by Jessica Lamb
THERE is a new veterinarian in Proserpine, who cannot wait to meet your furry, scaly and feathered friends.
Proserpine Vets expanded their business last month to bring on 22-year-old Rachel Stevens, who joins their team of six nurses and four vets.
Originally moving from Ipswich to study veterinary science in Townsville for five years, Ms Stevens dove at the chance to work in the Whitsundays straight out of university after being recommended to Proserpine Vets by a fellow student.
"The first thing I noticed about Proserpine was when I was at Woolworths and there were at least three people who went out of their way to say hello or help me, it's got a lovely small-town vibe,” Dr Stevens said.
"It's in a beautiful part of the country and it's the environment that I wanted - I grew up on property so I like small towns.
"Here I can practise on both large and small animals, which fits me pretty well - needless to say I was very excited to move here.”
First inspired by losing her childhood pet goat to an easily treatable disease, Ms Stevens decided to become a vet in order to prevent this happening to other animals.
Now the proud owner of a pet bird, Dr Stevens brings with her a fascination for reptiles, avarian creatures and guinea pigs.
"Obviously I love all animals but here we see an average of 15 animals a day and I like to know how to care for all of them,” she said.
"I'll stay for as long as they'll have me.
"I'm always here to help and I'll always try my best.”
Proserpine Vets owner Faye Elder said the practice was receiving Dr Stevens with open arms.
"We are so pleased to have her on board and she's happy to be here,” she said.
Ms Elder said expanding meant more heads working on tricky tasks and sharing the on-call work load.
"This allows Jason, our 'big fella', to get out and about more to look after large animals and now we have more support at the clinic,” she said.
"It's great to have more flexibility to serve the community. We are very passionate about giving the best service we can.”