SHREWSBURY – Marco Sima, co-owner Happy Tails Veterinary Hospital in Shrewsburytraces his desire to be a vet all the way to his father, who was a vet in Serbia.
“He was smart in school and grew up loving animals,” Sima said. “At the time, he was treating big animals, like horses, cows, chickens and things like that. He did that for 10 years and enjoyed his time there.
“He was very committed to his job,” Sima said. “For him, it was all about taking care of animals of all kinds and he was naturally drawn to this trade like a moth to a flame. No matter what else was involved in the job, he was willing to do what was necessary.”
In addition to being a vet, Sima’s father also worked as a food inspector.
“While working as a food inspector in Poland, he met my mother in a factory and got to know each other,” Sima said. “I went to an art school in Poland at the time and they dated for a year before getting married.”
Sima’s parents got a chance to move to the United States after a new law under President Lyndon Johnson made it easier for immigrants with medical degrees to come here on a visa.
“My dad got that degree and we all moved to America in 1968,” Sima said. “Even though my father was a licensed veterinarian in his country, he still had to get a degree to practice in America. He did and also started working for (USDA) in New Jersey in 1969.
“We moved to Vinland and school started there,” Sima said. Eventually he bought a house and turned it into a veterinary hospital for the night. When I wasn’t in school, he taught me business. I started cleaning cages and doing things to help where possible. Sometimes I would walk around different parts of the house and see him working on animals and things like that. It just became normal for me and that’s what happened in that environment.”
‘Two different ways of working’
When Sima grew up, he started working as a receptionist in his father’s business. He originally wanted to become an engineer and studied at Drexel University for a short time, but eventually changed his mind and entered animal biology at Penn State.
“I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a vet instead,” Sima said. “At first I liked the science side of it, but then I started wanting to help animals. After graduating from medical school and getting my bachelor’s degree in animal biology, I went to work with my dad for a year, but soon realized that my dad and I had two different styles of working. And I needed to develop a method that was all I had.
“He got used to the old school style and I was mostly new school,” Sima said. “We got along well, but differed in our approaches to treating animals. His understanding was first treatment and then tests, but I was the other way around. I just learned how to do my job differently and that’s how he wanted to pursue his career as a veterinarian.”
Starting in the mid-1990s, Seema worked in various hospitals to improve his skills.
“I will work part-time for a vet and then do some relief work for the rest of the day,” Sima said. “I just wanted to keep developing my work ethic and perfecting my abilities, until I perfected my trade as a whole. It was all about getting into this practice so that I could be the best that I could be.
“I also worked in some emergency clinics for a while,” Sima said. “I was going to stay there all night and deal with sick animals that would randomly show up. Most cases were very severe and it was like an emergency room for animals. It was emotionally distressing to see all these sick animals come in at all hours of the night, but I thought I could help and learn something new. in this process.”
While attending Penn State in 1991, Sima met his future wife and Happy Tails co-owner Dina Roveri. They dated for several years before they tied the knot in 1999.
“I went and graduated with the same degree as Marco,” said Roveri. “Even though we were dating and getting to know each other, we had work commitments and career paths that we were pursuing. I went to Temple University in the College of Pharmacy and became a vet from Pennsylvania. We wanted to work hard and get more experience in our jobs. It was all. It’s about filling in the gaps.
“I wanted to be a surgeon,” said Rovere. “I went and did an internship for that in New York City. I did my share of vet jobs and ended up leaving one job in particular because my employer was so close to my working life and I decided I wanted to start a family one day. In the end, I had to choose My family life because I didn’t want to marry my work. It was that simple.”
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After choosing the family over the job, Roveri and Sima had three sons, and Roveri took some time raising them with Sima. After taking some time to fulfill their family obligations, Sima decided to open his own veterinary clinic, having grown up doing it with his father.
“We set out to buy old practices around the area, but no one wanted to sell their business at the time,” said Roveri. “We finally found Happy Tails in Shrewsbury, which was previously an open space, and they opened on June 2, 2014. It was a slow start. There were other veterinary hospitals in the area and we wanted to stand out. We met this really nice lady named Betsy Higgins and we were really shocked when meeting .
“She came with her dogs at first,” said Rovere. “She loved us so much that she got the word out all over the place and gave other people who have pets a solid review of our work. It was a huge reason we started seeing people in Shrewsbury come to our establishment. She has known a lot of people and helped us get our names out there. We have been here since It’s almost nine years old and we’re still going strong.”
“We take care of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, rabbits, ferrets, and birds, to name a few,” Sima said. “It’s a family affair and we dedicate ourselves and our staff to taking good care of your pet and giving them a certificate of good health.”
With Happy Tails and its staff looking to the future, they want to invest in helping young children get out of debt as they graduate from medical school and transition into their careers.
“During the summer, we have young veterinary students who come to work with us to get more hands-on experience,” Sima said. “A lot of them have gone to medical school and that is very inspiring and fun for us. We want to keep it going and give aspiring vets the tools to trade.”
Happy Tails Veterinary Hospital
friends: Dr. Marco Sima and Dr. Dina Rover
Site: 827 Broad Street, Shrewsbury
hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends
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