The new owner of Hart Road Animal Hospital as of July 2014, Dr. Lauren M. Smith comes to us with 3 decades of valuable experience. With clinic ownership she can now say she has held every job there is in a small animal veterinary practice over those years. Lauren grew up on a small farm in Ellensburg, Washington where her first experience in veterinary medicine was volunteering at a mixed animal practice in her hometown in 7th grade. From that point forward she knew this was her calling. Lauren loves all critters and from early childhood her life mission was “to take care of kitties”. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, working her first paid veterinary job as a receptionist then veterinary assistant at an emergency animal hospital in Kirkland during those years. She obtained her undergraduate degree, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1987. After graduating from veterinary school at Washington State University in 1991 Dr. Smith returned to Seattle and began her professional life at a feline clinic. In 1996, Lauren and her future husband Rick Walker moved to Portland. They opened their first family business Aloha Music, a community musical instrument and repair shop (at the Aloha Mall-185th and TV Highway). Dr. Smith has practiced in the local community for over 20 years and prides herself at staying up-to date with current veterinary trends while remaining practical and maintaining a sense of humor. She has a passion for feline medicine and surgery and enjoys educating staff and clients about the benefits of preventive care. Her current family consists of 5 special kitties at home (plus 2 here at the clinic) and a rescue dog named “Melody”. In her limited spare time Dr. Smith enjoys music, gardening and spending time with her pets and Rick.
Jenny has been employed at Hart Road Animal Hospital as a Certified Veterinary Technician since July of 2013. Jenny loves working here because she gets to meet amazing pets and people every day and has grown to love the familiar human and furry faces that have been coming to Hart Road for years. Jenny’s favorite part of her job is furthering her knowledge of veterinary medicine and animal care on a daily basis. Leisurely, she loves to spend time with family and friends, cook, read, dance, travel, listen to music, watch television and movies. However, her favorite time is spent at home cuddling with one (or all) of her four cats or her rescued American foxhound, Buddy (see photo)
Shanna worked with preschool children before starting her work with animals. Because of her love of animals Shanna began working in the kennel area of another local veterinary hospital in 2005 where she met Dr Smith who also worked there at the time. When Dr Smith bought Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2014 she recruited Shanna to her team due to her excellent pet handling skills, compassion and attention to detail. Shanna was hired in 2014 here as a Veterinary Assistant but has morphed into an excellent Client Services Representative. She is perfect for this position since she loves greeting the clients and pets, helping with their concerns and talking to the clients. In her time away from work she loves going to movies, hanging out with her family and playing/cuddling with her two dogs Shadow and Mikki (see photo)
Huggie Bear is a special domestic long hair grey and white cat that first came to Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2008 for inappropriate urination. He was diagnosed with lower urinary tract disease but in 2009 he was brought in and signed over to the clinic due to this reoccurring problem. He has been the model clinic cat since then. Since getting him on the proper prescription diet, he has not since had any more urinary tract symptoms nor has inappropriately urinated in the hospital. The social and loving boy that he is, Huggie is HRAH’s designated door greeter to clients and provides smiles and comfort to everyone; especially staff. His favorite places to be are either in the reception lobby to welcome people, on the warm laundry or dryer, or perched on the kitty scale in the treatment area to observe his domain. Next time you come in feel free to say “hi” and give him pets, he is very soft!
Our latest clinic cat “Little Girl” came to us in spring of 2019. She is a senior kitty with some medical issues- bladder stones, urinary infection which have resolved with diet and antibiotics and we are managing her arthritis. At first she did not like Huggie but now they are coexisting nicely. She is a very happy, sweet kitty and a great addition to Dr. Smith’s office.
Corri has been working with animals since she was 18 years old. She started her career as a kennel worker, supervised a pet resort that could house over 300 dogs, and worked as an overnight technician at an emergency clinic. She enjoys working with all types of animals. Through all the experiences she has handled some different types like lion cubs, nile monitor, different parrots and raptors as well as a very strange deer-like animal called a muntjac. She is married to her high school sweetheart that she met in South Carolina and they have been residents of Oregon since 2012. They have 2 children, lab mixes, Remy and Boca. The whole family loves to explore all the wonderful hiking trails and waterfalls the northwest has to offer.
Nitzny started off as an after school elementary teacher. Although she loved every second of it, she felt as if the small building down the road was calling her name. Nitzny loves to work with her furry friends and her amazing co-workers. Nitzny started shadowing at Hart Road Animal Hospital in 2019, almost a year before she officially started to work there. She loved being there, watching the techs and Doctor helping animals feel better, inspired her to find a career in that field. Nitzny has her own little furry family at home, which consists of two cats, Honey and Osito, one rabbit, Morena, and a friendly snake, named George. She continues to grow as well as to learn and wishes to continue her studies to one day become a Certified Tech. If it gets bumpy along the way she always knows she has three furry friends to cuddle up and nap with at home.