Dr. Jerry Busselman grew up on his family’s farm near Rosalie, NE, which is where he learned to love and be interested in animal care. He knew from the age of 12 that he wanted to be a veterinarian. “Dr. B” studied animal science for 4 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, before attending Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated with his DVM in 1995 and went on to gain invaluable experience at a large, multi-doctor, small-animal hospital and as an ER veterinarian. In December 2004, he struck out on his own and opened Fort Street Veterinarian.
“I was working at an emergency pet clinic but was tired of the long, hard hours required by ER,” he recalls. “I had always wanted my own clinic, someplace that I could shape and where I could treat people and pets with the care and understanding that would build trust over a lifetime. So I decided to make the leap.”
When the clinic opened its doors, Dr. B served as receptionist, vet tech, bookkeeper, janitor and doctor. “I think people were so surprised when I’d do everything from greeting them at the front desk to treating their pets and checking them out. I also remember mopping the floors and cleaning the office every day,” he says with a smile.
That changed quickly, however, because once pet owners visited the clinic, they came back. “I was actually in the black within the first four months of operation and that was starting with zero patients,” he says. “I think that once people discovered us, they really liked us and trusted us. Plus, we didn’t rush them through and they soon realized that we weren’t just trying to get their money.”
Since then, the clinic has grown and expanded with multiple remodels and staff additions…all in an effort to continue Dr. Busselman’s vision of providing animals with exceptional care and pet owners with compassionate customer service.
Dr. B actively supports a number of rescue animal groups locally and has traveled three times to Mali in Africa where, over the course of about 10 days each time, he and others have worked frantically to inoculate as many cattle, sheep, goats and pigs as possible. The trips are sponsored by Christ Community Church in Omaha.
Mali is the third poorest country in the world and there, animal health is not a matter of convenience, as Dr. B explains, but a matter of life and death. The villagers’ various livestock are a key source of food and income. Yet the animals carry large amounts of internal and external parasites, such as ticks, fleas and intestinal worms. Providing a simple inoculation makes them parasite-free for six months, enough time for the animals to grow significantly and thereby greatly bless the farmers and their families.
Dr. Busselman’s hobbies include playing with his three kids, golfing, playing cards and tackling projects at home. His animal family members include Tricky Woo (Shih Tzu), Moonlight (DSH), and Mali (Springer).