They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Especially for our team at The COVE, caring for pets and their families is a labor of love. This month, as we mark our ninth anniversary, we’re reflecting on our journey of nearly a decade of providing advanced and 24/7 emergency and critical veterinary care to animals throughout Suffolk and beyond. 

The COVE was founded in May 2012 by two board-certified veterinary specialists: cardiologist Dr. Merilee Small and surgeon Dr. Jeff T. Stallings. “We established The COVE to not only provide advanced and emergency care to all animals in need, but to be a dedicated and trustworthy community member. That is why all of our veterinarians and team members wholeheartedly embrace the core values of Community, Collaboration, Commitment, Compassion, and Integrity,” says Dr. Stallings.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Since opening our doors, we’ve been fortunate to experience steady growth, and 2020 was no different. To support the ever-expanding needs of our area’s families, we recruited 18 new staff members, bringing our team to 90 people, including board-certified veterinary specialists, emergency veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, client service representatives, and administration staff. And we were happy to have the help!

In 2020, Team COVE treated approximately 15,000 pets across our surgery, cardiology, critical care, and dentistry departments. That’s an increase of 3,000 more patients than in 2019.

We also performed:

  • More than 1,117 surgeries to help critically injured or ill patients, not including procedures that were not life-threatening, like scheduled orthopedic surgeries.
  • 536 dentistry consults
  • 455 surgery consults
  • 396 cardiology consults

Caring Through COVID

In a year when veterinary care went curbside and most communication had to take place at a safe distance, it’s no surprise our phones were ringing off the hook. Our client liaisons fielded more than 252,000 calls, answering questions from concerned pet parents, providing status updates on pets receiving treatment, and offering support to fellow veterinarians seeking advanced care for their patients.

Our COVID-19 safety precautions meant that the team had to adjust quickly to a new normal, which hasn’t always been easy. We’ve missed interacting with our clients, but we are dedicated to providing the same high-quality, compassionate care, even under difficult circumstances.

The COVE: Always Here for Your Family

We are honored to be celebrating nine years of service to the Suffolk community. And with no signs of slowing down, we look forward to providing leading-edge veterinary care to even more pets and their families in the years to come.

The COVE provides care by board-certified veterinary specialists in cardiologycritical care, and surgery, as well as advanced dentistry by a highly trained and experienced veterinarian. Our emergency service is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – and no appointment is ever needed. We are located at 6550 Hampton Roads Pkwy, #113, Suffolk, VA. We welcome your call any time, day or night, at 757-935-9111.

About Us

The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.