Dr. Mark Ketcham launched the Fletcher Heights Animal Hospital in the year 2000, fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning his own veterinary practice. Awarded his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Dr. Ketcham received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois and went on to practice as a veterinarian in central Phoenix for several years before opening his own practice. Fueled by a passion for helping animals, Dr. Ketcham enjoys providing people with the information and advice they need to prevent illnesses, treat health issues, and make informed choices about their pets.
Interested in science, medicine, and animals from a young age, Dr. Ketcham’s love for veterinary medicine was a natural blend of all three interests. “I was always bringing home injured animals,” Dr. Ketcham remembers, “from birds and turtles to injured seagulls and turtles.” Driven to find help for these creatures, Dr. Ketcham grew quite connected to the area wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians, frequently seeking their help with the animals he rescued. When not rescuing animals, Dr. Ketcham spent his boyhood days on the beaches of Long Island, boating on the Great South Bay, listening to summer concerts at Jones Beach, and fishing, crabbing and catching Blue crabs.
Growing up, Dr. Ketcham had quite a number of pets in addition to the animals he rescued. Aside from an assortment of fish and the rabbits that he bred and raised, Dr. Ketcham’s favorite animal was a rescue shepherd mix named Poppy. He can still recall those kindergarten memories of his mother leading him through the house to surprise him with Poppy – rescued by Dr. Ketcham’s grandfather from roadside abandonment. “We spent hours together exploring Long Island where I grew up,” Dr. Ketcham recalls, thinking back on the many memories the two shared during Poppy’s fifteen years.
Today the Ketcham’s home is still full of pets. His wife, Greta (who is also a veterinarian), and their two daughters have a sixteen-year-old domestic shorthair tabby named Pippi and a black standard poodle named Zuch Noir. Earlier this spring, after researching the best exotic pet for their family, the Ketcham’s brought home five dwarf female rats, all from the same litter. “The girls love them! Rats are very friendly, social animals,” shares Dr. Ketcham, “they do best when you have more than one together.”
Aside from caring for and playing with their beloved pets, the Ketcham family spends much of their time outdoors. With both daughters on the competitive swim team, many evenings and weekends are dedicated to swimming practices and meets. During the off-season, the family enjoys vacationing in Southern California, visiting family in Chicago, and visiting Flagstaff, where four-mile hikes and visits to Sedona round out their days. Dr. Ketcham, an avid Star Trek fan in his youth, also loves watching movies with his family, with Pirates of the Caribbean topping the recent favorites list.
Dr. Ketcham relishes staying up on the latest trends in veterinary medicine, frequently attending professional scientific conventions and continuing education programs. Keeping pace with expanding medical knowledge, Dr. Ketcham’s practice has enhanced their focus on dental health, offering modern advanced digital dental care. “Dental health is one area that the public isn’t widely aware of,” informs Dr. Ketcham, “yet proper dental care is an integral piece of a pet’s overall health.”
One of the things that excites Dr. Ketcham is how cutting-edge technology has transformed the services available at Fletcher Heights Animal Hospital. “Stem cell therapy is one of the most exciting things we’ve seen,” reveals Dr. Ketcham, explaining the process of collecting fat cells and reinjecting the isolated stem cells into damaged areas within an animal’s body. “These basic primordial cells have the ability to transform into specialized cells enabling the body to regenerate and repair itself.”
Dr. Ketcham grew up wrestling and playing football – from PeeWee league to Varsity. Facing those sporting challenges has given Dr. Ketcham a special appreciation for his coworkers at Fletcher Heights. “I work with a highly skilled group of nurses and technicians here,” he shares. “Each of us has a critical part to play and together we make an outstanding team.”