Shane Harms
Dr. Hilmoe has been caring for animals for the last 30 years and currently sees patients at The Family Pet in Ballard.

Ballard vet awarded 2016 Washington State Veterinarian of the Year

Veterinarians are supposed to care for their pet-patients, but one Ballard veterinarian’s care has garnered her the 2016 Washington State Veterinarian of the Year award.

The Washington State Veterinarian Association awarded Dr. Mary Kay Hilmoe of Seattle at the state veterinary convention in Spokane on October 8. Dr. Hilmoe has been caring for animals the last 30 years and currently sees patients at The Family Pet in Ballard.

“I was really surprised and very honored because there are so many credible vets out there, and to be selected is quite an honor,” said Dr. Hilmoe.

This isn’t the first time Dr. Hilmoe has stood apart from her peers. While earning her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University (1985) her graduating class voted her “The Gentle Doctor” award, recognizing her dedication to her studies and passion for her patients.

Gentle, indeed, but along with being gentle, Dr. Hilmoe has a third degree Black Belt in Karate and teaches, judges and competes. She is also a mother of two.

Her medical interest is emphasized in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and preventative healthcare. She has served for over 20 years on the Continuing Education committee of Seattle King County Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Hilmoe said that over the last 30 years she has worked in numerous locations but has seen a few different owners come and go at the building where The Family Pet currently operates.

“I’m kind of like the cat that comes with the house,” she joked.

Dr. Hilmoe said that what still inspires her passion for working with animals is the bonds that come with the interaction and care.

“I love the relationships. That’s really important. The relationships of the people to their pets and the pets so the people, and I feel like I’m a general practitioner for the pets.”

She said that from a very young age she knew she wanted to be a vet.
However, she found that at the time there were fewer women in a male dominated field.

“At the time a girl vet was kind of unusual.”

Dr. Hilmoe said that her graduating class was comprised of around 30 percent women and now she’s noticed there are many more women in the field.

Going forward Dr. Hilmoe said she aims to continue her excellent care that the WSVA has recognized.

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