Owning It: 17 Red Hot Entrepreneurs

Juliet Sternberg & Kristine Young
Owners • Hope Veterinary Clinic

Sternberg, a licensed social worker and Young, a veterinarian, were living together in the East Village and working separately when they decided to meld their talents and skills and move to Brooklyn. They opened Hope Veterinary Clinic in 2003 to offer unique holistic services for animals and families, providing not only physical care for pets, but also emotional support for their human caretakers that includes bereavement counseling and parenting classes for new pet owners.

When animals act up in the household and cause problems for families and roommates, Sternberg is there to help. She uses a basic social work model that takes into account the people and the environment with which the pets live.

"Animals are such a big part of a family," says Sternberg. "They're like children, really." The clinic also has the first veterinary physical rehabilitation center in Brooklyn where animals can receive massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, hydrotherapy and other services. The rooftop garden will be completed soon where pet owners can take a break to think about what decision they will make when given a bad diagnosis.

"We try as far as we can to treat as naturally as possible, says Sternberg. "We have a strong emphasis on nutrition. Rather than just concentrating on illness, we concentrate on wellness.There's no cookie-cutter medicine being practiced here."

Infinite Hope, the social services partner of Hope Vet, focuses on rescuing, rehabilitating, and placing animals into suitable homes. Most of the cats are rescued in the most humane way possible from the streets of Brooklyn. They never euthanize cats or send them to shelters where they will be put down.

Young and Sternberg share a large happy household of seven cats and a dog plus two ponds of fish, turtles, and frogs at their home in Brooklyn.

"We're very proud of being part of the community," Sternberg says. "It's a pretty wonderful place to come to work everyday." –RD

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