Hannah Darrow

Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital- Staff Feature

Hannah keeps all gears oiled and running smoothly at Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital. As Practice Manager, she gets to see the "extra behind the scenes behind the scenes" world of accounting, bills and evaluations. Stuff you might think is boring, Hannah thinks is fun! "I love figuring out ways that we can always improve at the hospital," she explains. Every day is different-her schedule changes based on staff and pet patient needs.  This kind of dynamic life is just the way she likes to roll. 

Hannah's path to veterinary hospital manager began way back with her beloved stuffed animals-her first veterinary patients. Her earliest childhood memories are about her Beanie Babies having feelings.

Hannah-Darrow-1080

Hannah Darrow

Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital
Staff Feature

Hannah keeps all gears oiled and running smoothly at Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital. As Practice Manager, she gets to see the "extra behind the scenes behind the scenes" world of accounting, bills and evaluations. Stuff you might think is boring, Hannah thinks is fun! "I love figuring out ways that we can always improve at the hospital," she explains. Every day is different-her schedule changes based on staff and pet patient needs.  This kind of dynamic life is just the way she likes to roll. 

Hannah's path to veterinary hospital manager began way back with her beloved stuffed animals-her first veterinary patients. Her earliest childhood memories are about her Beanie Babies having feelings.

"Once my parents bought me a plastic vet cart for Hanukkah, it was all over," she laughs. Her nine year old self created stories about each stuffed animal, then she used a stitch-ripper to open their seams. "I wrote different ailments on pieces of paper, like 'broken arm,' then put the paper inside the stuffed animal and stitched them up." 

Follow up conversations with her stuffed animals revealed which one needed priority treatment. By that time, she'd forgotten which paper she'd put inside so it was a surprise when she unstitched them. "I bandaged them and used a straw as a catheter, or put a cup on a paw to heal it." 

In middle school, Hannah was old enough to volunteer at the local animal control with her Girl Scout troop.

The experience still brings her to tears today because animals only had seven days to be adopted until they were killed-any sick animal was immediately euthanized due to lack of resources. "There was a wooden orange star on a cat's cage and that meant it was the cat's last chance to be adopted." She decided to devote her life's work to caring for all animals.

Hannah's highschool job placement test said she should pursue animal prosthetics. A fitting career that would combine her ingenuity, creativity and love for animals. She studied chemistry and biology degrees at the University of Oregon to move forward on this path. At the same time, she worked at Greenhill Humane Society as a cattery technician. "All of the techs were super cool," she recalls and says they encouraged her to pursue a vet technician degree for job security. "I'd never wanted to be a vet anyhow, so learning about RVTs solidified what I wanted to do."

She experienced trauma and health difficulties during university and took a break from school. Hannah decided to follow her vet tech dreams and was accepted into the prestigious Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in Denver. "I went from struggling in traditional school to being a gifted student at Bel-Rea." All of those years caring for her stuffed animals, pets, animal control patients and cattery residents had prepared her for this moment. She received all A's, was on Honor Roll and often took the hospital's blue tongue skink to class. It sat on her lap. 


After vet-tech school, Hannah applied to mixed-animal practices and interviewed with Dr. Krome at the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.

Her first experience was working on a cheetah with Dr. Krome at Safari West.  She realized she wouldn't be bored if she accepted the job offer.  "Everything we do is creative. For example, nothing is pre-made for mouse surgery," she says of working at Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital. 

Her favorite contribution so far is improving the hospital's already excellent rat anesthesia procedures. "I noticed that rats often came out of surgery with upper respiratory issues because the anesthesia masks covered their entire heads." Hannah's love for rats motivated her to order special anesthetic parts and she created rat-nose shaped masks. If there is a rat vet tech hall of fame, Hannah would be in it. 

Cat-shaped mascots Dobi and Noodle receive Hannah's love too via signature shaved haircuts. "I turn them into topiaries," she says with pride. She loves when clients enjoy the hairdos. Even her muses are fans of her work.  "Dobi prances around with his chest fluff out and spiked head hair." Hannah also appreciates Noodle who is a willing participant as a demo cat. "We use Noodle to show people how to give medicines to their cats." Thank you Noodle, for your contribution. 


Hannah is living her wildest animal care dreams at Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.

She wants pet parents to know that "no matter how big or small your pet is, it is your bond with your pet that makes me love this work." She is here for the people and their pets-for the loving, caring relationships. "When someone says their hamster helps them through depression, that is so great."

She feels fulfilled in her role as a hospital manager and appreciates the happy group of people that she works with. When Hannah took on the managerial role two years ago, she decided to be "the boss that staff always wanted." She is proud of her gender diverse, progressive staff who know their mental health always comes first. "I try to be open minded and non-judgmental," she says of her style, "and I listen."   She believes that only well-cared for staff can give the best care to animal patients. 

Hannah's path began with animal care and has developed into caring for people too.  "I came for the animals and I'm staying for the people."

When you come by for a visit, let Hannah know what your relationship with your pet means to you! She might have a flamingo under one arm and a komodo dragon by her side, just to give you a head's up. 

Written by Roxanne Darrow - 12/17/2020

Written by Roxanne Darrow - 12/17/2020