After 34 years at the Frankfort Animal Clinic and knowing the practice is in good hands, Denis King, a local veterinarian, has retired.
King, and his wife, veterinarian Myra King, bought the clinic in 1986. They sold it in 2019 to their son, Wade, also a veterinarian. Denis King’s retirement started on Dec. 30.
“I’m 62½ years old,” King said. “I decided to retire.”
King will still work at the clinic occasionally, filling in where needed.
The Kings came to Frankfort with no ties to the community.
“I’m from Meade County,” King said, “and my wife is from Morgan County. Frankfort was about halfway between our parents’ houses.”
King, one of 12 children, grew up on a farm.
“When I was in high school I wanted to run a farm and raise pigs,” he said. “I was one of 12 kids, and the farm wasn’t big enough to do that. I decided to be a vet and I could work with livestock, cats and dogs.”
King attended Elizabethtown Community College for two years and finished his undergraduate work at Kentucky, earning a degree in animal science.
He received his veterinary degree at Auburn.
Denis and Myra King met in college, and they spent one year working at a large animal practice in Fayetteville, Tennessee, before moving to Frankfort.
Myra King retired when the couple’s three sons were in middle school.
“They were in the seventh, eighth grade,” King said, “and we needed someone to run them around to where they needed to be.”
While the job has many facets, there is one in particular King likes.
“I really enjoy surgery as much as anything,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of surgery over the years — the typical spay and neuter, soft tissue surgery, orthopedic, broken limbs and torn ACLs. I’ve taken a gall bladder out before.”
King is just one of several veterinarians in his family. In addition to his wife and son, he has a brother, Patrick King, who practices in Louisville, and Wade King’s wife, Monica King, is an emergency veterinarian at Metropolitan Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service in Louisville.
King said he and his wife had received offers on the clinic in the past, but selling to their son gives them some peace of mind.
“The good thing about our son buying it is we know the staff will be taken care of, and we know the clients will be taken care of the way we want them to be,” he said.
“When you sell to a corporation, you have to do everything the way they want you to do it.”