Dr. Sarah Soltis has opened a new veterinary practice in Horizon West, and she and her staff are eager to meet and treat the area’s dogs and cats. Hamlin Animal Hospital opened June 27.
Soltis said she fell in love with the Orlando area and Walt Disney World — so much so that she and her husband, Justin Moorefield, moved their family to the Hamlin area about five years ago. She also was compelled to open her own veterinarian practice.
The animal hospital offers all preventative care services, such as the usual vaccines; annual exams, diagnostics and lab work; laser therapy; soft-tissue surgical procedures such as spaying, neutering and mass removal; and dentistry.
Soltis has brought on an associate, Dr. Lori Gifford, who started Monday. The two previously worked together at another practice after Soltis graduated from vet school.
A third associate, Dr. Tara Dworek, will join the practice in the fall after she graduates. The business also has two technicians, one assistant and a receptionist
Soltis grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and moved to Florida when she was 18 and entering the University of Miami. This is where she met her future husband.
She was a veterinarian technician for a few years but yearned to go to veterinary school. She graduated from the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Soltis said this has been her passion since she was a 7-year-old telling people she wanted to be a “doggy doctor.” She has always loved animals and as a child had dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats and “anything I could convince my parents to let me have,” she said.
TIPS FOR PETS
Soltis shared a number of summertime pet tips with residents.
“Be mindful of the heat, of course, especially in Florida,” she said. I always tell my patients, if you’re going to walk outside for more than a potty trip, go early in the morning or late in the evening. I always say, ‘Put the back of your hand on the sidewalk, and if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for their paws.’”
Watch the pet’s exposure to the sun. Animals with coats run a risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Don’t leave pets in the car, even with the window cracked open.
Be careful of storms and fireworks and storm anxiety.
“We can try to help them with thunder shirts, and medications we can give them if they’re super anxious during the storms,” Soltis said. “And because it’s Florida and we have hurricanes, make sure you have enough supplies.”
Get pets microchipped and registered.
“It’s not expensive, and it’s super easy, and we can do it in an office visit,” Soltis said.
The business’ website also has a section called Learning Center, which provides information and training basics for new dog and cat owners, as well as preventative care tips for the home.