Furry ideas at work: New veterinarian in Milford brings old roots to life

A new generation of medical professionals is starting to form in Milford as Mallory Alexander’s veterinary practice, Avenue Veterinary Clinic, prepares to open.

Dr. Roger Alexander is a name many may remember as her father owned an internal medicine practice in the same location on Lakeview Avenue for 40 years.

“This was his practice. So, most of the town knows me as his daughter,” the newest Dr. Alexander explained. “As soon as I was done with veterinary school, I came back to Delaware to practice. Then dad passed away unexpectedly, so I inherited this building and decided it was time to open my own practice.”

Jokingly, she said she inherited some of his staff, too. Among her staff will be Michelle Fox who worked for the senior Dr. Alexander for 18 years.

“This is exciting actually, watching her grow up until now. We’re very excited for her. She deserves everything she’s getting right now. She works hard for what she gets, and I think that’s pretty cool,” Ms. Fox said.

A family practice at heart, Ms. Fox recalls taking a young Ms. Alexander to some of her first jobs in the medical field when she became a teenager. Her mom, Phyllis Fox, worked with Bubba, as her children affectionately called him, for 31 years before he passed away and shared similar stories after watching all of his children grow up from child to adult.

“She’s like my own kid. I miss him, I have to admit. We know how proud he’d be of his own daughter. He’d be very proud of her,” she said with -tear in her eye.

Growing up around Dr. Alexander’s practice and watching her mom work in the field, too, helped the Milford resident figure out how she wanted her own career to develop.

“My mom is a nurse practitioner. My dad was a doctor. I basically grew up in this office and made rounds with him every morning. I decided that that was not at all what I wanted to do,” she chuckled, adding, “He graciously allowed me to have lots of cats.”

The elder Ms. Fox said, “Ever since she was little, she said she wanted to be a veterinarian.”

“No, I didn’t,” Dr. Alexander laughed back. “I wanted to be a hairdresser, a school teacher and a waitress. All we did was eat out and go to Geyers. I thought this was the great life. My dad forced me to get a job at another clinic nearby, and I hated it. I cried every single day. It was awful. -was miserable. Then, he got me a job where I eventually became a vet. And that was better.”

As a teenager, Dr. Alexander graduated from The Tatnall School in Wilmington in 2008. She then attended Clemson University for her undergraduate degree and graduated from the college of veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia in 2016.

“Our goal now is to open sometime in April, probably mid to late April. We still have a lot going on. I’m hoping we can keep up with demand because people are already pretty adamant about coming to me. We’re trying to bring back the hometown vet feel,” Dr. Alexander said.

“Milford has been a one vet clinic town for quite some time, but it’s also growing immensely, so I think it’s time to expand things. My goal is to be a little bit more affordable option.”

The practice will work with cats and dogs but no farm animals. They hope to eventually become a Fear Free Certified practice to “encourage happy vet visits not stressing the pets out,” Dr. Alexander said.

The group will offer routine surgeries, dental procedures, wellness and sick visits, X-ray capabilities, in-house lab equipment, ultrasound services, and other needs by appointment only.

Sarah Warren, who worked with Dr. Alexander in another veterinary environment, said she’s confident the practice will do well.

“I’ve been best friends with her for 15 years. This was always the plan to start our own thing. We are going to be lower cost, but we still have the higher end equipment. We’ll have all of the capabilities that other animal hospitals have, but fair prices. We’ve both been in high end places where people can’t afford it, and we want to make sure people can have the veterinary care they deserve for their pets, so they can keep their pets healthy as long as possible. We all have the struggle bus at home; we know what it’s like to not have the money for them. We’ll be providing that not just for Milford but for everybody in Sussex and Kent Counties,” Sarah Warren said. “If you’ll come see us, we’ll treat you. God knows I have a struggle bus who costs me a small fortune, and it taps you out.”

Dr. Alexander said, like her father, she hopes to be an active part of the community as it grows over the next few years.

“I want to see this practice really involved in this town. We’re within city limits in downtown Milford. I’m following in my dad’s footsteps because he was very involved. Everyone knew who he was. I want to give back to the community, be involved and embrace the growth Milford is going through,” she said. “We’ve become very pet-friendly with Fur-Babies; I’m very impressed. So, I feel like it’s only fitting to have another very active veterinary clinic in the area.”

To contact Dr. Alexander as she opens her doors, call 302-422-5223 or email her at avenueveterinaryclinic@ gmail.com.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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