A deep love of pets fuels Rainbow Vets
Linda Mitchell grew up on a farm in Lordstown, Ohio. Her family did not have much money and could not afford to provide proper care for their animals. “I love puppies and kittens, but on the farm, the animals kept dying,” Mitchell said. “It was terrible.”
This experience inspired her to get a degree in veterinary medicine. She attended Hiram College, majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. She then went to The Ohio State University, where she earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1998.
After graduation, Mitchell began working at Blue Cross Animal Hospital, which was located in Cleveland Heights. In 2002, she left Blue Cross and started the Rainbow Mobile Vet Clinic. Two years later, she opened the Rainbow Veterinary Clinic on Noble Road in Cleveland Heights.
“We do a lot of research,” said Mitchell. “We look at all of the cases and try to find answers. We look beyond simple treatment to find out how we can really treat the animals and save their lives. We are always trying to stay up on new things and keep current on things.”
“We’re medicine nerds,” said Jessica Alcorn, a veterinary doctor at Rainbow. “We love medicine. We read about medicine. We get very excited about learning new things.”
Alcorn also grew up on a farm and developed a love for animals when she was very young. She also loved the arts, and earned a degree in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating, she worked as a wallpaper designer in Shaker Heights.
“Working in the arts didn’t fulfill me,” Alcorn said. “And I love working with animals, so I decided to change my career.” She went to OSU and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine. She met Mitchell when she worked as a vet assistant at Blue Cross Animal Hospital, and when Mitchell started Rainbow, Alcorn joined her.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, they took their mobile vet clinic to New Orleans to take care of animals injured in the storm. They also loaded the mobile clinic with homeless animals, brought them to Cleveland and helped find new homes for them.
Mitchell sold the mobile clinic in 2006, but Rainbow makes house calls in Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, South Euclid, Lyndhurst and Beachwood. Rainbow is one of the few veterinary clinics in the area that offers at-home service.
In addition to treating animals, Rainbow works with three area rescue groups: the South Euclid Humane Society, Waterloo Alley Cats and Cleveland Underdog Rescue. Rainbow’s staff loves finding homes for animals.
Asked what makes Rainbow so special, Mitchell pointed to the staff. “Everyone gets along and they all work well together,” she said. “It’s like a family.”
“Everyone is really well-trained,” Alcorn said. “This staff has more training and experience than you will find at most places.”
Both Mitchell and Alcorn have several animals of their own. Mitchell, who lives in North Royalton, has three dogs and two cats. Alcorn, who lives in South Euclid, has two dogs and three cats. Their love of animals makes Rainbow a special place.
Rainbow Veterinary Clinic
2636 Noble Road, Cleveland Heights
Mon., Tues., Wed. and Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thurs. 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Every other Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years, and is the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. Henke has been taking his dog, Bogey, to Rainbow Veterinary Clinic for the past couple of years.