Boyd Thayn, a well-known and loved veterinarian, recently retired from his practice after more than 45 years in business. Thayn graduated from Colorado State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1976.
Following a short internship in Murray, he and his wife Mary moved back to the area in which they had both grown up in, bringing their two young children with them, in order to establish a practice. The couple rented a farm space on the corner of Main Street and Airport Road to begin their work while also securing funding from a local bank for a building loan.
Their new clinic was completed in 1979 on Airport Road, known as the Animal Hospital of Eastern Utah, where Thayn worked until his retirement in 2022.
In 1981, Thayn applied for certification through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), which is a prestigious affiliation that is awarded to hospitals for maintaining rigorous standards, continuing education, excellence in care and staying current on regulations.
With this certification, hospitals are required to re-certify every three years. The Animal Hospital of Eastern Utah was successful in maintaining the certification from 1981 throughout its entirety, passing the inspections and requirements. Thayn credited this as helping him stay current on the standards of care.
The first ten years that the hospital was open, Thayn worked seven days per week and was on call 24 hours of those days. His family explained that this was due to him trying to establish his practice and build clientele while offering a local option for all animal owners and patrons. Through his practice, Thayn offered a full-service laboratory, pharmacy and surgery, which included orthopedics, dentistry and ambulatory services, while treating a wide range of animals.
These animals included common domesticated pets, such as dogs and cats, but ranged to rats, exotic birds, ducks, pigs and more. He also housed a thriving large animal practice that treated cows, llamas, horses, sheep, goats and more. Over the years, Thayn also welcomed the rare python, moose, alligator, raccoon, owl, eagle and brown bear cub.
Thayn’s family shared that he once sutured a wound on an endangered migrating whooping crane that had been attacked by an eagle in the area. Additionally, a circus that had traveled through the area hired Thayn to examine animals for a health certificate, giving him the rare chance to see large cats and a baby elephant personally.
Thayn expressed his great appreciation for the local support that he and his practice received throughout the years. He stated that business in the area often fluctuated with the mining economy, though locals kept his doors open through continued patronage.
Thayn was able to stay busy enough to grow his business and raise a family in the area. All five children worked at the clinic at different times, either on a voluntary basis or randomly assisting their father last minute.
In 1998, Thayn was elected as president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association. In that same year, the annual continuing education conference for the state was hosted in Price, including a tour of Nine Mile Canyon and a special museum tour. This was a great opportunity for Thayn to spotlight the community that he served and loved.
“I have been so fortunate to be able to do a job I love, with people I have known since childhood,” said Thayn. “I couldn’t ask for a better life.”
A retirement for Thayn will be hosted at the Carbon County Fairgrounds on April 30 from 1 pm to 3 pm as a way for him to thank the community for their support. All are welcome to attend.