veterinarian Dr. Tara Zak's motto is simple: healthy pets with no regrets.
Charlene Linkowski has no regrets about visiting Dr. Zak after her dog was mauled by another dog. Dr. Zak did what she could to keep Linkowski's dog alive, but quickly realized the animal needed more specialized emergency care. Dr. Zak referred Linkowski to her mentor at UGA School of Veterinary Medicine. Because of that referral, Linkowski’s dog was not only saved, but Linkowski also received a significant discount in the cost of her pet's medical care.
“I wanted to provide the best, but be honest and compassionate as well. That's why when one of my clients and dear friends came in with an emergency and I needed to refer, I did -- and not to a place that would take advantage,” Dr. Zak said. “The hospital prides itself on the ability to offer this special care, even if this means sending them elsewhere.”
Dr. Zak has 16 years of veterinary experience. She has worked all over Gwinnett County, and has worked with animals from iguanas to Clydesdales. After working in many area hospitals, she decided to open her own practice.
“I worked at many hospitals around the Atlanta area and am aware of my competition in all aspects of my profession,” Dr. Zak said. “I have seen it all and that’s the main reason I wanted my own practice.”
Dr. Zak’s practice offers separate exam rooms for dogs and cats, has state of the art equipment, and a well-trained staff. She enjoys what she does and loves serving the community.
“The thing I enjoy most about my job is having a very sick dog, cat or even a rabbit come in and watching him or her get better with my and my staff's care,” Dr. Zak said. “I hate to see animals suffering and I took an oath at graduation that I would prevent this in any way possible. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that purr and see that wag the next day and that's all the thanks I need!”
Dr. Zak says that the thing that upsets her the most is being unable to help those animals that are very sick receive the proper care they need.
“In the last four years I have seen so many pets placed on the back burner due to our devastating economic times and worse yet being euthanized because their owners could not only afford proper veterinary care, and in extreme cases could no longer even afford dog food,” Dr. Zak said.
In an effort to help pets and their owners, Dr. Zak lists lost and found animals and animals available for adoption on the Hamilton Plaza Animal Hospital Facebook page. Adoptable animals may also include those surrendered by owners who can no longer care for their pets.
“I have united many families in the Hamilton Mill and Dacula communities with new pets after the loss of a loved one, and reunited lost pets with their rightful owners,” Dr. Zak said.
Dr. Zak also plays an active role in the community by sponsoring neighborhood festivals, and participating in schools.
“I stay very involved in the school community by donating gift certificates for auctions and my time as well as educational materials for children about human health concerns such as parasites and the increase in rabies cases in the Gwinnett area this year,” she said. “I am also a proud sponsor and supporter of the Mill Creek Athletics Association.”
Dr. Zak has two boys, Briggs (12) and Brandon (9) that keep her busy with school and sports. Her boyfriend, Kevin, is a firefighter/paramedic by trade, but also helps her in serving pets in need. After taking care of Dacula area pets all day, Dr. Zak comes home to several pets of her own. She has four dogs, Zeus (Great Dane), Magnolia (Standard Poodle), Taco and Chloe (chihuahuas). She also has two hamsters, and saltwater fish.
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