Conover Veterinary Hospital was founded in 1988 by Dr. Donald Whitener. While working as an Associate Veterinarian in Lincolnton, Dr. Whitener was exploring western North Carolina for possible locations to open his own hospital. He saw a need in the Conover community and opened the business here. The business quickly grew and in 1993 he made his first expansion to the facility and added more kennel and a retail area.
In 1995, he invited Dr. Judy Bumbarger to join in to joint ownership of Conover Veterinary Hospital. She is a Hickory native and a 1985 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Bumbarger had been the owner of Catawba Animal Clinic in Newton since 1989, but was outgrowing the facility she leased. Dr. Bumbarger moved all her clients, staff and equipment to Conover and both veterinarians will agree that this partnership was a great benefit to their clients, their staff, to themselves and to the quality of care they could provide for their patients.
Dr. Tina Whitted joined the team as an Associate Veterinarian in 1996. Dr. Whitted is an Alabama native and is a 1985 graduate of Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to working with dogs and cats, she brings to the hospital a specific interest in exotic animal medicine and care for small mammals and pocket pets. She sees many avian and reptile patients. Many of us enjoy watching her work with some of these animals...from a safe distance!
Also in 1996, the facility was again expanded, adding a new surgery room, additional kennel space, an isolation ward and a larger treatment and surgery prep area. No future facility expansions are planned, but we hope to continue to improve the facilities with upgrades in equipment and technology as well as some minor remodeling. For example, Companion Laser Therapy was added in 2014. We have seen remarkable results with the use of this new technology in the management of wound healing, inflammatory conditions and the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. If you would like more information on Companion Laser Therapy click here.
Dr Whitener managed to happily and successfully retire in 2019. Dr. Bumbarger decided to take over as a sole owner and looks forward to making improvements and implementing change that will build a stronger, more capable staff and a more modern facility with a focus on patient care and client communication. Some improvements implemented have included the addition of Ultrasound and new practice management software with digital records. Plans are in the works for a modern dental suite and dental radiography.
In preparation for Dr. Whitener’s inevitable retirement, Dr. Brett Pendergrass was added to the staff in 2018. A 2009 graduate of NCSU Veterinary School, this young and enthusiastic veterinarian was a wonderful addition to our team. In 2020, Dr. Pendergrass moved on to take a position in his native Iredell county, to be closer to home and family.
Dr. Sharon Monday, a North Carolina native and 1994 graduate of NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, has worked for Conover Vet as a part time or relief veterinarian off and on for 15+ years. She is an excellent diagnostician and her kindness and compassion have been a wonderful asset to our team. She re-joined the team as a permanent associate in 2019. We hope to convince her to spend as much time with us as possible and keep a healthy balance of work and family time.
In addition to Dr. Monday, Conover Vet is extremely fortunate to attract the attention of Dr. Catherine Talley. Dr. Talley is a 1998 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and actually worked previously at another hospital in the Newton-Conover community. Dr. Talley joins us as a full time associate and is very excited to return to the area. We hope she has found her forever work family. Dr. Talley has a special interest in feline medicine and soft tissue surgery.
With a constant growing clientele and Dr. Bumbarger needing a little extra time to attend to administrative duties, we were also fortunate to add the part-time services of Dr. Robert Evans. Dr. Evans is a 1982 graduate of the University of Georgia and a former hospital owner in Virginia Beach. Dr. Evans and his wife retired to a home on Lake Hickory, but he found himself with some extra time and missed the day to day challenges that veterinary medicine provide. We are so glad he had that extra time on his hands so now he enjoys the best of both worlds. We have no intention of letting him fully retire any time soon!
Conover Veterinary Hospital is proud to serve the people of Conover, NC and the surrounding areas for their pet’s veterinary care. We take great pride in providing care and support to several outstanding local Pet Rescue Organizations as well as building and maintaining a strong relationship with Catawba County Animal Services. Our team is committed to the health and well being of a variety of pets. We strive to stay on top of the latest advancements in veterinary care and technology. We strongly value our Client Veterinary Patient Relationship and we are committed to earning the trust and support of the pet loving community.