Shelby Baker, DVM
As the owner of Damonte Ranch Animal Hospital, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my personal and professional story. The relationship that a client has with their veterinarian is a unique and special bond. As pet owners, your pets have truly become family members and we know you invest a great deal of trust and faith in your veterinarian to ensure that your pets live healthy, happy lives.
As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. As a child, growing up in the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., my parents patiently tolerated my relentless need to take in and heal injured animals. I was devoted to caring for all kinds of homeless feathered, scaled and furry creatures. As I grew older, an intense focus in academia became one of my top priorities in order to pave the way towards veterinary school. Luckily, I was raised in a household that supported my philosophy of "work-hard, play-hard" ... so when I wasn't studying, I enjoyed sports such as horseback riding (mostly English Hunter-Jumper and Dressage), basketball (not the greatest talent, but my height was a definite asset), softball, tennis and skiing.
After graduating from high school, I attended a small liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine called Bowdoin College. There I obtained my BS, double majoring in Biochemistry and German in May of 1994. Many people don't know this about me, but from a very young age, I fell in love with the German language. After years of study, I actually reached a point where I was relatively fluent (although I am now unfortunately quite rusty). I have also been lucky enough to have lived abroad twice in Germany - once in Hamburg and once in Tuebingen. Both were PHENOMENAL experiences that I will aways treasure.
After I graduated from Bowdoin College, I attended veterinary school at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, in Blacksburg, Virginia (a member of the 2000 graduating class). Veterinary school was truly the most demanding academic experience of my life. It was during those grueling academic years that I also luckily had the opportunity to become a professionally certified down hill ski instructor. On weekends, I ventured off campus and taught skiing at a small West Virginia ski resort called Snowshoe. I never would have dreamed that it would actually be this newly discovered passion for teaching skiing that would later steer me to Reno. Even more unexpected, that it would also be the medium through which I would meet my future husband.
My first four years as a new practicing veterinarian were spent at Kings Row Pet Hospital. From there, I went on to open a practice with a fellow associate, Mt. Rose Animal Hospital. Currently, I have completely gone out on my own to create my new small animal practice, Damonte Ranch Animal Hospital, in my own true vision. When I am not hard at work caring for my clients' "families", I enjoy spending time with my own family. My husband and I continue to tackle the amazing challenges of parenthood, raising our two children, Hannah and Matthew. At our home, between our rambunxious children and our crazy animal menagerie, there's never a dull moment - or a quiet one! I am so excited and proud to welcome you to my practice. I look forward to getting to know you and your "family" and becoming your trusted veterinarian for your pets for many years to come.