Dr. Doyle started AnimaliA as a house-call practice in 1991, serving Morgan County, WV and the surrounding region. For four years she did house calls, farm calls and telephone consultations. At that time the practice was named Laughing Horse Veterinary Service. In 1995 she bought the house where the clinic still resides and changed the name to AnimaliA Veterinary Care.
Since then the practice has grown steadily. Dr. Doyle continues to treat patients homeopathically, supporting them also with nutrition and keeping vaccinations to a minimum. Occasionally she does a little acupuncture, mostly on patients with intervertebral disc disease. Her expertise continues to be focused on homeopathy. She has delivered lectures for the annual meeting of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. Occasionally she conducts seminars locally for pet owners who want to learn more about holistic medicine, homeopathy and nutrition.
A client mentioned that she had seen an orange tabby kitten hanging around the vending machines outside the local Food Lion grocery store. Before long, he got inside the store, which the proprietor could not tolerate. However, he was a bit feral and difficult to catch. They put out a plate of food for him in the back room, and when he was eating from the plate they dropped a big trash can over him to make the capture.
Someone reached under the can to fetch the kitten. As that person was having his wounds treated at the local emergency room, the doctors were concerned about rabies and wanted the kitten tested.
(In order to test for rabies, the brain must be removed from the skull. There is no way to test on a live animal.)
Someone called me and asked if I would send the kitten’s head to the state lab to be tested for rabies. This was not an unusual request; it was not uncommon for me to be hired to remove the head from a deceased animal, pack it up properly and ship it to the lab. So I said yes, bring it over. Much to my surprise, they arrived with the kitten in a cage, looking fine.
I remarked, “Oh, this cat is alive.”
They responded, “Yes, you have to kill it.”
Me: “I am not going to kill a healthy kitten.”
Them: “The doctors said you have to.”
Me: “The doctors are not the boss of me and I will not do it. I will, however, quarantine the kitten, because if he bit the person due to rabies, he will be dead before long.”
I was already sure the kitten wasn’t rabid. He looked fine and the bite was provoked. (It’s with unprovoked bites that we need to worry about rabies.) I put him in a big cage with a bed, food, water and litter pan. After about two days he was tame, happy to see me with his food, and purring for pets. I decided to keep him and named him Food Lion.