Having grown-up on a farm in Germany, Dr. Ina Obernesser, owner of Uptown Veterinary Associates on West 112th Street, has been an animal lover since childhood.
“I grew-up in the country and we always had animals, especially dogs and cats,” she said. “I always had a tremendous affinity for animals, I loved being around them. They make me happy.”
Buoyed by her passion for animal welfare, Obernesser moved to Italy to study before relocating to New York City in 1991. She worked as a veterinary technician and completed her pre-vet studies at Queens College. Along the way, Obernesser met her husband, James Weeks, while on vacation in Yucatan, Mexico in 1989.
In 2004, she received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts. Following a couple of years of private veterinary practice
in New York City and Westchester, Obernesser opened Uptown Vets in 2007 with the help of her the help of her husband, who is a construction manager.
“I love interacting with animals and their owners,” Obernesser said. “I love to educate people on how to better take care of animals.”
Although Uptown Vets has been open for a relatively short time, Obernesser said she truly feels community support for her practice.
“We were unbelievably welcomed to this community. People are just so happy that we’re in the neighborhood,” she said. “It makes a big difference to have a reliable vet in the neighborhood.”
Pet owner Sherri Laurence seems to agree.
“I have been going to Dr. Obernesser for a few years now and I can honestly say that she is one of the best vets that I have ever gone to,” Laurence said. “She loves all animals as if they were her own.”
Weeks said, “I’m glad that Ina’s work is being recognized because she deserves it. She works her butt off, often putting in between 70 and 80 hours per week.”
Obernesser adds that her staff is extremely dedicated and passionate when it comes to quality care for pets.
“What we’re trying to convey to people here is that we’re not just here to make a living,” she said. “We have to make a living, but we truly care about what we do and I think it shows.”
In addition to her daily practice, Obernesser also makes her pet rescue work a priority. Some of the groups she works with include New York Pet Rescue and the Mexican-based Isla Animals. She helps these organizations to spay, neuter and rescue unwanted dogs and cats in the United States, Canada and Mexico. She has a rescued beagle and a Mexican rescue named Pancho.
Ruth Frumkin, of Pet Rescue in New York, called Obernesser a “wonderful vet” who makes a tremendous difference.
“If we did not have Ina as a vet, we would be in a lot of trouble,” Frumkin said. “She is more than generous when it comes to helping our Pet Rescue organization and the animals we bring to her.”
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