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Welcome to Startown Veterinary Hospital

Your Veterinarian in Newton,NC
Call us at (828) 464-3067


We deliver exceptional veterinary service to pets and their people with Caring Hearts and Capable Hands.  

Startown Veterinary Hospital is a family oriented practice that provides comprehensive veterinary care and counseling with a goal of promoting the human-animal bond. Startown Veterinary Hospital provides medical, dental, surgical, preventive, critical, and emergency care. Our veterinary hospital provides care for dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, small rodents, and reptiles. The practice was designed for patient, client, and staff comfort and is equipped for dentistry, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, in house diagnostics, digital radiography, and overnight hospitalization. 

The Care We Give Is More Than Medical

At Startown Veterinary Hospital, our approach to veterinary care is different from many animal hospitals.  Dr. Pennell, Dr. Barlow, and Dr. Bilhorn are dedicated to setting the standard of excellence in veterinary health care and client services, while focusing on the care of each pet. They develop individualized treatment plans based on each pet and pet owner's needs. Our highly trained nursing and office staff are gentle, patient, and kind. Be assured that we will always treat your pets as if they were our own. 

We believe that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Dr. Pennell, Dr. Barlow, and Dr. Bilhorn consider themselves to be your second 'family doctor' and are committed to providing you and your pet with a very personal veterinary health care experience. This elevated level of care and attention allows you and your pet to develop a relationship with them built on trust, comfort, and confidence. Your experience in our hospital will be a very personal one.

Your pets’ health and wellbeing are very important to us, and we take every possible measure to give your animals the care they deserve.

We are happy to offer a number of resources that enable you to learn about how to take better care of your pets. Please feel free to browse our site, particularly the informational articles. The best veterinary care for animals is prevention, so becoming knowledgeable about preventative pet care is essential to the ongoing success of your animal’s health. If you have any questions, call (828) 464-3067 or contact us and we'll promptly get back to you. Our Newton veterinarian office is very easy to get to - just check out the map below! We also welcome you to subscribe to our newsletter, which is created especially for Newton pet owners.

At Startown Veterinary Hospital, we treat your pets like the valued family members they are.

Dr. Matt Pennell
Newton Veterinarian | Startown Veterinary Hospital | (828) 464-3067

2421 W Nc 10 Hwy
Newton, NC 28658

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Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you! (Please do not use for urgent requests)

  • Dr.
    Lorin Bilhorn

    Dr. Bilhorn hails from Chicago, and completed his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Minnesota in 1993. He is married to Denise, a physician practicing in Hickory, and they have 3 grown children. They spent 11 years in East Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, serving as missionaries, working in community development. Returning in 2005 to the States to be near Denise’s parents Dr. Bilhorn entered full-time veterinary practice in the Hickory area. They live on 10 acres where over the years they have enjoyed caring for their dogs, horse, birds and cat. He and his wife particularly take pleasure in spending time with family, church relationships and traveling, especially for birding.

  • Ariana
    Clinic Princess

    Ariana is an Exotic Shorthair. Ariana takes her job very seriously and she is always happy to let you admire her beauty. She closely supervises the nurses when they are taking care of feline and/or surgery patients.

  • Jenna
    Veterinary Nurse & Client Care Specialist

    Jenna joined our practice in 2012. She has worked in the veterinary field since 2006. She has 1 dog: a Beagle mix and 1 cat: a white Domestic Longhair. She loves all dogs and cats, babies to seniors and big to small.  When not working, she likes to watch movies with her kids.

  • Mandy
    Office Manager

    Mandy helped us open the practice in 2011. She has had many roles in our practice including veterinary nurse and patient care coordinator. She has a background in the human nursing field. She loves all animals, big and small, especially those with smooshed faces. She has 3 dogs: 2 boxers, and a malti-poo.

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  • Jared
    Veterinary Nurse

    Jared joined our practice in 2015.  He works part time while attending UNC Charlotte and plans to attend vet school.

  • Beth Pennell
    RVT, RN
    Practice Manager

    Beth began her career in the veterinary profession working in the kennel of a veterinary clinic while in high school. She spent her summers volunteering at the Catawba County Animal Shelter. She graduated from Gaston College in 1999 and received her license to practice as a Registered Veterinary Technician.

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  • Dr.
    Brad Barlow

    Dr. Brad Barlow has been working in the veterinary medical field for almost 30 years. He was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and completed his BS degrees in animal science and biomedical science from Texas A&M University in 1993. He received his DVM from Oklahoma State University in 1999.

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  • Dr.
    Matt Pennell
    Veterinarian, Owner

    Dr. Matt Pennell has over 24 years of experience in the veterinary profession. He started working at a veterinary clinic when he was 16 years old, walking dogs after school. He obtained his undergraduate at UNCG, and then journeyed to Ross University of Veterinary Medicine on St. Kitts for 3 years.

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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Thank you for taking such amazing care of my dog, Baby, today! She has never been good with strangers and was totally comfortable with Robyn and Dr. Barlow. You have a wonderful gift and it shows with your work; I am grateful!"
    Amber H.
  • "Dr. Matt and the staff of Startown Veterinary Hospital are the only people I trust to take care of Norman. They go all the way when it comes to taking care of your animals. Very friendly and they interact very well with your pet before they even do treatment."
    Donna A.
  • "They were great,,very professional,,first time there we took all three of our dogs,,they treated them like family..I was very happy..we finally found a vet that we trust..."
    Frankie R.

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

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  • Prairie Dogs

    Prairie dogs are cute, affable creatures. But before taking one on as a pet, check your local laws. In some states, such as Colorado, it's illegal to keep prairie dogs as pets. Mostly, this is because they may spread monkeypox. If you live in a state that welcomes pet prairie dogs, be sure to buy from ...

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  • How to Help Your New Cat Feel Welcomed in Your Home

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  • Skunks

    Home and Veterinary Care for Pet Skunks If you're an adventurous pet owner, you may love exotic animals such as skunks. You'll be happy to learn that skunks can indeed make excellent domestic pets, but only if they receive the proper care to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Your veterinary team can help ...

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  • Flying Squirrels

    Much like sugar gliders, flying squirrels make affectionate pets when purchased young and raised by their owner. Unlike sugar gliders, however, flying squirrels are rodents that need veterinary care specific to the species. Your veterinary team can help with the care and treatment of flying squirrels. ...

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  • Fennec Foxes

    Fennec Fox Care Guide With oversized ears and mischievous faces, fennec foxes are cute as can be. But these exotic pets require a lot of care to stay healthy and happy. Health At just three pounds, fennec foxes are the smallest member of the fox family. Native to the Sahara desert, fennec foxes are ...

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  • Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

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  • Snakes

    If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, then you might be interested in owning a snake. However, there are a few aspects of owning a snake that you need to be aware of before you make this type of commitment. Here’s what you need to know. What to Know Before Choosing a Pet Snake Before you purchase ...

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  • Domestic Pigs

    Pigs are great for families who want a relatively exotic but easy to care for a pet. Whether miniature, like a pot-bellied pig, or a full-sized animal, caring for a pig is similar to caring for a cat or dog. Health Domestic pigs need to see a veterinarian regularly for vaccinations and checkups. We ...

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  • Gerbils

    Gerbils are great little pets for pet owners who don't have room for a dog or cat. They're friendly and fun to watch, but they do take a moderate level of care and investment. If you're thinking of getting a gerbil, here's what you'll need to know to keep him happy and healthy, including giving him a ...

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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Startown Veterinary Hospital


7:30 am-12:00 pm

1:30 pm-5:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

1:30 pm-5:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

1:30 pm-5:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

1:30 pm-5:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

1:30 pm-5:00 pm


8:30 am-1:00 pm