Essential: Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital’s Brittany Parks

{Editor’s Note: This is the ninth of a multi-part series highlighting all the essential folks in Moore County. Readers nominated each interview subject. To nominate someone, email editor@lynchburg-times.com.}

Brittany Parks of Moore County has worked at the Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital for the last seven years. She says pandemic or not, giving animals the best possible care is always their mission. {Lynchburg Times Photo}

Life looks a little different these days at the Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital (LVH) located on Majors Boulevard just off the historic Lynchburg Square, according to vet tech student Brittany Parks. Parks, a Moore County resident, has worked at LVH for the past seven years.

“I love the medical aspect of it,” she says referring to working with the LVH patients. “I just prefer animal medical instead of people medical. The animal stuff isn’t as contagious as the people-to-people stuff is.”

She says in late March – for their safety and the safety of their patient’s human companions – Drs. Wendy and Bryant Morton as well as the LVH staff decided to work curbside until further notice. Today, they give pet vaccines, help sick animals, and handle emergencies … all while owners wait patiently outside.

“We go out, get the patient, do their exams, and then go back out and go over what we found with the owners,” Parks say. “We don’t bring the owners inside at all.”

Parks says the back and forth increases the amount of time it takes to see each animal.

In addition, they now work with limited staff. Two of LVH’s five normal staff members chose not to work through the COVID-19 situation because they fall into the high-risk population. Parks, along with vet assistant Tessa Metcalf, receptionist Macey Cross, and Dr. Morton now work four days a week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Lucy, the office cat, stays in house twenty-four seven. Parks says, the LVH staff now does twice the cleaning, twice the laundry, and executes more steps per visit with just a staff of three.

Even in a global pandemic, local animals still experience emergencies. Animals get hit crossing local rural roads. They accidentally ingest poison. Pets suffer accidents and falls just like humans do.

“It’s also spring dog fighting season, and things need to be stitched up,” Parks says.

Parks says that Dr. Morton often works after hours emergency calls on his own but sometimes, he needs assistance. She says as a group they felt as if shutting down completely just wasn’t an option.

When we ask her what the one part of a “normal workday” she misses most, she says having the ability to truly comfort an owner who’s made the difficult decision to euthanize their beloved pet. Not being able to be hands on is difficult, she says.

“I can still be in the room with them,” Parks says. “But I can’t put my arm around them or hug and comfort them.”

Parks lives in the Harry Hill area of Moore County with her husband Dale, stepsons, Bradley and Joshua, and daughter, Ashlee. A third stepson, Daniel lives nearby in Shelbyville. When she is not at work, she says her family takes the same precautions of everyone else and fills their quarantine days outside gardening and working on her family farm with the goats, horses, chickens, a calf, cats, and five new Australian shepherd puppies.

In the end, Parks says that even with a reduced staff and different procedures, all of the staff at LVF are doing their best to give all animals the best possible care with as little frustration as possible.

“If we weren’t there, where would they go?” •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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