Cascade Hospital for Animals and Breton Village Animal Clinic are excited to announce that Dr. Holly Mincks has joined our veterinary team! Dr. Mincks is passionate about her career. “What I really love about vet medicine is the problem-solving. It's so, so rewarding when pets come in with a problem and they're feeling really crummy and you can figure out what the problem is and how to fix it and they can feel better. And when the pets are happy, that strengthens the bond they have with their humans,” she said.
Life-long animal lover
Growing up in Tecumseh, MI, on the southeast side of the state, Dr. Mincks always had a soft spot for animals. “I was born to love animals,” she said. “Growing up I had a variety of pets. We couldn’t have a dog because my parents have allergies, so I had everything else that I could.” That group of pets included hamsters, hermit crabs, and a lizard. “Finally we got a non-shedding dog, a toy poodle, when I was nine.” In high school, she got a preview of her future career when she worked at the local vet clinic as a kennel attendant.
At Michigan State University, she was in the Lyman Briggs science program, “where I got to meet and get to know all these fellow animal lovers. I volunteered at different vets and took part in some internships as well.” Upon graduating with her bachelor’s, she took a small detour from the veterinary path. “When it came time to apply to vet school, I thought, ‘Maybe I should branch out in case I decide vet school isn’t the thing for me’,” she said. “I ended up getting a master’s degree from MSU in food safety because I also love food and baking and thought I might like to work in that field if vet medicine didn’t work out.”
The perfect fit
But it turned out that vet school was the perfect fit for Dr. Mincks. After completing her master’s degree, she went on to earn her DVM from Ross University, where, she said, “I had the best time of my life.” While there, she adopted a dog with behavioral problems, and it was then that she discovered one of her passions, behavior medicine. “He was anxious and a little bit aggressive. I worked with the school behaviorist and it was amazing to see the change in him. He became more calm and gentle, less aggressive and less fearful, more confident in the world. And I’ve been interested in behavior medicine ever since.”
Her first job out of vet school was for a small family clinic in Gaylord. “That was a very small, family-oriented practice. It was a good jump from vet school to real-world medicine. It was good exposure for me to see different sides of veterinary medicine,” she said. After three years at this smaller clinic, Dr. Mincks was not only looking to work in a faster-paced environment, she also wanted to be closer to family and friends. “Grand Rapids seemed like a really vibrant area for people my age with a lot to offer. It’s more centrally located to where my family lives, and I have other family in the area.”
A new home
Coming to us from four years at a local area veterinary clinic, she’s looking forward to calling CHFA and BVAC home. “My uncle actually used to take his toy poodles to Cascade years ago, so I’ve always admired this clinic,” she says.
At home Dr. Mincks has two cats, three-year-old Archie and eight-month-old Teddy. “They're really cute together,” she says. “They have a Mufasa-Simba relationship. They love to snuggle together and groom each other and they're just so super cute together.”