Earlier this year, the Ormstown Veterinary Clinic added a new veterinarian to the roster. Jakob Goettke is a large-animal vet originally from Dunham. He grew up on a beef farm and he explains that because he was always around animals, “’Vet’ or ‘farmer’ were the only two career options for me that I could ever think of.” He says he always felt compelled to be a vet and explains the desire to be one as “a bit of a disease that we have.”
Growing up, Goettke had a neighbour who was a vet, and he spent a good part of his childhood working alongside him and learning from his experience. “He’s been practicing for 46 or 47 years now. I used to go with him a lot since I was a young teenager,” Goettke says. He then studied in Lennoxville for CEGEP and adds, “Then I did an undergrad in biology at the University of Prince Edward Island, and followed that with a DVM at the same school.”
Last year, Goettke did a month-long internship at the clinic in Ormstown. He says, “I just fell in love with the clientele and the atmosphere at the clinic. They’re pretty progressive with new techniques, and they’re outgoing. They’re unique in the way they expose themselves to things outside of Quebec.”
One of these techniques he references is the “Fear Free” certification that the clinic has for its small animals. This certification ensures that the animals are met with gentle practices and stress-free spaces. Though things are a bit different for large animals, the vets still try to use similar tactics: “It’s not the same certification process. We don’t have that sort of certification with large animals. But, of course, you do the best practices and [use] the most humane ways to treat animals,” says Goettke.
Goettke’s practice focuses on large animals such as dairy and beef cattle; however, he does also work with goats and sheep on occasion. He does not offer any equine services. The best way to get in contact with him is by calling the clinic itself.
For Goettke, creating a rapport with the animal owners is one of the best parts of the job, and he really appreciates the respect and appreciation from the clientele at the clinic. He also loves that “It’s a physical job, which is important to me. I grew up on a farm, so I couldn’t just sit in an office.” He and his wife, a dairy nutritionist, have been living in the Valley full-time since August.