“First of all, I want to give God the glory. He gifts us in different ways. He calls us to serve Him, and this is what I do…It’s just been a privilege and a blessing to serve Him and serve the people of Hart County.” Dr. Donald Green, DVM
Mary Beth Sallee
Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald
Veterinarians have long been considered the guardians of animal welfare and health. They often spend long hours caring for pets and livestock, while also being a system of support for the owners.
For over three decades, Dr. Donald Green, DVM, has been that guardian and support system for Hart County.
Dr. Green was born in Frankfort, Ky. At the age of 11, Dr. Green’s family moved to Anderson County, and he was raised on a tobacco farm.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Green attended the School of Veterinarian Medicine at Auburn University.
“Working with livestock on the farm was part of it, and my oldest brother was a veterinarian. I followed in his footsteps,” Dr. Green said of his reason for becoming a vet.
Dr. Green graduated from Auburn University in 1982. He has spent the past 40 years in service to both animals and people, with nearly 36 of those years at Riverside Animal Clinic in Munfordville.
“I really enjoy it,” Dr. Green said of being a vet. “I enjoy the animals, and I enjoy the people, and I’m blessed to do something that I enjoy so well.”
But unfortunately in veterinary medicine, with the enjoyable times also come the difficult moments. Dr. Green stated that losing an animal is by far the most difficult part of his job.
“I’ve been here so long, you know, me and a lot of these folks have raised kids together. Our kids went to school together. We’ve gone to church together, and it gets to be almost like an extended family,” he said. “It hurts when you have to give one (a pet) up. Sometimes these pets get to be like family…It’s a hard thing when you have to let one go, but we’ll do it to relieve suffering. If they can’t get well and they’re suffering, it’s the kindest thing to do, but it’s the hardest thing to do, too.”
As with almost any job, it is expected that a person contribute 40 work hours each week. But for a veterinarian, many more hours are often required. Dr. Green devotes at least 56 hours at his clinic each week to help animals who may be sick, injured, or simply in need of a check-up.
A truly compassionate veterinarian will not only serve the animals in which he took an oath to care for, but also pet owners, farmers, and others in the community.
Because of his commitment to both four-legged friends and people, as well as his support of local programs and organizations such as Hart County 4-H and Animal Rescue Kare (ARK), Dr. Green has been selected as the Hart County News-Herald’s Hometown Hero for the month of August.
“Dr. Green really is a hero. I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves,” said Danielle Reynolds. “He’s been our family vet for over a decade and the only vet I trust with our fur babies. He’s honest, knowledgeable, patient, kind, and he truly cares about his patients. Not only that, but he recently came in after hours for an emergency and saved my dog’s life. I know if it wasn’t for him, Elijah wouldn’t be here today. We see all the long, dedicated hours you and your staff put in, and we greatly appreciate your service to our town. Thank you, Dr. Green, for all that you do and being a blessing to so many and keeping our pets healthy and happy!”
For Deidre Day, it is Dr. Green’s kindness that she greatly respects as both a veterinarian and friend.
“Dr. Green is a kind man. It doesn’t matter whether I see him out in the community or visit his vet practice, Don asks questions about my family and visits for a few minutes,” Day said. “When I bring one of my pets into his practice, he is calm and knowledgeable. In fact, I recently had to put down my elderly dog. Dr. Green took care of Jasper and then gave me a few minutes to collect myself. He also willingly met us at night when one of our dogs was hit by a car.”
June King, Founder and Board Member for ARK, said she is thankful for Dr. Green’s support.
“Dr. Green has played a vital role in reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens in Hart County by partnering with the ARK voucher program for the past six years,” King said. “In addition to his regular clients, Dr. Green works tirelessly to spay and neuter at a greatly reduced cost in support of this mission to minimize the number of animals going into shelters. Dr Green truly is our hometown hero!”
Upon being told that he was chosen as a Hometown Hero, Dr. Green stated that he was “very humbled” to receive such a recognition.
“It touches me and it humbles me that I would be nominated,” he said. “I just come to work and do what I’m supposed to do and do the best I can. To be nominated is an honor, but it’s humbling.”
In true humble fashion, Dr. Green said he couldn’t do what he does without the help of those who work at his clinic.
“What happens here (at the clinic), it’s all of us,” Dr. Green said. “It takes all of us to make what happens here happen, and I’m blessed with a good staff.”
Dr. Green thanks God for all of his blessings.
“First of all, I want to give God the glory,” Dr. Green said. “He gifts us in different ways. He calls us to serve Him…We all do something different. This is what I do, and it’s just been a privilege and a blessing to serve Him and serve the people of Hart County.”
“I feel thankful and honored and blessed to get to serve the people of Hart County,” Dr. Green added. “It’s been a blessing, and I look forward to serving them for years to come.”
On behalf of Jobe Publishing, Inc., the Hart County News-Herald is honored to recognize Dr. Donald Green, DVM, as a Hometown Hero. Thank you, Dr. Green, for your unwavering commitment and kindness to the animals and people of our community.