 Angela also has a dog that stays at her mother’s house named Josie. Josie was her first dog and is now 12 years old. She got her while a student at Virginia Tech. 

“She is the best free gift I’ve ever gotten,” Angela said of Josie.

They also have a bull.

The Collins said they treat their cattle very differently than most people with them becoming pets more often than not.

They mostly breed the cows and sell their calves rather than raising them for milk or meat.

Back at the office, Jonathan and Angela said they are excited about the new changes they plan to bring to the Halifax Veterinary Center in Halifax.

Partial owners of the Halifax Veterinary Center since 2009, the Collins recently purchased the business in June following the retirement of former owner Dr. Larry Younger, doctor of veterinary medicine for the past 30 years.

The Collins said they plan to remodel the office and provide a few new services to customers, which for right now they’re keeping a surprise.

They also plan to start sponsoring a client of the week that works like this: every Friday clients who have brought their pets for annual visits will be entered into a drawing for a free gift certificate to Common Grounds Café for the following week.

Jonathan and Angela also are planning a meet and greet at the clinic Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Angela said everyone is welcome to come out and meet the staff, make recommendations and voice their concerns.

According to Jonathan and Angela, those who attend will be entered into a drawing for a $60 gift certificate to a restaurant of their choice, a gift basket full of pet care items or a three-month supply of Front Line.

“This is our way to emphasize our appreciation to our customers,” Angela said.

The Halifax Veterinary Center is opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. 

The Collins offer a wide range of services including annual visits, routine vaccinations, sick animal visits, fracture repairs, mass removals, dental cleanings and preventative care.   

Both veterinarians stress the importance of preventative care.

“The number of cats and dogs not vaccinated is way too high,” Jonathan said.

Halifax Veterinary Center also is the only animal clinic in town that offers an ultrasound, which can help diagnose liver and kidney problems, abdominal tumors and pregnancy.  

The Collins also offer boarding and professional grooming services.

Jonathan and Angela work with dogs, cats, cattle, horses, alpaca and goats.

Their goal is to promote education. 

“We try to educate through compassionate care. By educating consumers on what they need to do to keep their animals safe, we also keep the community safe,” Jonathan said.

 The veterinary duo also has teamed up with the county’s Animal Control officers to help more animals get adopted.  Those who adopt a stray animal will receive a coupon for a discount on their vet visit at the Halifax Veterinary Center.

“We do the best we can to serve the community, and the animals that are here,” Angela said.

The Collins also focus on pain management and currently put up a new protocol based on what the vet schools are using.

Advocates for spaying and neutering, they agree these procedures reduce the number of strays and protect animals from certain health complications.

The mission of the Halifax Veterinary Center is to provide animals with “top notch medical care” and give them a good quality of life, Jonathan and Angela said.

“We put together a top notch staff where the focus is the animals,” Angela said. “We try to have the most up to date and progressive medicine out there.”

The Collins said they want to make sure owners are confident their animals have been well-cared for and treated with compassion.

For more information on the Halifax County Veterinary Center, visit their website at hcvcvet.com or find them on Facebook.