Local vet returns home to Park City
January 2, 2015
In a warm southern drawl, veterinarian Angela West describes what it feels like to again be practicing in Park City after a three-year hiatus.
"It feels like I’m coming home, that’s for sure," she said. "Hopefully, I’m here to stay for the rest of my career."
After practicing in town for more than a decade, West left three years ago to work in Salt Lake City. She enjoyed it there and misses many of the people she worked with, but it wasn’t the same. Returning to the Park City area to practice at Powder Paws Veterinary Clinic, at 2780 Rasmussen Road, has been a natural fit.
"I’m really tickled to be here," she said. "This is a great staff and group to be with. I’m just excited to be back in a town where I know everybody. It’s like being in your own hometown."
After growing up on a farm in Louisiana, West moved to the area in 1995 and began practicing shortly after. It wasn’t long before she identified something about Park City that made her fall in love with the town.
"Park City is a dog town," she said. "Everybody loves dogs and cats and pets up here. That’s probably the thing I like most about Park City. Everybody is so into their pets. Their pets are their family and I love that. It’s a great environment."
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Since returning, West has seen many of her previous clients. Reclaiming those relationships has been the best part of being back in town.
"These are people I’ve been helping out for a long time — 10 or 15 years," she said. "I’ve seen their pets as puppies, through adulthood and now as seniors. And I’ve watched their human children grow up, as well as their pets. It’s really neat to rekindle those relationships. It makes you feel really good."
Though it was her love for animals that first got her interested in being a veterinarian — "I just was smitten with animals since I could even talk. All I wanted to do was be around them," she says — she has discovered over the years that taking care of their owners is just as important. It’s her ability to put owners of sick or injured pets at ease, she said, that means most to her Park City clients.
"You can’t neglect the owners because that’s what it’s all about," West said. "If an animal is sick, it’s not only our job to make the pet better but help the owner feel comfortable, too. It’s heartbreaking sometimes because you feel so much for every animal."
Now that she’s back in Park City, West plans to stay for good. She has considered moving back to the South in the past, but now believes this is where she belongs.
"I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere in my life," West said. "So it feels like home. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. In the past, I’ve thought about moving back to the South, but every time I go visit, I can’t wait to go home."
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