Mr Rob Thomas, a former partner at The Barton Veterinary Hospital and Surgery in Canterbury, has retired after forty years of caring for pets in the city. In addition to providing day to day care for dogs, cats and other companion animals, Mr Thomas, a member of the veterinary team and a veterinary cardiologist, is highly regarded within the profession nationally, having received the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Melton Award for Meritorious Service and the Dunkin Award for the most valuable article in the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP) by a practising veterinary surgeon. Together with his partners, Rob Thomas made the significant decision for Barton Veterinary Hospital to become the first practice to join CVS (UK) Ltd, the UK’s fastest growing veterinary practice, in 1999.
Joining the Barton Veterinary Hospital team in 1976 as an assistant, Rob became a partner in 1987 and, that same year, became only the second vet in the UK to be awarded a certificate in veterinary small animal cardiology. He is an active member of the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society and instigated Barton’s referral service in internal medicine, cardiology and endoscopy.
To mark his retirement, his colleagues held a series of celebrations called ‘The Rob Festival’. They included a coffee morning for clients; a party for past and current staff; a lunch with current and former colleagues and culminating in cake and Champagne on his last day – the 6th of April 2016. The cake baked by his colleague Helen Groves-de -Milleret, took the form of an anatomically correct heart. Commenting, Rob Thomas said: “I’ve had a fascinating and rewarding career, working with some great people at a wonderful practice with a great history. Happy times indeed!”
Louise Trowsdale, Regional Director at CVS, added: “Rob has always been utterly passionate about his work and, right up to his last day, was still reading up on cases. He is also a true pioneer in the veterinary sector, having seen the opportunities which could result from Barton Veterinary Hospital joining CVS in 1999 and helping it become the first practice to do so. Many others have since followed his example. He has been an inspirational teacher to our other vets and students down the years. We will miss his trademark white coat and cheerfulness, as much as his knowledge and his enthusiasm for learning and teaching.”
“We wish him a wonderful retirement with his family and hope he can now spend plenty of time enjoying his hobbies of sailing and cruising with his partner Madeleine on their narrowboat.”
The Barton Veterinary Hospital and Surgery is based at 34 New Dover Rd, Canterbury and can be contacted on 01227 765522.