Tara Bone, contributing writer
At first glance, the new Heritage Animal Hospital at 2365 South Heritage Drive in Nibley appears to be a typical veterinary hospital, but there’s more happening there than meets the eye.
Hospital founders and veterinarians Dr. Chris Kolste, Dr. Jim Miller, and Dr. Bob Miller are a family who work to treat their four-legged patients like family.
Chris said he’s always been fascinated by the role pets play in people’s lives and the special bond between people and animals.
“I believe in the healing power of pets,” Chris said. “Ours is a family practice for furry family members.”
Heritage Animal Hospital is a Cache Valley family’s dream come true. It all started with Dr. Bob Miller who has been a veterinarian for 40 years. Early in his career, he opened Animal Medical Clinic in Preston, Idaho, one of the first animal clinics built in the area. He later purchased the North Logan clinic Cache Meadow. Bob’s son, Jim, says his father consults at Heritage Animal Hospital and is moving toward retirement.
Chris Kolste joined the Miller family 22 years ago when he married Janet Miller. He was working as a veterinarian at Cache Meadow when he met Janet, who happened to be the boss’s daughter. Chris has been a veterinarian for 24 years. He has worked with large and small animals and has spent time doing embryo transfer procedures.
Brother-in-laws Chris and Jim started to plan and dream of opening a clinic together eight years ago while Jim was still a vet student at Colorado State University. Jim has been a veterinarian for four years and said he loves his work.
“Veterinary medicine and animals have always been part of my life, so it’s something I love,” he said.
Jim and Chris are Cache Valley natives who feel there’s a need for a vet hospital and boarding facility like Heritage Animal Hospital in the Valley. The hospital is a fear free practice, meaning methods are used that minimize anxiety that can occur during a vet visit for both pets and owners. Chris is Fear Free Certified and currently the entire staff is taking courses to become certified. From the hospital’s soothing pastel wall color, to the use of pet-friendly cleaning products, staff go to great lengths to keep pets and people happy.
The hospital provides a wide-range of services, so it’s a one-stop shop for pet owners. The hospital provides surgery, well care and vaccinations, in-house diagnostics, and emergency care. Jim points out that some medical services they provide are new to the Valley, so pet owners don’t have to leave Cache Valley for care.
The hospital also offers boarding, daycare, grooming, and even in-house dog training. Heritage Animal Hospital has teamed up with certified dog trainers from the Logan-based company K9’s Unleashed to provide training at the hospital. Jim said this is an example of a convenient, one-stop shop for pet owners.
“You can bring your dog in and, during their day stay, one of the certified trainers will come in and spend one-on-one time with your dog,” Jim said. “Grooming and vaccinations can all be done during their day stay.”
In the future, Chris and Jim hope to provide nontraditional modalities for pets, such as acupuncture, chiropractic work, laser therapy, and more specialized care. They are both happy to live in Cache Valley with their families and hope to provide quality care for years to come.
“The Valley is growing and is becoming more and more pet-centric,” Jim said. “We want to be part of that in Cache Valley.”
Chris and his wife, Janet, live in Petersboro. They have four children and currently two cats and two dogs – at the moment. Chris said their families have been an important part of building the hospital.
Jim lives with his wife, Britanie, and three children in North Logan. They met as students at Utah State University and have been married for 10 years. Two dogs are also a part of their family.
These brother-in-laws wonder if in years to come one of their children will continue their family’s legacy of veterinarian care in Cache Valley.