“I feel better having them at the house so I can check on them, and their families appreciate it, too,” said the veterinarian and owner of the Fulton (N.Y.) Animal Hospital. “I’ve missed a lot of dinner dates, but I don’t regret a minute of it. Seeing animals get better and hearing how grateful their owners are makes it worth it.”
Her dedication and hard work resulted in the Oswego Small Business Development Center honoring her with the 2016 Small Business Excellence Award. Businesses are selected for the excellence awards based on their company’s longevity, innovation, sales growth, increased employment, ability to overcome adversity or community contributions.
Only five years after graduating from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies, Dattellas now owns and operates her own clinic, which is undergoing a complete renovation, including new equipment and design for better patient flow.
She has hired two new employees, but she is still the only doctor on staff—which can make for long hours. But she has never shied away from hard work. In fact, she completed vet school in an accelerated 3 1/2 years, with four-month classes followed by only two weeks off—no summer or holiday breaks.
As a student at Oswego, she worked part-time in retail off campus and still managed to complete all the labs required of her zoology major. She served as vice president of the Red Cross Club and sang in her home church in Brewerton, N.Y., on weekends. She also interned at the Fulton Animal Hospital, which gave her the connections that led to her eventually buying the business.
But Dr. Dattellas said there was never any question in her mind that she would become a veterinarian.
“I’ve been obsessed with animals my whole life,” she said. “All kinds—dogs, cats, pocket [hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, etc.] pets. I put my whole life into this and I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
She said she hopes to someday open a mobile veterinary clinic that brings medical services right to the patients’ homes. Or perhaps she might add grooming and boarding services to the hospital.
But for now, her focus is developing her primary business.
“I love what I do, and I am happy that I do it,” she said. “You can’t ask for more than that.”