Dr. Grant Jacobson, the Hometown Veterinarian, celebrates 25 years in Marshalltown

T-R PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY The Hometown Veterinarian Owner/Operator Dr. Grant Jacobson, pictured with a cat named Chilly, is celebrating 25 years of practicing in Marshalltown with an open house set for June 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 101 Iowa Ave. W. Ste. 300.

Dr. Grant Jacobson, who grew up on a farm near Ferguson and graduated from the old LDF-SEMCO High School (now East Marshall), first moved north to Minnesota after completing veterinary school at Iowa State University, but he and his wife Jami, an alumni of Marshalltown High School (MHS), dreamed of someday returning to the area where they were both born and raised. In 1999, the right opportunity came along, and the rest is history.

A quarter of a century later, Jacobson continues to practice in Marshalltown, and since 2018, he has owned and operated his own practice, the Hometown Veterinarian, at 101 Iowa Ave. W. Ste. 300. If it had been up to him, he would have started his career in central Iowa, but Jacobson initially couldn’t find a job here and instead headed for Wyoming, Minn., a small town just northeast of the Twin Cities. He finally got the call home from Animal Clinic — The Vet two years later, however, and he and his young family returned.

One of the reasons, he joked, was that his oldest son, a baby at the time, didn’t handle long car rides well, so the five-hour trips back and forth between Wyoming and the Marshalltown area on holidays and for family gatherings were a challenge, to say the least. Jacobson had gotten a call about coming back and at first declined because the family was happy in Minnesota, but after a few of those road trips, his answer changed quickly.

Another chapter in his career began when Animal Clinic — The Vet was sold to VCA, and Jacobson decided to branch out on his own and open The Hometown Veterinarian at its current location, which has grown and evolved further over the last six years with four additional vets now on staff and the amount of space nearly doubled since then. He had always been interested in the idea of having his own practice someday, even if it didn’t happen exactly the way he originally planned.

Like any other field, there have been major changes in the industry over the last three decades, with Jacobson noting that the first labeled pain reliever for dogs was released in 1997, the year he graduated from veterinary school.

“It wasn’t long before that where you’d still have people saying things like ‘Well, animals don’t feel pain like people do,’ which is completely untrue. Anybody and everybody knows that’s not the case,” he said. “What I’ve really seen is where pain relief was kind of this afterthought, (now) it’s an expectation.”

The way humans treat their pets has also evolved — the days of leaving the dog in the barn or the doghouse are mostly over as many now sleep in the same beds as their owners and are essentially treated as members of the family. For many millennials, it’s often joked that dogs are the new kids.

“I think that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of reasons for that, but one of the big ones that I believe and other veterinarians have pointed out, so I didn’t just come up with this on my own, is flea control,” he said. “We have such good products and things to control that where it used to be ‘Well, you don’t want to let the dog in the house because you don’t want fleas.’ Well now, we’re using the things, and nobody even thinks about fleas anymore because you just give them the stuff, and it’s not an issue.”

Fundamentally, he added, most pet owners now expect the same level of care for their dogs and cats that they would want for their children, and quality care is a core aspect of Jacobson’s mission. In reflecting on his 25 years practicing in the community, he thought back to an ethics class he took in college and the instructor’s comment that veterinarians are part of the only medical profession where they will see their patients from birth to death multiple times over.

To celebrate hitting the quarter century mark, Jacobson will hold an open house at his Iowa Avenue location from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 28.

As for what he has in store in the future, Jacobson aims to continue providing top-level care for small animals (anything that doesn’t have hooves or an exoskeleton, in his words), and a long-term goal is to establish a 24-hour emergency service. Of course, that will require adequate staffing to make it a reality.

“If I had a couple emergency veterinarians call me up tomorrow, I mean, I could be open with it next week, but that’s probably the biggest goal,” he said.

To learn more about The Hometown Veterinarian, visit https://www.hometownveterinarian.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/TheHometownVeterinarian/.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or



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