Featured Story

The Work We Do: Kelly Dimon, North Fork Animal Hospital in Southold

Brought to you by:

My name is Kelly Dimon and I’m a licensed veterinary technician here at the North Fork Animal Hospital in Southold. 

I was born and raised in Southold, 14th generation. I now live in Mattituck with my husband and son. 

We have been an animal hospital since 1957 and we’ve only changed hands twice: Dr. Robert Pisciotta bought the office in 2000. In addition to our Southold office, we have an office on Shelter Island. We offer house calls and pick-up and delivery service. 

We are the only American Animal Hospital Association-certified clinic in the area, so we go through rigorous testing, we have high protocols and expectations. It’s something we’re really proud of. We’ve been accredited since 1973.

In addition to dogs and cats, we see birds, reptiles, rabbits, guinea pigs and wildlife that’s brought in from good Samaritans. 

We also treat the animals for the Long Island Aquarium, which is really interesting. Dr. Pisciotta is the veterinarian for the aquarium, so he spends a couple days a week over there …and if they need any diagnostics, like blood work, x-rays, vaccines…the aquarium brings them to us.

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to work with animals. I was probably 3 or 4. Then, when I was old enough, I got a job here. I started by cleaning kennels, bathing, feeding. Then I started to answer phones, book appointments, talk more with the clients. 

I went to school, I got my degree, I took my veterinary technician license exam, and then I came right back here, and I’ve been a technician here since 2012.

Big differences between a veterinary technician and a veterinarian is veterinarians can do and perform surgery, they do exams on patients, they can diagnose different diseases, they can prescribe medications. Vet technicians are more of the nurse. So, veterinary technicians carry out the tasks that the veterinarian asks us to do.

I have many various tasks: I will draw blood, give injections, take X-rays, do dentistries — which is a lot of fun. The veterinarian tells us the medications, the treatment plan, and I’m the one who gets to carry it out.

It’s never the same day twice. We’ll have an owl with an eye infection one day, and we’ll have a puppy that needs a vaccine the next day. 

Every day is a new adventure, you never know what’s going to happen, what’s going to come in the door, and I really like that part about the job, too.

In addition to caring for the animals here, I get to educate their owners on how to care for them properly at home — and they really appreciate that. 

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork.