AMHERST - It’s written in a child’s handwriting. Neat, round letters, with a picture of a big cat at the bottom. Alison ‘Ali’ Frye wrote the letter to herself when she was eight-years-old. It was placed in a time capsule. Eight-year old Ali predicted she’d be a veterinarian in 25 years.
That was in 1992. Amherst Veterinary Hospital’s newest veterinarian - yes, Ali Frye - graduated from Atlantic Veterinary College in 2018. She was off by just one year.
“I think I really like working with the underdogs,” says Frye. “Animals can’t speak for themselves, so I like the problem solving and the figuring things out.”
Her interest in helping the voiceless has shaped some of the choices she has made on the path to becoming a veterinarian. She completed a three-month internship in Kenya helping farmers improve the welfare of dairy cattle, and she still does volunteer work with the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
“I was lucky to be mentored there by [the late] Doctor Helene VanDoninck,” says Frye.
The new veterinarian is originally from British Columbia. Residents of western Canada typically go to vet college in Saskatchewan, but Frye wanted to see one of the nation’s other coasts.
“My background is in sports and recreation but I decided to come out to Truro to do vet-prep courses at Dalhousie Agricultural College,” she says.
From Truro she went to Charlottetown for more courses. She spent a year working at AVC as a post-mortem technician before applying for the DVM program.
“I’ve really fallen in love with the East Coast,” says Frye, whose personal interests centre around outdoor pursuits, such as camping and hiking - with pet dog in tow, of course!
The veterinarian splits her time between Amherst Veterinary Hospital and Tantramar Veterinary Hospital, which is in Sackville, N.B. that are both owned by Dr. Tanya Sparling.
She continues to have an interest in learning more about exotics, as well as treating wildlife, but is passionate about companion animal care, whether it’s dentistry or surgery, physical rehabilitation or forensics. She was the recipient of Merck’s Small Animal Internal Medicine Award upon graduating from AVC.