• 46°

Animal hospital will be newest addition to China Grove

By Josh Bergeron


CHINA GROVE — This year will undoubtedly be an eventful one for veterinary school sweethearts Jake Blanton and Venessa Longobardi.

In October, Longobardi and Blanton will be married. A few months later, the couple will be setting up shop on China Grove’s Main Street.

Blanton and Longobardi will be be the veterinarians at South Rowan Animal Hospital, which is currently under construction. The business will be an extension of Salisbury Animal Hospital, which is owned by Veterinarian Charles Steinman.

Since 1972, Steinman has worked in the Salisbury area. In addition to the Salisbury Animal Hospital, Steinman also owns Salisbury’s West Innes Animal Hospital. Now, he’s expanding to a growing area of Rowan County — China Grove.

“Things have worked well for the last many years, and we’ve got a lot of clients from the south Rowan area,” Steinman said. “So, we knew there was an opportunity there. Because there was the opportunity and because we’ve got two knowledgeable veterinarians, we’ll be opening up a facility in China Grove.”

South Rowan Animal Hospital will sit near the intersection of North Main Street and East Church Street. Steinman said he made sure to get a Main Street address for the business.

South Rowan Animal Hospital also will be on the site of what was formerly a location of Cannon Mills.

Blanton and Longobardi will move to the South Rowan Animal Hospital from Salisbury Animal Hospital.

Blanton, from South Carolina, said he and Longobardi, from Florida, met in veterinary school — both received their degrees from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, which is in the Caribbean.

“I used to annoy her in anatomy lab,” Blanton joked.

As part of studying at Ross University, Blanton did a clinical year at Auburn University. Longobardi did a clinical year at LSU.

Both said they’re excited about the opening of the animal hospital.

“It’s new and we’ll be able to extend all of our practice to this area of Rowan County,” Longobardi said.

“New people, new challenges,” Blanton added.

South Rowan Animal Hospital will look and operate like West Innes Animal Hospital, Steinman said. It will serve small animals — “basically dogs and cats” — he said.

He said veterinarians from other branches may cover for Longobardi and Blanton on days off or vacations.

He said the couple will be “the face of” South Rowan Animal Hospital.

“They’re both very good with people,” Stainmen said. “They can talk to people, and that’s just paramount above everything else.”

Lately, wet weather has slowed construction, but Steinman said he hopes to have the the animal hospital operational by December.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.


High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs


FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight


Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law


Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago


State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March


NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly


Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain


Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full


Kiwanis Pankcake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity


Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread


Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram


Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial


Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher


Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15


Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations


Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project


Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school


Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel


Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans


No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull


Quotes of the week


Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs


Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death


‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday