Dr. Barry Simmons is a practicing dentist in Athens, where he has been a resident for most of his life. After rescuing some unwanted Easter chicks as a young child, he developed a deep love and fascination for birds, particularly talking parrots. While in dental school, he saved a pigeon, and later had her in his dental office waiting room until her passing.
During his early years as a dentist, Dr. Simmons made trips down to southern Colombia to perform dental work on natives living along the Amazon River, as he didn’t have many patients at the time back home. This began a 30-year run as a volunteer dentist in rural areas of developing countries. After these trips, his “going away” gifts from the missionary hosts would be a parrot that was kept in his office aviary. All of Dr. Simmons’s birds were taken to the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine for their medical needs, before the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital was built. Due to his relationship with the College, when his Dachshund needed spinal surgery, Dr. Simmons knew where to take him.
Many years later when his rescue Greyhound, Aldi, began limping, Dr. Simmons brought him to the new UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Simmons explains, “I am so thankful the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine and UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital exist in Athens and offer the best medical care for those of us with animals of all kinds.”