“I’ve been with many pets from the time they were born until the time they have died. It gives me a peace knowing I helped them have a happy and healthy life.”

Dr. Stephanie Simons is proud Artesia native who opened her veterinary practice, Critter Care Center in 2008. Since then she has been treating our local cats, dogs, birds, pocket pets, lizards, turtles, hedgehogs and all kinds of critters with her expert skills and knowledgeable staff.

As a child Stephanie always had big dreams for her adult life, she imagined herself making an impression as an astronaut or laboratory scientist.  She always loved animals but didn’t consider it as a career path until she attended a science camp after high school. At this camp she was introduced to the work of Dr. Jane Goodall and a spark of inspiration encouraged her to volunteer in the veterinary field.  After gaining some experience she soon realized that “going into the veterinary field requires a passion for helping animals, sometimes without any reward.” Stephanie had several doubts while trying to decide if this was the career path for her and was once told she would never make it. This negative statement was fuel for her motivation and made her even more determined to succeed.

Dr. Simons received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary and Biomedical Science at Colorado State University. She and her husband, Chris, moved back to their hometown of Artesia and opened Critter Care Center to be able to set her own hours and raise a family. Despite the long hours and emergency calls, Stephanie has managed to raise two adorable boys who share her love of animals. As any working mom can attest, it is not always easy to manage family and a career but Stephanie is committed to improving the lives of people and animals. Her passion for helping animals comes from “being able to provide joy, health, and comfort to both the patients and their owners,” she stated.

As any doctor can testify, there are many rewards and challenges that come with the responsibility of treating and caring for their patients. Some of her routine duties are to diagnose animal health problems, vaccinate against diseases, perform surgery, treat and dress wounds, and medicate animals. Often her job involves advising owners about feeding, behavior, and breeding of animals. The most valuable reward Stephanie receives from helping animals is “unconditional love!” We all (techs and office staff) become attached to each patient. When we see them grow, mature, and thrive it makes us feel like we had a part in that.” She also explained, “the biggest challenge for me is when owners cannot afford the treatment their pet needs; they don’t realize the time and money it takes to test and treat illness. Also, the lack of preventative care at times. So much illness can be prevented!”

Veterinary care is critical to animal well-being. From vaccinations to physical development, it is important that we maintain our pet’s wellness exams and check ups. Critter Care Center is located at 609 W. Richardson Ave. and is open Monday- Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is now offering 10% off to new clients.