Black woman opens N. Charleston Animal Hospital and tackles racial disparities on the ground

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A black veterinarian has just taken over ownership of a new animal hospital in North Charleston in an area where the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that only 2% of veterinarians are black.

Dr. Kristin Ingram is trying to normalize pet owners seeing someone of color in places like North Charleston where residents are predominantly black.

Ingram said her love for animals began when she was six years old when she grew up next to a veterinarian in Virginia. She then became a wildlife biologist and eventually went to Moncks Corner as an associate veterinarian.

Ingram now owns the North Charleston Animal Hospital and said many of his patients are proud to see a woman of color caring for their furry loved ones for a change.

She said she hopes expanding veterinary services to an area like North Charleston will help her reach community members in a way that makes them feel more represented.

“They’re really happy to see this, and I hope I inspire more minority kids to do this,” Ingram said. “They can definitely become vets and more. They can own their own practices and make a difference in their communities.

Ingram said there was always a need for more diversity in the veterinary field. She said that over her career she has seen a shift from men dominating the field now towards women. She hopes this change will spark a push for more minorities to become vets.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said many practices are now working to attract underrepresented minorities through diversity and inclusion training and diversifying interview panels for open positions.

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Benjamin M. Yerger