At a young age, Concord native Sarah Alexander has achieved a great deal in the difficult veterinary field.
Born and raised in Concord, Alexander has focused entirely on spay and neuter surgery since she graduated from N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Her efforts have brought a better quality of life to thousands of dogs and cats in her few years in the field.
After Alexander graduated in 2002, she moved to Asheville, where she worked for the Humane Alliance Spay/Neuter Clinic, one of the country's largest and most respected spay/neuter clinics.
Working there, Alexander performed over 50,000 spay/neuter procedures across the county. She also helped open new clinics and trained veterinarians on high volume, high quality spay/neuter surgeries in 11 states.
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"I was drawn to spay/neuter because I absolutely love performing surgery, and I love feeling I am helping those people and animals that may not get help otherwise - rescue and shelter animals, lower income owners and so on," said Alexander.
Despite only being licensed for eight years, Alexander is the head veterinarian and medical director at The Spayed Club, Spay/Neuter Clinic in Sharon Hill, Pa. She was given the opportunity last year. In recognition of her achievements, Alexander was presented an award by Sharon Hill's mayor, Robert O'Neill, for excellence in community service.
"My most difficult challenges come not from fractious animals or the medical aspects of my work," she said. "I feel quite confident in my abilities dealing with the animals and with surgery. The challenges for me almost always involve the people."
Alexander said one of her biggest challenges is working with negligent pet owners.
"It is hard sometimes seeing animals that are not cared for as well as they should be or people that breed irresponsibly," she said.
According to Alexander, Pennsylvania is the puppy mill capital of the United States, which adds to her challenges.
"We try and educate owners on the proper care of their pets and encourage them to develop a relationship with a private veterinarian," she said.
Alexander finds her work "incredibly rewarding."
"Nothing is more rewarding than working with precious doggies and kitties," she said. "I feel like I am doing my small part to try and decrease the country's pet overpopulation problem. Hopefully we are slowly working to decrease the millions of tragic euthanasia's performed in shelters in the U.S. each year."
Alexander has no immediate plans to return to the Concord area but says "anything is possible."
"My future is uncertain and wide open," she said.
Alexander, 34, is the daughter of Beth and Terry Alexander of Concord and the granddaughter of Tom and Martha Donnelly and the late Parks and Mildred Alexander of Concord.