McNew Retires after 44 years

McNew Retires after 44 years

Marla Jones, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala.-- After forty-four years, Dr. Joseph McNew, DVM will pet his last patient and retire on Friday. 

Dr. McNew graduated from the University of Kentucky.  Since the University of Kentucky did not have a veterinary school, he transferred to Auburn University to continue his doctorate degree. While at Auburn, he met his late wife Emily who was from Scottsboro.  

After graduation, the couple ventured back to Kentucky.  The first winter in Kentucky, there was a 20-inch snow storm.  Emily could not get out of the house for a week.  She told Dr. McNew, “ I’m headed back to Alabama and I hope you join me.”  The rest is history. 

Dr. McNew opened his practice in Fort Payne in August 1979. During his career, he has had many adventures.  He has de-scented skunks, been chased by cows, took care of iguanas, been bit by too many dogs to count, and scratched by numerous cats. The strangest thing that he said happened in his career, was a barn falling in on him as he was delivering a calf. 

Dr. McNew stated that he had a pretty good track record with animals but two people had heart attacks and died while he was working on their animals. He thought one animal owner had passed out while watching surgery on their dog but they actually had a heart attack. 

The other death occurred after chasing a cow in Lickskillet. A farm hand went inside to call the owner, informing him that they could not capture the cow.  Dr. McNew told, in his wonderful storytelling manner, that he waited an “ awful long time” and he went to check on the farm hand where he found him laying on the ground  The man had suffered a heart attack.  This was before cell phones and Dr. McNew flagged a car coming down the road for assistance. The lady pulled up and saw the deceased farm hand and fainted.  That left Dr. McNew trying to get help for two people while waiting for another car to come for assistance. 

Dr. Jessica Jones will be taking over the practice beginning August 1, 2022. 

Dr. McNew will not have much idle time to rest.  He has a large sheep and cattle farm that he looks forward to working on. 

“I would like to thank all my past clients and staff for their support. I appreciate all their loyalty making DeKalb Animal Hospital one of the largest practices in North Alabama” stated Dr. McNew. “ I will miss all my furbabies”. 

We will miss Dr. McNew’s smile and kind manner.  Southern Torch would like to wish him the best in his retirement. 

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