Mitchell Valley Animal Hospital
Years ago when she was in high school in Sidney, Neb., Somer Tremain worked for local veterinarian Ken Cook, bathing and walking dogs and watching closely as Dr. Cook administered care to his four-legged patients.
Now a skilled veterinarian, small business owner, wife and mother, Dr. Somer Pieper has a shadow of her ownâ€”her 7-year-old daughter, Kate—as she cares for small animals in her state-of-the-art clinic, Mitchell Valley Animal Hospital.
“She comes in every day after school,” Dr. Pieper says. “She likes to help.”
There is plenty to do at the Mitchell Valley Animal Hospital, which opened in June 2014. Dr. Pieper first recognized the need for a pet hospital in Mitchell Valley when she worked at a clinic in Torrington, Wyo., 23 miles to the west of Mitchell, after her graduation from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008.
Dr. Pieper earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chadron State College. While in college, she worked for a Chadron veterinarian, John Gamby. While studying at KSU, she worked as a veterinary student for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. In 2008, she and her husband, Jeff, moved back to his family farm in Mitchell. Today, he is the branch president for Pinnacle Bank in Mitchell.
With assistance and advice from the Nebraska Business Development Center office in Scottsbluff, Dr. Pieper was able to realize her dream, the Mitchell Valley Animal Hospital. The thriving business employs four licensed veterinary technicians, two certified assistants and a part-time office manager.
The hospital features the latest in equipment and technologies including digital radiography, in-house blood testing equipment and an electronic patient records system conveniently maintained on laptop computers. “If we need to consult with a specialist, having all our records and images available electronically makes collaboration much easier,” Dr. Pieper says.
The hospital provides preventive and emergency care for the smallest of pets on up to sheep and goats. “We’re starting to broaden our horizons a bit,” Dr. Pieper says, “as long as we can continue to deliver the high-quality care our clients and their animals have come to expect from us.”