It was one thing to decide I wanted to be a Veterinarian. That was essentially in my DNA. You can ask my Mom, my family, my old photo albums and the little scars on my wrists from the tiny feral kittens that I insisted on taking care of as a child; there has never been anything else that I truly wanted to do with my life.
dr radford as a child

Being a Veterinarian is rewarding but exhausting. Fun and extremely sad. Challenging beyond description. But being a business owner? That challenge was never really on my radar.

As time went on Post-Veterinary school it became more and more clear that I had a specific vision for my future. I wanted to take care of pets in a modern, compassionate, convenient, integrated, and thorough way. I also wanted to go to work every day to a wonderful workplace culture, a vet hospital that prioritizes quality care and decreased stress for its patients, and a place that team members were proud to work and excited to be.

After many years, in multiple states, of looking for the right primary care practice for me, it became clear that if I wanted it, I was going to have to build it. It was time to go for it. Now, building a business….a veterinary hospital….from the ground up during a pandemic, while you’re also working nights weekends, and holidays at a very busy veterinary ER is, well, not for the faint of heart. It has felt as if every day is another obstacle…. such as a hoop that is on fire that I have to jump through while balancing a teacup on my head and also holding a watermelon with one hand. The closer I get to being able to care for your pets, the more worth it those hoops are. Someday soon you’ll see us at the corner of Paul Huff Parkway and Georgetown Road in Cleveland, TN!

Let me tell you 6 things we love about Cleveland, TN.

  1. It’s people – kind, caring, hardworking and animal loving! The people of Bradley, Hamilton, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and surrounding counties can all find care for their pets at our Hospital.
  2. The Pets! – What’s not to love?? All shapes, sizes, species. I can’t wait to meet your furred/feathered/scaled family. Maybe someday you’ll find your next pet in our hospital’s very own Adoption Program!
  3. Lee University & Cleveland State Community College – seeing students learning to make the world a better place right in our town keeps us all young!
  4. Small Businesses – are the heartbeat of any local economy. We are one, too! Locally owned, locally operated, locally dreamed, locally designed, and locally built. We’re here for this community in more ways than one!
  5. The Outdoors – everyday life can be stressful. From almost every place in Cleveland you can see a mountain or hill in the distance, a blue sky above you, and if you’re extra lucky – a Creek! The Greenway expansion is going to follow along Candies Creek, meaning, it we will eventually have a beautiful walking path right to our Hospital!
  6. Creekside Veterinary Hospital! To say we’ve dreamed about this is a reality. To say we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this doesn’t even cover the half of it. To say that Creekside is coming to Cleveland, for you, because pets are family – well — that’s as true as it gets.

Construction should begin by the spring of 2022 and when it is completed, Creekside will be full service veterinary hospital offering compassionate, collaborative, modern pet care in a convenient location! Dr. Denise Radford and her high quality, hand selected healthcare team are so excited to meet you and your pets. Until that time comes, you can find her for annual wellness and preventative care as a mobile practitioner (you can book online through this website!) and for more thorough workups and emergencies, at time of posting, she still works at Veterinary Care and Specialty Group in Chattanooga, TN.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


The path may look different than I thought it would, but I think I’ve ended up where I need to be – planting roots right here, in Cleveland, TN

See you soon!

Denise Radford, DVM
Owner, Creekside Veterinary Hospital
Low Stress Handling Certified