Meet your veterinarian
Dr. Jessica Keay
Dr. Keay grew up in the St. Louis area and then traveled to the mountains of Southwest Virginia to attend the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine where she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 2007. Dr. Keay practiced small animal medicine for several years in Southwest Virginia before returning to the Midwest. Dr. Keay spent five years living in Edwardsville Illinois during which time she worked as a primary care veterinarian in St. Louis County. Since moving to Chatham her time has been spent teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology at Lincoln Land Community College and caring for her three children.
While working in general practice Dr. Keay always felt a calling towards helping pet owners at the end of their pet’s lives by providing peaceful farewells through euthanasia. After watching her own father suffer a death that was not peaceful or pleasant, she felt it was one of the great gifts of her profession to help her patients experience a “good death”. In 2019, Dr. Keay’s family was faced with the difficult decision to euthanize their family dog Cowboy. Cowboy had been chosen by Dr. Keay’s father during his last year of life and so had a very special place in their hearts. The family had even snuck Cowboy into the hospital to see their father one last time and allow them to say goodbye to each other. Because of Cowboy’s association with their father, deciding to let him go was even more emotional. Rather than bring Cowboy into the veterinary clinic which always made him anxious, Dr. Keay elected to have a veterinary colleague who practiced in-home-euthanasia come to help Cowboy pass peacefully at home. This was a pivotal moment in Dr. Keay’s career as she experienced the blessing of being able to say goodbye to your beloved pet in the familiarity of your own home.
In 2019 Dr. Keay attended the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) conference. She realized her life calling while at this conference, meeting with other veterinarians who provide in-home euthanasia and hospice services. Dr. Keay is now a member of the IAAHPC and in January of 2021 completed the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy’s Certificate Program to further her skills for in-home euthanasia.