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Viewmont Animal Hospital Staff with the mayor

Business. Well Crafted. Legacy Award presented to Viewmont Animal Hospital

The City of Hickory presented the Business. Well Crafted. Legacy Award to Viewmont Animal Hospital on Saturday, Sept. 30, during the company’s anniversary celebration.

Presented by Mayor Hank Guess on behalf of the City’s Business Development Committee (BDC), the Business. Well Crafted. Legacy Award recognizes Viewmont Animal Hospital for providing 60 years of caring veterinary service for Hickory community members and their pets.

Viewmont Animal Hospital was established by Dr. James D. Peeples on Sept. 27, 1963. The original site of the animal practice stood about 75 yards from Viewmont Animal Hospital’s current day location and served several uses before becoming home to the veterinary practice. Mr. Deal owned and used the original building as a barn for his Shetland ponies. The building and adjacent property were later sold to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church. The church utilized the building as its activity center for meetings, Boy Scout clubhouse, and other church related activities until it was sold to James and Luther Keller. The Keller brothers were builders. They renovated the building and leased it to Dr. Peeples for his veterinary practice. Two years later, Dr. Peeples purchased the property, and in 1970, had the previous clinic location built by Jack Sipe Construction Company.

Dr. Peeples was in solo mixed animal practice until July 1971, when Dr. Gary A. Pope, a new University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, joined Viewmont Animal Hospital. Peeples and Pope practiced large and small animal medicine for approximately 20 years. They discontinued practicing large animal medicine, and the veterinary practice exclusively became a small animal hospital. Peeples retired in September 2008 after 45 years of practice.  

Viewmont Animal Hospital broke ground on its new location in 2015 and moved into the new building in April 2016. Currently, the veterinary team at Viewmont Animal Hospital includes owner Gary Pope and three associate doctors, Drs. Melody Heath, Katherine Frye, and Valleri Reames. 

“A lot has changed in Hickory the past 60 years, but one thing is the same; Viewmont Animal Hospital is still open and helping animals,” said Dr. Pope. “We want to thank all of our loyal customers for their support over the past 60 years.”

“The Business Development Committee is proud to honor Viewmont Animal Hospital with the Business. Well Crafted. Legacy Award in recognition of its long history and solid reputation for providing quality care for animals,” said City of Hickory Business and Community Development Manager Dave Leonetti. “Celebrating 60 years of operation is quite the achievement, and we appreciate the many contributions that Viewmont Animal Hospital makes to our community.” 

For more information about the Business Development Committee and its Business. Well Crafted. Awards, please contact Dave Leonetti at 828-261-2227 or via email at