The Center of Veterinary Expertise Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Suffolk Mayor Michael Duman presented a Certificate of Recognition and local fire departments received new oxygen masks for animals

SUFFOLK, Va.--()--The Center of Veterinary Expertise (The COVE) recently celebrated its 10th anniversary providing specialty and emergency care for the community’s companion animals. Located at 6550 Hampton Roads Parkway, Suffolk, team members welcomed Suffolk Mayor Michael Duman and first responders from four local fire departments to a morning of commemoration, reflection, and recognition.

“In 2012, The COVE opened its doors to provide emergency and advanced care for pets and their families. We built this practice one day at a time on the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity,” said Jeff T. Stallings, DVM, DACVS, a board-certified veterinary surgeon who co-founded The COVE. “I am honored to be here a decade later, still focused solely on providing the best possible care to our beloved companion animal patients, their families, and the referring veterinary community.”

A decade of highlights include:

  • The only hospital-based board-certified veterinary cardiologist in the region
  • The only highly trained veterinarian in Hampton Roads focused solely on advanced dental care and oral surgery
  • Welcomed more than 106,300 patient visits ranging from persistent coughs to major trauma
  • Quadrupled the staff size - now employing over 115 well-trained team members
  • Remained the only privately owned and operated 24/7 emergency and referral animal hospital in the area
  • Raised over $30,00 through its Helping Animals Together (HAT) Fund, which enables them to provide some financial support for critical patients that have an excellent prognosis but might otherwise be euthanized due to their owners’ financial limitations to pay in full
  • Cared for patients as far away as Kitty Hawk, NC, Emporia, Richmond, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia – and everywhere in between
  • Maintained an unwavering commitment to the community through participation in Bark in the Park, Move Your Mutt, K9 and Kids Camp, Passion for Paws Picnic, Mutt Strutt, and many other events
  • Continued growth over the last two unprecedented and difficult years when many others have closed or reduced hours

“Importantly, our core values have always guided the way we honor and invest in our team,” added The COVE co-founder Merrilee T. Small, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology), a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. “This has enabled us to attract and retain an exceptional group of highly qualified, dedicated, and compassionate professionals. Only through their commitment have we been able to provide world-class care for so many years.”

Mayor Duman presented a Certificate of Recognition to The COVE for their vision and continued devotion to the community.

In return, Hospital Administrator Danielle Russ, BA, BS, AS, LVT, presented Pawprint Oxygen Masks to representatives of four fire districts representing Suffolk (9 active stations), Chesapeake (15 active stations), Portsmouth (8 active stations), and Norfolk communities (14 active stations). Each of the 46 fire stations will receive a set of 3 masks (small, medium, large). The masks will enable first responders to deliver oxygen to animals suffering from smoke inhalation or otherwise needing supplemental oxygen while en route to medical care.

Event photos can be viewed here.

The COVE offers 24/7 veterinary emergency services and advanced care in surgery, cardiology, and dentistry. For additional information, call 757-935-9111 or visit


Linda Kaplan, MHA
BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group | (949) 756-8071

Release Summary

The Center of Veterinary Expertise in Suffolk, VA Celebrates 10th Anniversary


Linda Kaplan, MHA
BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group | (949) 756-8071