Meet Your Merchant: Pleasant Valley Veterinary Center |

Meet Your Merchant: Pleasant Valley Veterinary Center

From left, veterinary doctors Sue Lester, Mimi Vishoot and Linda Fossum of Pleasant Valley Veterinary Center in Penn Valley.
Cory Fisher/

While still a teen in Los Gatos, Mimi Vishoot spent summers working in the office with her father, who was an orthopedic surgeon. While the field of medicine interested her, she still wasn’t sure what direction she wanted to take. But one day, when a veterinarian came out to her home to check on her beloved horse, something shifted.

“I watched the vet and thought to myself, ‘Hmmmmm,’ that looks pretty good,’” said Vishoot.

She went on to study molecular biology and chemistry at Humboldt State University, prerequisites for veterinary school. Upon graduation, she spent four years working for a bio tech company, doing research on the swine flu vaccination.

While Vishoot enjoyed research, her long-held dream of becoming a vet never left her, and eventually she decided to apply to school. In 1994, she graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and worked in a small animal clinic in Davis for the next six years. In 2000, Vishoot and her husband, Steve Nicholson, moved to Nevada County, where Vishoot continued to work in several small animal clinics with several of her former UCD classmates.

In 2005, Vishoot and Nicholson learned that a small Penn Valley vet’s office was for sale, and they jumped at the chance. While Vishoot ran the small clinic — which they renamed Pleasant Valley Veterinary Center — Nicholson helped his wife with bookkeeping and office management. He has since gone on to work as a software developer at Autometrix.

“I’d always had this vision of creating a peaceful, low stress environment for pets and their owners,” said Vishoot. “I think we’ve done that. People seem to pick up on that and animals seem to enjoy coming here.”

Vishoot now has a staff of nine, whom all seem to be handpicked when it comes to fostering a patient and compassionate atmosphere where pets and their owners don’t feel rushed. Among those are Dr. Sue Lester, who came on board in 2009 (and is a former UCD classmate of Vishoot’s), and, most recently, Dr. Linda Fossum, who brings more than 25 years of experience treating Nevada County small animals. She brings with her a special interest in preventive care, low-stress handling, dermatology and internal medicine.

“Our clinic is experiencing a pleasant growth phase and having Dr. Fossum join our team has been great,” said Vishoot. “She has been practicing in our community for quite a long time, and she brings a wealth of experience and wisdom with her.”

Dog and cat services at Pleasant Valley Veterinary Center include wellness care, internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, geriatric care, digital radiography, ultrasound and referral to regional specialists.

Not to be overlooked is “Patrick,” the “Feline Executive Officer,” otherwise known as the office cat, who Vishoot says “reminds us to keep a calm and low stress environment for our feline and canine patients and their people.”

“There is joy and grief when it comes to owning a pet,” said Vishoot. “But it’s extremely rewarding work. Having a staff who shares a goal of mentorship and creating a peaceful, respectful environment makes it that much more enjoyable. We all want to be the best stewards we can for our pets.”

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at

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