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Meet Dr. Stacey Smith, new owner of Brookside Animal Hospital

The new owner of Brookside Animal Hospital shares her story

Having a father who was a Type I diabetic, Dr. Stacey Smith grew up immersed in the medical field. She listened intently at doctors' appointments, learned how to interpret lab values and what to do in case of an emergency. Even though she hadn’t yet set her sights on the veterinary side of medicine, in retrospect, it’s no surprise it quickly became her passion and eventually her livelihood.

Smith, who has lived her entire life in Oklahoma, was a senior in high school when she began looking beyond her family’s needs and thinking about college. She loved math and science and can’t remember a time when her family didn’t have a lot of pets, whether it be cats, dogs, rabbits, horses or one of her favorites, chinchillas. “I always had an interest in marine biology, but that wasn’t really an option if I wanted to stay grounded here in Oklahoma,” explains Smith.

She quickly decided her nurturing side along with caring for so many pets would develop into a career. Smith applied for veterinary school a year early and was quickly accepted for not only her academic performance, but the many hats she wore while working at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at OSU.

After graduating at age 25, Smith worked in several clinics throughout the Tulsa area. Owning a clinic was never in the immediate picture. Then, she was given the opportunity to purchase one of the offices she filled in at. So, while the Brookside Animal Hospital has been around the community for approximately 25 years, the clinic is really new – new staff, new doctor and new technology.

“I hated the thought of a business that has been an integral part of the community to just disappear,” Smith stresses. Smith and her husband weighed all the pros and cons and chose to buy the practice. Since that time, Smith redecorated the clinic. Not just a new coat of paint, but new flooring, cabinets, décor – the whole lot. Even more impressive is that in her spare time Smith loves to woodwork, and did all the refurbishing herself. 

COVID changed the way Smith and her staff serve her clients and their owners. “We tried spacing appointments out so there would be minimal risk, but ultimately as COVID numbers worsened, went to curbside service. “It’s tricky doing that with pets. First of all, it makes their owners uneasy about not being in the room while they’re being treated. And, sometimes the pets aren’t crazy about the idea either,” says Smith. Ultimately, they updated their technology and while Fido is getting x-rayed, Smith and her staff are able to show owners on the iPad all without getting out of the car.

Dr. Smith has also started offering virtual visits. Zoom also has been a platform that’s helped them take care of our four-legged friends. “That’s not always feasible, but if they’ve just been in for surgery and they need their incision looked at, that’s something we can do over Zoom and it makes sense for everyone.”

Smith has a mantra – “If more people were kinder to pets, they’d be kinder to each other.” Smith sees many benefits of pet ownership. “It teaches people how to be responsible, but most importantly, it teaches people to care.”

Since most of her patients can’t speak for themselves, Smith knows that’s one of the more stressful aspects of her job. “You really have to rely on your education, experience and subtle queues the animal gives you. Although I take pride that I’ve done my best every single day, I never mentally check out from worrying about my patients.”

But, the upside of owning the clinic? “We love getting to know our patients and their owners. We have the time to listen and tailor each appointment based on the needs. Pets really are like family here at Brookside.” It also gives her the opportunity to be the mom she needs to be. Whether it’s driving her 12-year-old son to baseball practice, music lessons or his next “gig”, or just helping him navigate his way through online pre-algebra class, she’s able to be there. And in her book, there’s nothing more important than family. 

To make an appointment call them at 918.747.8561 or visit them at BrooksidePetVet.com.

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