SOUTHINGTON — Pet owners will honor a local veterinarian with a granite plaque near the town’s dog park.
Toby Kimm, a veterinarian who opened Ragged Mountain Animal Hospital in Plainville, died in January at the age of 63.
Owners of the animals he’s helped over the decades plan to gather near the dog park this Saturday at noon to install the granite plaque with his likeness on it.
In addition to being a skilled veterinarian, pet owners said Kimm, a Southington resident, was a kind and generous man who would do anything for his clients
“It’s like losing a member of our family,” Mary Sargent said of his death. She’s a dog owner and along with Heide Kapral and others is organizing Saturday’s tribute. “Hundreds and hundreds of people feel the same way.”“A livesaver”
Years ago, Sargent heard her dog’s knee pop and knew something was wrong.
It was a Sunday afternoon but she had Kimm’s cell phone number and he picked up, telling her to meet him at the clinic. After taking X-rays, Kimm did surgery that afternoon.
“He didn’t charge us a cent,” she said. “That’s just how he was, he was generous to a fault.”
When she heard about Kimm’s death, Sargent looked into getting a plaque and putting it up near the Southington dog park.
Sargent runs the Little Free Library near the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and the dog park and plans to put the plaque on the back of the little library.Granite etching
Plaques turned out to be expensive, Sargent said, and out of her price range. However Sherri Sciola, a funeral director at Della Vecchia Funeral Home, saw Sargent’s post.
She contacted a company that works with the funeral home and was able to get a granite plaque with Kimm’s face etched on it.
Sciola’s dog was also a patient of Kimm’s and she had helped the Kimm family with arrangements when he died. Due to the pandemic, the service was limited.
The Little Free Library near the dog park is Snoopy-themed and Kimm’s plaque will face the park.
“I think it’s a great tribute to him, being near the dog park and the little snoopy library,” Sciola said.Caring for people, animals
Sciola said Kimm would sometimes go to people’s houses if their dog needed to be put down, allowing for a more comfortable setting than the clinic. Laural Huggler, a veterinarian technician at the clinic, said she saw lots of acts like that over the past few decades. She described Kimm as an extremely intelligent and compassionate doctor.
“He cared about a lot of people. He did a lot for people.” Huggler said. “He cared about the animals… He liked what he did and he did it very well.”
Huggler said she’s planning on attending the Saturday gathering. It’ll take place near the Southington Dog Park on Mill Street.