Silver Creek Animal Clinic welcomes two new vets
September 2, 2016
When puppies and their parents visit the Silver Creek Animal Clinic, they may be greeted by a new pair of faces.
The clinic recently hired two new veterinarians to beef up its seven-days-a-week services. Suzanne Zweigart hails from Ohio and became a veterinarian only after getting a master's degree in education. Evan Caplis grew up on a farm in Louisiana but moved to Utah because he loves the West.
Both say they are delighted to be working in a pet-loving town like Park City.
"It's an animal-friendly environment," Caplis said. "People are active here, animals are active out here. It's a great clientele, and I love being out here."
Caplis and Zweigart said they have enjoyed getting to know the community's pets and their owners so far. To Zweigart, one of the most striking realizations about the town is how healthy dogs are here. All that exercise owners are giving their pooches on the trails seems to be paying off, she said. A tired dog is a healthy and happy dog.
"Heart rates are lower here than they were back home (in Ohio)," she said. "They have more muscle. They seem to live a little bit longer because of the lifestyle. The dogs are more chill and mellow because they're getting to go out and be dogs."
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Zweigart has plenty of experience to draw those conclusions from. She has been a veterinarian for 16 years, and her passion for her work stems from her childhood. She grew up in the woods of Kentucky, and the family dogs would often find wounded animals she would nurse back to health.
But rather than pursuing veterinary work from the beginning, she took a detour before entering the field, becoming a middle school teacher, which she also enjoyed. Eventually, though, she went back to school to become a veterinarian, and her position at Silver Creek allows her to tap into all of her passions.
"I always wanted to do this from the beginning," said Zweigart, who moved to Park City in May. "It's just one of those things. I love science, I love medicine, I love animals, I love teaching. You get to do all of the above with veterinary medicine. … I am around animals 24/7, I get to be around people in the community."
Caplis has been a veterinarian in Utah for more than a decade and has lived in Kamas for three years. But he, too, only recently began practicing in Park City. For him, becoming a veterinarian was a natural step after a childhood filled with caring for his family's farm animals.
"We had a lot of animals growing up, a lot of dogs and cats and always had some livestock," he said. "So that's really where my interest came from, always being around it."
As well as his love for treating animals, Caplis is passionate about his work for a different reason. Parkites, he said, will soon find out that he enjoys interacting with people as much he likes caring for their pets.
"A lot of people don't realize a big part of being a veterinarian is interacting with people," he said. "That's one the things I like most about it."
The addition of Zweigart and Caplis, bringing the number of veterinarians at the clinic to four, allows Silver Creek to offer better care to its clients. Each vet has a different perspective and a unique background, and pooling their experience together makes for a stronger practice, Zweigart said.
"Two heads are better than one, four heads are better than two," she said. "We work well together. We talk to each other about cases, we interact, we share things. We communicate with each other in a way that enables us to practice even better medicine because we've got four different backgrounds, four different universities we went to and four different ways of doing things. Between all of us, it's kind of a nice touch."
Additionally, having four vets means two are always present at the clinic, which is open for at least nine hours every day and operates a busy schedule. It's an arrangement from which customers and their pets will ultimately benefit.
"It's good to have a colleague working with you, where if you get a challenging case, you can go and talk with them," Caplis said. "And it's the same way with whoever is working. If I'm scratching my head, wondering why something doesn't make sense, you can run it by them, and they look at it from their perspective."
For more information on the Silver Creek Animal Center, visit its website, at parkcityvet.com.