West Loop Animal Hospital

1301 West Loop 281
Longview, TX 75604



William E. Howard, D.V.M.

Dr. Howard's love for science, medicine and animals brought him to the field of veterinary medicine. Dr. Howard graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1973. Before Animal Clinic At The Crossings opened in 1997, he worked with his partners Dr. Owens and Dr. Balliett at West Loop Animal Hospital, which opened in 1981. Animal Clinic At The Crossings was sold in 2008 and Dr. Howard returned to practice at West Loop Animal Hospital. Dr. Howard is an active member in many associations including: American Veterinary Medical Association, and he was President in 1979 of the East Texas Veterinary Medical Association, which he is still an active member. He is also on the grievance board for our East Texas Pet Emergency Clinic in Longview, Texas. During the year, Dr. Howard attends veterinary conferences and seminars continuing his education in veterinary medicine. 

Dr. Howard is an outdoorsman. He enjoys fishing, hunting and maybe cutting down a few dead trees. His wife, Jan, is an incredible baker and brings us her famous chocolate cake! He has five grandchildren, Ethan, Isaac, Khloe, Evan and LeLe. It is always a pleasure to see them because they are quite entertaining. Dr. Howard has two daughters, Laura and Wendy. They are a close Christian family. Dr. Howard also has a Boykin Spaniel officially named Dixieland's Rebel Yell, but he is known to us as "Rebel".  He is also a board member of the Boykin Spaniel Club and Breeders Association and is serving as head of the Health and Genetic Committee. 

We know Dr. Howard to be a teacher. He is always willing to speak at any event about veterinary medicine. Our team and our clients love and trust Dr. Howard. This proficient veterinarian has a great sense of humor and bedside manner. When our team members need to ask him a question, he answers promptly. He asks probing questions and will provide more information than we had anticipated, so we are sure to always have a pen and pad ready! The best qualities we find in Dr. Howard are his abilities to continue to learn, practice excellent up-to-date veterinary care, leading his team, and teaching others. He does this with grace and has a true caring nature for people and animals. 

Barton L. Owens, D.V.M.

Who would have thought that this highly-respected and competent veterinarian once wanted to be a dentist? Dr. Owens started out at Baylor University in the field of pre-dentistry, but later transferred to Texas A&M University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Science, Magna Cum Laude, in 1978 and subsequently received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Cum Laude, in 1979. Biology and Life Sciences captured Dr. Owens interest at a young age. He spent summers on the farm instead of the little league fields like many young men his age. After watching his brother-in-law, also a vet, he finally felt the calling to become a veterinarian himself.

Dr. Owens and Dr. Howard purchased West Loop Animal Hospital in 1981 and were joined by Dr. Balliett in 1986. Dr. Owens is an active member in the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Gregg County Veterinary Medical Association, and the East Texas Veterinary Association. Serving on the Board of East Texas Pet Emergency Clinic and also the founding President, Dr. Owens was instrumental in the cooperative effort to provide 24-hour care of East Texas pets. As a member of Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice, an organization that promotes excellence in veterinary medicine through promoting continuing education, Dr. Owens attends at least 50 hours per year of training and review courses to stay current with the rapid advances in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Owens is Penn Hipp certified through the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine. This certification allows Dr. Owens to take and submit radiographs for evaluation to detect hip dysplasia at an early age, allowing the reduction of incidence of this crippling disease.

Not only has Dr. Owens volunteered his time as a mentor in the Pine Tree Independent School District, he has been chosen as a speaker by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals to give presentations on topics such as safe vaccination protocols and the importance of staff training. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cherokee Water Company.

When not caring for animals, Dr. Owens enjoys many types of outdoor activities. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and riding his Harley. Dr. Owens also believes that a healthy mind needs a healthy body, so he tries to stay active, exercising, walking and running on the elliptical. Dr. Owens and wife, Judy, have two children, a daughter, Ashley, and son, Ben. Dr. Owens is the most proud when he is referred to as Ashley or Ben's dad. Ashley has recently blessed Dr. Owens and Judy with a beautiful granddaughter, Lyla. Dr. Owens also claims his pets, two Brittany Spaniel's, Piper & Stella, as part of his family. He also enjoys traveling and has volunteered for mission trips to Guatemala, Brazil and Sierra Leone.

We know Dr. Owens as a sweet and caring individual. Not only is he a highly skilled veterinarian, he is extremely giving of his time. He is patient with his staff as well as his clients. We are blessed to have Dr. Owens.

David B Balliett, D.V.M.

Personal quote: "If your animals are truly considered part of your family, then we are like your other family physician."

Most people don't know what they want to do with their lives. However, Dr. Balliett always knew two things: he always wanted to be a veterinarian, and he always wanted to go to Texas A&M University. He never had any doubt in his mind about his future. This strength and show of fortitude and drive is what makes him the valued professional that he is today.

Dr. Balliett married Clair in 1981. While honeymooning in Colorado, they got the news that he had been accepted into vet school. He received his Bachelor in Biomedical Science in 1980 and then his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1985 from Texas A&M University. 

While living in East Texas, Clair has been the Executive Director of the Women's Center, an Adult Felony Probation Officer, the teaching field and is now a realtor for Suzanne Cook and Co. Their son, Blaine was born in 1992. He was born with physical handicaps, but those have not handicapped his personality! This cheerful and positive young man loves to golf, go horseback riding, and play any sport that he can. Blaine is a graduate of Texas A&M University and is currently enrolled in their grad program. The entire family are active members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Longview. 

When Dr. Balliett isn't working, he likes to spend time at his deer lease and travel with his family. He likes all sports, mostly watching though, because he claims he is too old to participate. He also enjoys spending time with his family and working around his house. Dr. Balliett, Clair, and Blaine share their home with Duddley ,a beautiful golden retriever and Goose, an adorable Shelti.  After joining the practice in 1986, Dr. Balliett says, "We have been in partnership a long time and we're still talking!" Dr. Owens and Dr. Howard share the privilege with Dr. Balliett of being able to call West Loop Animal Hospital not only a business, but a family. 

In addition to the continuing education opportunities that Dr. Balliett attends, he is also an active member in the American Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Gregg County Veterinary Medical Association, East Texas Veterinary Association, and the East Texas Pet Emergency Hospital. He is also the past President of the East Texas Pet Emergency Hospital, an after-hours pet emergency care facility in Longview.

Dr. Balliett, the one who towers over the rest of us in more ways than just physically, is professional and proficient. His knowledge of veterinary medicine is most impressive, which is a comfort to his clients as well as his staff. Dr. Balliett not only has a sense of humor, but he manages to keep his staff motivated and inspired.

Keisha Flanagan, D.V.M

Dr. Flanagan knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was 5 years old and that desire never changed. Her love of science, math, and animals served her well and she graduated from Texas A&M Veterinary School in 2009 after completing her BS in Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. After graduating, she joined a mixed animal clinic where she practiced small animal medicine and expanded the practice to include exotic animal medicine. Over the past nine years she has nurtured a love of advanced imaging such as ultrasound and cytology and enjoys focusing her continuing education to become even more proficient in these aspects.

Dr. Flanagan and her husband, Josh, a Longview firefighter, live on their family farm in Marshall with a small cattle herd and several horses. They have 2 young boys, Grayson and Dylan. You’ll often hear talk of the boys having fun around the farm with their cows and horses. They also have an Irish Wolfhound named Doug, a goofy gentle giant. In their free time, the family loves to spend time outdoors. They often ride 4-wheelers around the farm with the boys, and enjoy hiking, fishing, and hunting. They also enjoy going to the lake to go out on their wakeboard boat when they can get away. Dr. Flanagan enjoys wake surfing and Josh wakeboards.

The boys love anything water related and have been wake surfing with mom several times. They also enjoy beach vacations in the summer just to get away. In the winter, they try to go snow skiing once a year and the boys are really developing a love for the snow as well. When not out and about, Dr. Flanagan enjoys reading, baking and cooking, or craft and art projects. Grayson recently started preschool and joined soccer and T-ball so most of their time involves helping with practice or games. Her busy lifestyle and kids’ schedules pushed her to find a position closer to home as her previous job was an hour commute. She is very excited to join the West Loop family and continue practicing quality small animal and exotic animal medicine closer to home.

Rachel Lagutchik, D.V.M

Dr. Rachel Lagutchik grew up on a ranch in Hallsville, Texas, where she learned to love animals and the great outdoors at an early age. She earned her B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, with an emphasis in Vertebrate Zoology, from Texas A&M University, and graduated first in her class and Summa Cum Laude from Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee. After veterinary school, Dr. Lagutchik spent several years working at a large general practice and ER hospital in Houston before returning to East Texas with her husband Stephen (who is also an Aggie).

Dr. Lagutchik is a proud member of the AVMA, TVMA, and AAHA. Outside of work, she loves photography and videography, reading, traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits with her family.