Sick bunny inspired her to become a vet

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 16, 2015

Emily Hertlein, D.V.M., has joined Jones Veterinary Hospital.

Hertlein said she’s excited about the venture.


“Hopefully I’ve found a clinic home,” Hertlein said. “My goal would be to settle down and to stay here for a while, and to grow. I’m learning a lot from Dr. Troy Jones, he’s seen a lot and done a lot. I hope to find a place to settle down and get better and better.”

Hertlein is a 2009 Auburn graduate who has spent time working in vet offices in Dothan and in Central Florida.

“School was tough for me, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I got through it,” Hertlein said.

She said she heard about the position at Jones’ and knew it was a good opportunity, and she would be closer to family.

“Dr. Jones is growing and he was looking for help, and this is pretty close to family,” Hertlein said. “So far, I’ve met some really great people and the animals. It’s been a learning experience, everybody is a little different.”

Becoming a vet was Hertlein’s goal from the time she was a child, and her compassion for animals has not changed.

“I decided at 8 years old that being a vet was what I wanted to do, and nothing has changed my mind,’ Hertlein said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. I had a bunny, and he got an infection and the vet couldn’t fix him. And at 8 years old I was like, ‘I’m going to be able to fix him,’ so that was the beginning.”

Hertlein said she probably has too much of a passion for animals, but that her compassion is one of her biggest strengths.

“I love them all, and I want to see them all happy and healthy, in good homes and pain free,” Hertlein said. “I personally try to treat every pet I see like I would my personal pet. I try to do the best thing for them, keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible.”

Hertlein’s personal pets include her four dachshunds Alexander, Bella, Painter and Cowboy; and her cat, Nickel.

Cats and dogs are the main animals treated at Jones Veterinary Hospital, but with time, they hope to expand their services and clientele.

“I don’t really have a specialty, but I like exotics,” Hertlein said. “I’ll see a little bit of exotics, but I don’t have a whole lot of experience in it.”

Dr. Troy Jones said he has high hopes for Hertlein, and is very excited about her arrival.

“I’m hoping she’ll bring some new ideas, and things like exotic animals,” Jones said. “She has a desire to work with ‘pocket pets’ and hopefully that’s something we can work into this.

“We get a few exotics here, but not many because I don’t know much about them,” he said. “I’m hoping since she really wants to do more of that stuff, hopefully people will give her the opportunity and get her some new patients.”

Exotic or “pocket pets” include animals like guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits and rats.

“I’m very excited to have her, she’s very knowledgeable, she’s very sweet and clients seem to be responding to her very well,” Jones said. “I have very high hopes for her. I hope she wants to stay long term and be a part of our community as well as our practice.”

Having two vets at Jones’ will provide an opportunity for the practice to expand services to include things such as house calls. Jones said they’ll be able to have a little more time with two vets on staff, and he’s excited for that.

So far, Hertlein has treated multiple animals, done some surgeries and dental cleanings, treated sick animals, and conducted routine preventative care.

“The girls here are great,” Hertlein said. “We have a great staff and we go above and beyond on cleanliness. We just put the patients’ best interests first.”