Veterinarian specializes in emergency care

BY BRIAN ALBERT | JULY 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Jack Hardy once dreamed of playing professional football.

Now he spends his days tackling parvo and other animal diseases at Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails, a veterinary hospital located at 3030 Northgate Drive.

“I realized my 5-6 and 155 pounds weren’t going to cut it,” the native of Des Moines said.

A typical day for the 27-year-old includes scheduled appointments for wellness exams or vaccinations, surgeries such as mass removals, spays, and neuters, and 24/7 emergency care for critical animals.

And though no veterinarian wants to see an animal suffer, Hardy said, he loves the rewarding feeling that comes with saving a pet.

“I love seeing patients on an emergency basis and dealing with critical patients,” he said. “However, it can be quite stressful. You are thrust into a situation where you need to use a combination of technical skills, common sense, and the knowledge gained in school and practice to treat or save an animal.”

Hardy attended Iowa State University, where he received an undergraduate degree in animal science. He then dedicated another four years to earning a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

The young veterinarian said the science-filled course load is no walk in the park, and for those looking into veterinary sciences as a career, grades aren’t the whole package. He said he recommends volunteering at an animal shelter or working at an animal hospital.

“First, you have to love what you are doing,” Hardy said. “You need to work hard in school. This is not a career you enter to make a lot of money, but it is one you enter because you want to make a difference for pets and their owners.”

Following graduation Hardy spent a year practicing at Veterinary Emergency & Surgery Hospital in Brentwood, N.H., where he specialized in emergency medicine and critical care. After nearly one year, Hardy returned to Iowa to join the Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails crew.

His dedication to his career has made a positive impression on KC McMorrow, a certified veterinary technician at the clinic.

“He’s very compassionate and can adapt to most situations and comfort owners in times of need,” McMorrow said. “It takes a special kind of person to keep his head on straight when dealing with tough cases.”

One veterinary assistant, Kylie Day, said she appreciates Hardy’s commitment to the patients.

“You can see when he’s operating that he’s extremely concerned with the animal’s well-being,” she said. “I like to see a doctor treat patients with that kind of care and respect.”

And his interaction with animals doesn’t stop once he gets home. While in veterinary school Hardy adopted Ginny, a 2-year-old, small female terrier mix who keeps him on his toes.

“She’s a fairly well-behaved little dog, but she tears through toys like it’s her job,” Hardy said.

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