Many pet parents know Melissa Noblett as the “face” of Animal Vision Center of Virginia. As the practice office manager, she makes certain that every visit is a pleasant experience and that they leave with a clear understanding of the treatment plan and future goals. Coastal Virginia’s veterinary community knows her too as the administrator of practice outreach to them—from dropping off ocular resource guides to their clinics, to organizing continuing education classes and fun events to keep them up to date with AVCVA. We are pleased to shine the spotlight on Melissa, who has the distinction of being our very first team member! 

When did you meet Dr. Brookshire?

Melissa: I met Dr. Brookshire at the end of 2008, while I was working as a vet tech at a veterinary ophthalmology practice. At the time, Dr. Brookshire was just getting started in the veterinary eye world as a specialty vet intern working in Hampton Roads. This is where she did her residency and became a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist. Despite her moving on after the residency, we remained great friends. In 2015, we met over chips and salsa at a local Mexican restaurant. She told me about her vision and plans to open what is now Animal Vision Center of Virginia. Understanding her excitement, and having worked with her previously, I knew I wanted to be a part of her vision.

What were the first days on the job like with Animal Vision Center of Virginia? 

Melissa: In April of 2015, we began planning and working from a spare bedroom in her home. To turn Dr. Brookshire’s dream into a reality, we started by planning a brick-and-mortar build-out of an existing business space and setting up vendor accounts in preparation for a grand opening. My first co-workers were Winston (a bloodhound) Louie (a French bulldog), and two cats Kazi, and Kuma! 

Tell us about some of the early pets you owned.

Melissa: Growing up, my family always had no less than three dogs of all varieties (sheltie, terrier mixes, corgi mixes and more). I was also a member of the 4H youth development program and raised lambs for several years. My first job was as a farmhand at Bergey’s Dairy, and my love for animals grew. As a young adult, the very first dog I adopted was a long-haired dachshund named Bruiser. Yep, I’m a crazy wiener dog owner and have had four wiener dogs and a chihuahua since then. 

How has it been seeing the practice evolve over the years? 

Melissa: Oh my gosh, it has been amazing watching the transformation over the past nine years! Dr. Brookshire’s dedication to her patients, clients and staff is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It brings me so much joy when we reminisce about the early days and how far AVCVA has come. I am so grateful that Dr. Brookshire has taken me along for the ride. Our patients and clients are the absolute best! It is so rewarding to be a part of caring for their fur family members. 

What is the “one thing” you want people to know about the veterinary care team at Animal Vision Center of Virginia?

Melissa: We are a family with an amazing team that works incredibly hard to give our patients and clients the absolute best care. However, we are total goofballs and laugh and joke with each other all day. It doesn’t feel like work, rather all of us together doing something we are passionate about and laughing all the while.