Montoursville roots rule veterinary hospital

Since 1991, Dr. Robert L. Hocker has been the veterinarian at Montoursville Veterinary Hospital, 416 Broad Street.

“He’s great with animals, and people definitely like him, too. We try to gear our practice toward the clients,” said Stacey Hocker, office manager and Dr. Robert Hocker’s wife.

“Bob and I both graduated from Montoursville Area High School,” she said. “We lived out of the area for a while, but we came back in 1991 because he wanted to start a practice here in his hometown. He grew up here.”

Having a close connection to Montoursville is important to them.

“We know the people of Montoursville, and it’s a close knit community. A lot of our clients are people we know and are very close to,” she said. “I think the biggest part of our advertising is just by word of mouth. People know us … It’s a really important part for us to know the community.”

They love the area and wanted to raise a family in Montoursville.

“We do like to contribute to the community. Our children all went to Montoursville. It’s one of the reasons why we moved back here,” she said. “We wanted to be close to family farms, have a practice and have our kids go to Montoursville, too. We feel the Montoursville area has a lot to offer, and we like being part of it.”

Robert takes this friendly outlook into his practice.

“He likes to have time with the clients, and he doesn’t like to be on a schedule that he’s pushed with them,” she said. “He’s very hands on.”

At one point, he even used to make house calls.

“Our clients have been coming for years, so we cater to them and their needs,” she said.

With a staff of about five people, time management is important as they value clients’ time by running as efficiently as possible.

“Our appointments run pretty much on time. We don’t usually have a back up unless there’s an emergency. We keep things pretty smooth and stay with appointment times,” she said.

One important thing to remember when owning a pet is the responsibility, according to Stacey.

“When someone takes on a pet, they really have taken on the responsibility of routinely taking care of that pet and not waiting until the pet is sick,” she said. “Do preventive care and have annual exams to make sure everything is okay. Some things you can’t see by a regular owner’s eye.”

She said making sure vaccinations are up to date can be vital to a pet’s health. In the warmer months, Lyme disease can be an issue.

“Ticks can be really bad, and that’s been a concern here,” she said. “Ticks and Lyme disease can be treated if caught early with an animal. If it’s not, it can lead to kidney failure and big problems.”

Preventive care can be key to helping a pet get through Lyme disease.

“We do tests that check for Lyme disease,” she said. “We also offer preventive care, and we can talk to clients about what’s best for their animal.”

With so many different types of preventive flea and tick products on the market, finding what is best for any pet is best talked out with a veterinarian.

“A lot of the options are good and some are better for different animals. There’s a lot of products out there, like chewables and liquids,” she said. “It’s just finding what works best for your pet. We can find what works for you and get a good option.”

Montoursville Veterinary Hospital is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, please call 570-368-5937 or visit