From a tender age, Dr. Susan Ries Valashinas’s life has deeply intertwined with her love for animals. This passion laid the foundation for a remarkable journey in veterinary medicine, leading her to become a co-founder of COTA Veterinary. Dr. Valashinas embarked on her academic journey at Mary Washington College, earning a degree in Business Administration in 1992. However, she soon realized that her true calling lay in animal care. This epiphany led her to North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where she graduated in 2002. Her time at vet school was marked by active involvement in greyhound rescue groups, reflecting her deep commitment to animal welfare. Additionally, she was a proud parent to two retired racing greyhounds, further cementing her bond with animals.
Upon graduation, Dr. Valashinas' entrepreneurial spirit took flight as she opened two successful small animal veterinary hospitals in coastal North Carolina. Her leadership in these establishments went beyond business; she actively engaged in community needs, notably funding population control programs for feral cats on Emerald Isle through neutering and spaying services.
After a brief stint in retirement upon returning to her home state of Virginia, Dr. Valashinas realized that her passion for veterinary medicine was far from over. Driven by a desire to help fellow veterinarians experience the joy and fulfillment of practice ownership and to provide clients with exceptional service, she co-founded COTA Veterinary alongside her husband, George.
Bringing over two decades of experience as a small animal veterinarian, Dr. Valashinas continues to be a guiding force at COTA Veterinary. Her life outside the clinic is equally vibrant, filled with travel, leisurely walks with her Standard Poodle, GerryG, quality time with her family, including a teenage son, and volunteering for animal causes. Her dedication to her profession and personal life exemplifies her commitment to excellence, compassion, and community service, making her an invaluable asset to COTA Veterinary and the wider veterinary community.