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New Full-Time USDA Accredited Veterinarian Joins Virginia Living Museum Team


Newport News, VA (August 24, 2022) – The Virginia Living Museum is pleased to announce the addition of a full-time Lead Veterinarian to the Museum’s team. Dr. Katrina Frerichs is a graduate of Penn State University where she received her B.S. in Animal Science and Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine where she earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. 

“My passion for wildlife and other non-traditional species has grown through a wide variety of experiences in the veterinary profession. These animals teach us so much about why conservation efforts and the way we interact with our environment matters. I know the Virginia Living Museum has a passionate team with an incredible mission and I am honored to be part of it,” says Dr. Frerichs.

Prior to joining the Virginia Living Museum, Dr. Frerichs was employed as a Zoo Companion Animal Specialty Intern at Avian & Exotic Animal Clinic of Indianapolis. Here she provided hands-on labs and gave lectures for clinic staff and veterinary students as well as assumed primary responsibility for wellness and urgent care. Dr. Frerichs’ publications include (Frerichs & Lennox, Urolith analysis in five African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) 2022) (Frerichs et al., Comparison of post-surgical complication rates and potential confounding factors in two common approaches for elective altering in female rats (rattus norvegicus) 2022), she has completed externships with other AZA accredited facilities (such as Brookfield Zoo, and Kansas City Zoo) as well as The Raptor Center UMN, and holds a USDA Veterinary Accreditation. 

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Frerichs to the Museum’s Animal Welfare Department! The animals at the Museum, most of which are non-releasable rescues, will greatly benefit from her experience and expertise in preventative veterinary medicine,” says James Weinpress, Senior Director, Living Exhibits.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, birds, plants and planets are presented in natural ecosystems and honored for their ability to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. 

Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (living exhibits) and the American Alliance of Museums (non-live collections), the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. Community volunteers outnumber staff by approximately 5:1 for incredible mission delivery. The Museum is a certified Virginia Green attraction dedicated to environmentally friendly practices and education. 

Created by the Warwick Rotary Club and Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1966, the Museum is an independent 501c3 organization, a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and all guests.

Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A), hours are 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

Built by the community, beloved by the community, sustained by the community.

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