By Tracy Allen
As a small town kid in north central Kansas, Aaron Stohs could only imagine that one day his love for animals would grow into a business venture that eventually would expand across state lines.
The son of a nurse, Stohs said he never liked being around sick people. But he did love science and anatomy.
And animals of all kinds, especially.
Even more so, he idolized those he called pillars of his small community of Marysville, MO–the veterinarians that worked with animals.
“I just loved the way the vets were respected,” said Stohs, who admits he always wanted to work with small town people and farmers. “I like being out working with the people making a living. Working with the cows, horses. …I just have a soft spot for the hard working guys.”
Fortunately when Martin City Animal Hospital came available in 2020, it found a winner in Dr. Stohs.
Stohs,a graduate of the Kansas State University Veterinaran School, took over the clinic last fall with the help of his wife, Kelly – an established attorney, who has been his champion since their days at K-State. The couple owns animal clinics in Drexel, MO, (2007) Paola, KS (2017) and Louisburg, KS (in 2015).
What drew Stohs to garner another animal clinic to his resume is the “small town feel that Martin City had in a populous area,” he says. “I’ve never been a big fan of cities. I grew up in a tiny town with just 3,500 people. But whenever I get to Martin City, everything just seems to slow down a bit. I like the community, everybody gets along, everybody helps each other. I just never felt that in a big area.”
The Stohs were approached by former owner Libby Robertson. While Stohs says he and his wife considered other clinics, the Martin City location was just something they couldn’t pass up. “We went up there, had some steak, talked about it. And on our way home, we were giddy about and it and just said, ‘holy cow, maybe we should consider this.'”
The excellent care the Animal Hospital has shown with clients will continue. Stohs says he uses the same medicine and methods that Robertson utilized.
“We’re just building on what (Dr. Libby) started,” added Stohs.
Once Stohs opened the clinic, he also opened it to new patients, something Robertson had stymied when the pandemic hit.
“We’ve always had an open door policy. If you need to be seen, we’ll try to get you in,” said Stohs. “We love getting new people into the door.”
Stohs plans to add to the structure of the animal hospital in order to expand services. The interior has already undergone cosmetic changes, including new flooring, an additional exam room, new ceilings, lights and paint. In the future, he plans on adding a building next to the current structure to provide more space for future exam rooms.
Currently, the hospital has a full array of services including blood work, ultrasound, full laser therapy, x-rays, anesthetic monitoring systems, EKGs, among other things.
Stohs prides himself on controlling the cost of services for clients. “If someone can’t afford a procedure it doesn’t mean we won’t work with them. We’ll just troubleshoot it to find a way to work with their animal in a different way,” he says.
“We like to provide value and good customer service,” he says.
Down the road he can see himself opening more veterinary clinics.
“I enjoy employing people and starting businesses,” said Stohs. “I like meeting new people, which is the favorite part of my job.