Busy times ahead for Aspen Animal Hospital vet
September 20, 2014
In the 26 years Scott Dolginow has been a veterinarian in the Aspen area, he's touched the lives of hundreds of pets and their owners. Dolginow, 59, may be inching closer to retirement age, but currently, there's no sign of him slowing down.
In fact, Dolginow said he's about to embark on a new phase of his career where he'll likely be busier than any other time in his life. Dolginow is in the process of selling the Aspen Animal Hospital to two of his associates who already work there, veterinarians Anne Cooley and Bisque Jackson.
He also recently purchased a veterinarian hospital in Moab, Utah, that was no longer in business and plans to resurrect the hospital. Dolginow said he intends to work half time in Moab while continuing to work two or three days in the Roaring Fork Valley.
"I see it as a fun, new challenge in my life," Dolginow said. "It'll also take me back to an older style of providing service. I've always seen myself as being a hands-on, jack-of-all-trades type of vet. I pretty much do everything and feel I do a decent job. I'm hoping to provide that small community with an all-in-one vet and offer quality service."
Mike Daniels owns Daniels Antiques in Aspen. His wife, Jen, is a receptionist at the Aspen Animal Hospital. The Daniels used Dolginow as their veterinarian with all three of their dogs years before Jen Daniels began working for him.
"We've had Scott care for our dogs since we moved here 16 years ago," Mike Daniels said. "He's wonderful with the animals and treats everyone in a personal manner. I've always felt confident when we visit Scott because we're speaking with an expert."
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In 1988, Dolginow moved to Aspen and became a staff veterinarian at the Aspen Animal Hospital. He subsequently purchased the hospital and has been the owner for more than 20 years.
Looking to offer care for animals on weekends and after hours, Dolginow opened Valley Emergency Pet Care in 2005, located in Basalt. In 2008, he partnered with Jackson and transformed the emergency clinic into a 24/7 facility offering emergency, critical-care, surgery, cardiology and ophthalmology services.
Once he gets the Moab hospital up and running, Dolginow said he'd have little time for his hobbies of biking and skiing.
"I'm expecting to work seven days a week," he said. "That's OK. At this point in my life, I'm not looking for as much free time as 15 years ago, but I am motivated to help out a community that really needs veterinarian care."
Dolginow also sits as a board member for the Aspen Animal Shelter. Dolginow and his staff at the hospital have been critical partners with the shelter, providing care for pets that have no owners.
Seth Sachson, the director of the shelter, said Dolginow always presented an assurance of excellent animal care. Sachson said he's confident the same quality care will continue when Cooley and Jackson take over as owners of the hospital.
"I truly believe the hospital will continue with business as usual," Sachson said. "I've worked closely with both Cooley and Jackson. I'm familiar with the amazing care they provide. It's going to be different after having the same guy as our vet for so long, and there's going to be some changes, but I'm hoping to see an incredibly smooth transition."
Sachson described Dolginow as well-respected by the valley community and said he's an intelligent, kind person.
"He's touched a lot of human and animal lives in this valley," Sachson said. "I consider him a business associate and a close friend. I'm happy he's pursuing his dream. I've loved having him as the shelter vet and my personal vet for the past 22 years. He's saved the lives of so many pets, and at the same time, he's had to euthanize many, as well. He's shared both joy and tears with so many people in this community."