Natalie Baker, a VCA VRA client favorite, is a Registered Veterinary Technician in our hospital’s Critical Care Unit. Natalie knew, even as a little one, that she wanted to work with animals and aspired to one day becoming a veterinarian. She started practicing early-on by bandaging her pets’ legs and by caring for them daily. Growing up, Natalie’s family had both cats and dogs but her fascination extended to all species. In fact, even insects were an attraction. How many of us can say we raised Monarch caterpillars and released them into the environment as beautiful butterflies?

As she approached adulthood, Natalie investigated many colleges with pre-veterinary/biology majors but had difficulty finding “the one” until her online search produced the Vet Tech Institute. They offered a two-year program with classes dedicated to the study of animals. VTI, located in Downtown Pittsburgh, was only four hours from Natalie’s home and what a wonderful experience it was! Natalie graduated in 2008 and went on to do an externship as an emergency and critical care technician at Greenbriar Veterinary Referral and Emergency in Urbana, Maryland. She enjoyed this practice very much as it was not only a personal challenge but provided her with a wide range of medical experience.

Natalie began her career at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in November of 2010, working in the Intensive Care Ward (ICW) but was promoted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU) in 2012. Because she firmly believes VCA VRA practices top notch medicine and readily trusts the staff with her own pets, Natalie (who still lives in PA) travels two hours a day for work.

Natalie and her boyfriend reside in a quaint home which was once a one-room schoolhouse. They live with their nine-year old Australian Shepherd “Tyler” (who saves lives by being a member of our blood donor program) and twenty free range chickens. In her spare time, she enjoys playing coed softball, gardening and pet-sitting.