As the owner (along with my wife, Inger) of For the Love of Pets, I get to wear many hats. My days vary from seeing patients, doing surgery, meeting with community members who desire our support, monitoring the financial health of a business that employs 9 people and developing new and better ways to serve my clients and their pets. My activities are seldom boring and often challenging.
I was raised in Mendocino, California and thoroughly enjoyed coastal past times such as surfing and hiking in the woods. I developed an interest in science and animals early, creating a large collection of bones and zoological artifacts that I still enjoy. I attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning a Bachelors degree in Biology in 1989. My college interests included neurobiology, especially regarding barnacles and the neuropeptides that regulate their simple nervous systems.
Realizing that these studies would require long hours in dark, lonely laboratories, I switched my interests back to more conventional animals and applied to veterinary school at UC Davis, completing my Doctorate in 1994.
Professionally, my first position was in Woodland, California where I practiced until 2000 when my family moved to Grass Valley and I started working at For the Love of Pets. We purchased the practice in 2006. Here, I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming part of the community and creating long term relationships with my clients and their pets. I love that first visit with a new puppy or kitten, helping people learn to keep their new companion healthy and looking forward to years of enjoyment. This comes full circle with challenging times such as at the end of life, when I can be there for my clients and make a distressing time as good as it can be. I enjoy working with children, and have appeared many times at local schools to talk about animal care and veterinary topics.
I am involved in local wildlife rehabilitation and release, seeing a variety of animals including skunks, raccoons, squirrels, foxes and coyotes. These cases are interesting and heart warming. Including the time when I was sprayed by an unhappy skunk in our parking lot... I couldn't get rid of the smell for over a week!
Northern California Boxer Rescue and German Shorthair rescue bring many of their challenging cases involving neurologic, dermatologic and orthopedic conditions to me. We help these dogs get healthy and eventually become part of new families.
I enjoy giving back to our community, by being active in our local non-profit organizations. I was on the board of the Friendship Club for five years, helping local at risk girls to navigate the tricky times around junior high and high school. I believe that one essential key to a healthy society is through empowering and enabling girls to become successful and healthy women. We are also active in the arts, supporting groups such as the Center for the Arts and Concert Sierra. We make a point of purchasing from local artists to decorate the exam rooms and waiting areas of our hospital.
My family includes my wife Inger, whom I met in 1986 in Mendocino. We were married in 1991, and have two college aged children. We have four dogs, three horses, three cats and twelve chickens round out the menagerie. I spend my free time exercising, traveling, reading a variety of books, cooking gourmet meals and enjoying good wine. I especially enjoy creating meals from homegrown vegetables and locally sourced meats. Sustainable local agriculture is very important to me!
I look forward to continuing our community involved life in Grass Valley. Maintaining a business here enables me to contribute to the lives of many people and support our local economy. Next time you see me at the grocery story feel free to stop and say hello!
The picture on the homepage is Dr. Avery at 13 years of age with "Mica", his grandfather's Labrador "Macho" and his Border Collie "Bess", shortly after he got her. The picture was taken on a beach in Mendocino.