PITTSBURG — Petting puppies and kitties are the best part of her day, but it’s not the only thing she does at the veterinary office.

For the past 15 years, Angie Dennis has worked at Broadway Animal Hospital.

She started as a secretary, but now wears several hats which include kennel manager and treatment assistant.

“I just love my job, it’s a fantastic job,” she said. “This is like my second home.”

She gets in around 7:30 a.m. and starts taking care of the pets, depending on what hat she’s wearing that day. This includes cleaning the dog runs, letting the dogs out to stretch their legs, feed and water the animals, baths and laundry, “all the normal kennel stuff,” she said.

Over the years, Angie witnessed the love and bond between owners and their pets.

“They are not just pets though, they are family,” she said.

Angie is an animal lover herself, with four cats and a dog at home.

“If you work at a vet office you’re going to have pets, usually too many,” she said with a laugh.

Working at the office is also a great place to get her “puppy fix,” she said.

Families come in throughout the day for their four-legged family member’s medication and to schedule check ups, which Angie schedules at front desk.

Not all pets, however, are happily wagging their tail as they come through the door.

Sometimes a gravely ill or injured pet would need assistance. The families come in with worried faces and many times, tears.

This, she said is the hard part of her job, especially when things take a turn for the worse and it is time for families to say goodbye to their pets.

Angie said days like these can take toll on her and she can find herself crying along with the families.

“A hurt puppy breaks does my heart or if we have to help euthanize, that really breaks your heart,” she said.

With ill pets coming into the office, along with the runs back and forth from kennels, it can make for a long day.

“It has its fun moments, it really does,” Angie said. “But it’s hard work.”

“A lot of the job is not exactly pleasant, like cleaning up  when a dog poops or pees on the floor that of course not fun … When you tell someone their pet is not going to make it or it is very critical, you cry with some people.

“There are lot of times you go home — worn out — and you just cry because of a bad day at work because you had too many euthanasias.”

Broadway Animal Hospital changed ownership a little over a year ago. Angie said the transition has been good and both the previous and current owners have been great to her over the years.

Angie said she loves her job, her second home.

People can find her walking Great Danes down the hallway to the kennels or for doctor visits, scheduling appointments at the front desk, picking up “messes” and comforting families who lost their pet.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. To nominate someone for Patrick's People send an email to patrickspeople@morningsun.net