Tara is a veterinarian and owner of the Afton Veterinary Clinic. From the time Tara was four years old, she told her mother that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Prior to starting her veterinary career, Tara worked at the Developmental Services Center (DSC) where she dedicated herself to making the world a friendlier place for those with developmental disabilities. During her time at DSC, Tara adopted a young German Shepard puppy that had been abused. Affectionately named Toast, this pup was never far from Tara and became her touch therapy dog for her clients at DSC.
Unfortunately, Toast began having severe seizures. Despite a multitude of testing and medications, there was no improvement in Toast. Sadly, on one very cold December afternoon, Toast slipped into a seizure that was too much for her body to take. Toast was euthanized but not before Tara promised her dear friend that she would return to school and pursue that long ago childhood dream.
After graduating from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Tara spent four years working as an associate veterinarian in a multi-doctor practice in St. Louis County. It was during this time that she developed her next dream to purchase her own veterinary clinic. On August 1, 2008 that dream became reality when she purchased Afton Veterinary Clinic. With this dream met, Tara continued to set new goals consistent with her passion for all animals and her desire to be a strong advocate for those that would otherwise have none.
It was with this mindset that Tara has taken in dozens of animals over the years and has given out of her own pocket over $100,000 to support owners who do not have the resources to care for animals that require an emergency surgery. To augment this goal Tara founded Hope Mending Hearts, a non-profit charity that provides grants to owners that are struggling financially and whose animals are in urgent need of veterinary care. Tara recently fulfilled another dream as she has expanded her practice in September to a new location where she has built a state of the art hospital to offer even more services to animals in the community.
Not only did Tara keep her promise to Toast to become a veterinarian she continues to keep Toast in her heart as she helps to mend those animals most in need.