Veterinarian retires at 91 years old

Dr. Abram Allen will retire his veterinary business after 61 years in Reidland, Kentucky.

He calls the many cats and dogs that made their way onto his long medal table “critters.” Those critters and their owners, like Stephanie Bowen, have kept the 91 year old veterinarian sharp for so long. “Dr. Allen does it because he loves the animals so much. When he takes care of them, you can tell it’s genuine,” Bowen said.

Before his last patient Friday, Allen walked me through his journey to open his Reidland clinic in 1955.

“I got here because Livingston county, Crittenden county, Lyon county, and Marshall County didn’t have a veterinarian and there was 142,000 head of cattle. So, I knew if I knew anything about the business I’d make a living,” Allen told me.

Before small animals, he took care of animals up to 3,400 pounds. He couldn’t weight those animals like he does Yorkies today (by weighing himself, then picking up the animal and subtracting the different numbers.)

Seventeen years after he started his practice, he became solely a small animal vet. “When we were building the clinic my neighbors come by and said son, there’s not enough dogs for veterinary business in Reidland to by your groceries. They thought I was crazy.”

Dr. Allen isn’t retiring because he’s getting old or he can’t do the job. In fact, his hand is still steady enough to perform surgery. He says he’s retiring because “it’s time,” and a full equipment upgrade to his clinic would cost about $100,000.

Larry Brown, the Commissioner for the Department of Professional Licensing, said “I would like to congratulate him for his extended and outstanding service to the Commonwealth and his profession.” Brown couldn’t confirm whether Allen holds a record for veterinary service or for his age, but he says Allen’s license is without a doubt the longest held that he’d heard of. 

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