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Hillcrest Animal Clinic 

Neighborhood pets in good hands

click to enlarge Dr. Joan Nafe
  • Dr. Joan Nafe

While many believe Hillcrest Animal Clinic is home to their friendly, lovable neighborhood vet, there's more than meets the eye. Owner and veterinarian Larry Nafe is known throughout Arkansas and beyond as the serious go-to guy when an animal's life hangs in the balance.

Nafe graduated summa cum laude at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, followed by an internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York in 1977. While there, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Neurology. Then he accepted a job as assistant professor at Louisiana State University's Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

Needless to say, he's had a distinguished career, and today he is the only board-certified internist and neurologist in the state. He's been named Veterinarian of the Year by the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association, and both the Arkansas Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette have recognized his work. But Nafe hasn't done it alone, his wife and four other vets work at the clinic.

"He's very talented," says his wife, Joan Nafe. What she doesn't mention is that she's a very good vet in her own right. She's also a top graduate of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and has completed a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery internship at the same Animal Medical Center as Larry. It was there that they met.

Since opening in 1983, Hillcrest Animal Clinic has continued to expand. In addition to a growing staff of about 20 employees, the Nafes have added some not-so-usual-when-treating-animals equipment such as a CAT Scan (can also be used on canines), endoscope and ultrasound.

This equipment allows Larry to perform surgeries, such as neurosurgery and spinal cord repairs, Joan says. Of course, they do loads of first checkups on puppies and kittens, as well as yearly vaccinations and exams, dental care, bathing and boarding.

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