Carpinteria Veterinary Hospital on Walnut Avenue welcomed a new veterinarian this month, Dr. Amy Belanger. Belanger holds a doctorate from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. In addition to caring for dogs and cats, Belanger also has a special interest in birds, rodents and reptiles.
Belanger was drawn to exotics as a child. “I have always loved our small feathered, furred and scaled friends and had many exotic pets growing up,” said Belanger. “People’s special bond and commitment to their pets, no matter their size or species, has always inspired me. They present unique challenges and often require creative thinking to solve problems. I believe any animal is entitled to good veterinary care no matter its species.”
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Belanger grew up surrounded by all kinds of animals, from hermit crabs and tortoises to cockatiels and horses. “I spent as much time in the sun as possible enjoying the parks, rivers and springs around Austin,” she said. Belanger was also a competitive tennis player and traveled the U.S. for tournaments.
Belanger’s mother is a veterinarian in Austin and for many years worked for the Austin Zoo. During that time, Belanger had the opportunity to help her mother with exams on lions, kinkajous, birds of prey and other exotic species.
“I grew up having a strong appreciation for the highs and lows of the job,” said Belanger, “and the commitment required in order to excel. I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian for as long as I can remember. My mother’s love of her work inspired me to pursue my own passion to help people and their pets. I cannot imagine myself in any other field.”
For Belanger, there are many reasons to love being a veterinarian, but what she loves most “is making meaningful lifelong connections with people and their pets… I take great joy in guiding people through the struggles, delights and victories of animal ownership.”
In Carpinteria, Belanger has found a community of people dedicated to caring for their animals. “I could not be happier with the community I now serve,” she said.