Veterinary medicine a calling for Dr. Kathy Bates

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Drew Bracken
| Special to the Chillicothe Gazette

CHILLICOTHE – Sometimes talents go beyond one career.

“As a kid I was always drawn to animals unlike anyone else in my family,” recalled Kathy Bates. “We had no household pets at all, but weirdly, I was always drawn to and fascinated by animals ever since I was a small child. I was a crazy teen horse and rode horses at a local riding stable, but dogs and cats became a huge part of my life.”

Today, Bates is Dr. Bates, a veterinarian at North Fork Animal Clinic.

“It’s an honor, a privilege and a tremendous responsibility,” she said, “to accurately diagnose and correctly treat, to be available and dependable, and above all to do no harm to my patients or my clients. The practice of medicine, be it animal or human, is not to be taken lightly or flippantly in my opinion as the very quality of life depends upon you and deserves reverence and respect.”

That said, Bates has another talent.

“Around 2005 I started tinkering with painting on a total whim,” she said. “It rapidly became a delightful obsession that’s claimed much of my spare time and energy.”

“I started mainly painting landscapes,” she added. “I’m especially drawn to clouds and skies and wide open spaces. But I also started sketching and painting my dog ​​and it eventually expanded to friends’ dogs, coworkers’ pets at the clinic, and then through word of mouth, other peoples’ pets as well.”

Bates grew up on the east side of Columbus, graduated from Eastmoor High School, then William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri, thinking she wanted to be a part of their equestrian program.

“That didn’t work out for me,” she said, “but I liked all my biology and chemistry classes. So I majored in biology and minored in chemistry, and came to realize that all the other bio majors were pre-med and pre-dent students. I thought, ‘Hey! I’ve always loved animals. I could be a vet!’ And that’s exactly what happened.”

Bates graduated from OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986, worked in small animal practices in Detroit, Nashville and Kingsport Tennessee, then joined the North Fork Animal Clinic in Chillicothe in 1999.

“I’ve known Kathy for many years, and she has definitely enhanced my life,” said long-time friend Marilyn Moncrieff. “She’s a levelheaded, smart, funny, responsible, classy and overall good person. Her veterinary skills are top notch. And she’s a gifted artist whose paintings are in homes all over the country. I have many in my home. It’s been a pleasure to watch her technique improve over the years.”

“A fair number of people have commissioned me to do portraits of their pets,” Bates responded. “Many of them have been patients of mine that I’ve known and perhaps treated for many years. The pet portraits are truly special. It’s always a challenge, but totally rewarding!”

“And veterinary medicine has definitely been a lifelong calling for me,” she concluded. “The personalities of dogs and cats, and the bonds we form with them, and the way they enrich our lives, has truly been a huge part of my life.”

North Fork Animal Clinic is located at 2260 Anderson Station Road in Chillicothe. For more information, log on And for artwork, log on