Don’t be fooled by the image of our beloved mascot.
Sure, the Mountaineer dons a coonskin cap and wields a mighty musket, but in the case of Scott Moore, who donned the buckskins in the early 2000s, a critter couldn’t have a better friend.
Four years following his tenure as the Mountaineer, Moore joined his father, Jamie, at Fairmont Veterinary Hospital to care for the furry and four-legged.
Moore grew up helping dad by cleaning cages and walking dogs. The elder Moore graduated from the WVU College of Agriculture in 1971 and went on to earn a veterinary degree from Ohio State in 1975. He opened Fairmont Veterinary Hospital in 1979, the same year Scott was born.
“I grew up around the veterinary industry and was fortunate to see all facts of the profession well before college,” Moore said. “There was no real light-bulb moment for me to become a veterinarian. Over time, I realized I had the tools to be a veterinarian and felt that I’d be happiest being one.”
This is evident during one summer day at the office.
The work pace is steady as Moore and staff members bounce from one table to another treating pets for various ailments.
One of those creatures is Bentley, a white-and-black mixed breed dog, who’s undergoing an ultrasound. Bentley has been experiencing bladder and urinary problems, so Moore and company had to sedate him for the procedure. Moore placed a towel over Bentley’s eyes to calm him even more.
“It keeps him happy,” he said, as the vet gently petted the dog.
Later in the day, a less drowsy Bentley would reunite with his owner, Lorrie Bennett, of Lumberport.
As he does with all patients, Moore sat down with Bennett to explain what was going on with her pet. Moore told her he had to send out a culture for testing to determine if Bentley needs bladder surgery. The good news is that he didn’t have any stones.
“The best part of my job is when you can see that not only does the animal feel better, but the person who loves that animal feels better.”
Next, Poppy, a retriever, reunited with her owner, Jean Ireland. Poppy had a slight fever and hadn’t been eating.
“Each patient is different from the other,” Moore said. “It makes each day interesting.”
You’ve heard stories of dogs eating objects not intended for consumption. Moore has dealt with that. Gorilla Glue is a popular canine dish.
And the clinic offers chemotherapy for pets.
“Those patients are some of my favorites,” Moore said. “We see them every week. The good thing is that dogs don’t experience the side effects humans do.”
Moore followed a similar path as his father. He, too, received his undergraduate education at WVU before earning a veterinary degree from Ohio State. AtWVU, Moore studied animal and veterinary science, which provided a solid foundation for his doctorate. WVU does not offer a doctoral program for veterinary medicine, but “WVU has a top-notch program for prepping students for veterinary institutions,” he said.
His role as the Mountaineer also primed him for his future career of service. The Mountaineer makes hundreds of appearances each year—University functions, sporting events, youth camps, nursing homes, hospitals, and more.
“Being the Mountaineer made me realize there’s a big world out there, and that the little things you do can be a huge deal to somebody,” he said. “I’ve taken pictures with kids who I’ve met 13 years later. They say they still have the picture and that they still appreciate it.”
Although he’s no longer the Mountaineer, Moore still touches many lives in West Virginia. He’s treated not only cats and dogs, but reptiles, sugar gliders, and even black bears.
“I like being a vet in Fairmont, West Virginia,” said Moore, who has three cats. “I’d like to figure out ways to grow the profession here so that West Virginians can get the best vet care for their pets.
“The best part of my job is when you can see that not only does the animal feel better, but the person who loves that animal feels better. That’s the fun part. Cats and dogs don’t say ‘thank-you,’ but they can show you.”