Dr. Rich Panuska

Dr. Panuska bio photoDr. Rich Panuska was only five years old when he proclaimed that he would become a veterinarian when he grew up. His passion for pet care didn’t wane as he got older—the more he learned about the veterinary field, the more he knew that he wanted to work hands-on with animals for the rest of his life. Dr. Panuska is doing just that to this day! He’s the practice owner and chief veterinarian here at Friendship Animal Hospital.

Dr. Panuska grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where he first began volunteering at the local small-animal clinic. He would remain at that practice for nine years, gaining hands-on experience throughout his high-school years and his undergraduate career at Virginia Tech. Next, Dr. Panuska volunteered with a local emergency clinic and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician, working in both small-animal and emergency clinic settings, before heading to the Caribbean to study animal medicine at Ross University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Panuska graduated from veterinary school with his doctoral degree in 2000, then relocated to Ohio for a year to launch his career in a small-animal clinic there. He then moved back home to Virginia, working with a local emergency clinic by night and filling in at several nearby pet clinics during the day. It was during this time that he developed interests in pain management, soft-tissue surgery, and veterinary dentistry in addition to his longtime love of emergency care.

Upon relocating to the Carolinas with his wife, Dr. Panuska served in a relief capacity here at Friendship Animal Hospital from May to December of 2015. He purchased the clinic the following June, and has been tending to the area’s pets and animal owners here ever since.

Outside of the office, Dr. Panuska enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, helping his wife care for their 12 chickens, playing the guitar, and making home-brewed beer. He and his wife share their home with three lovable cats: Ringo, Tucker, and Lucille.

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