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Lauren Hutchens x Hands Of Hope Animal Hospital

Get to know the Hutchens family: Devoted parents of 4 and the founders of the Hands Of Hope Animal Hospital

It was LOVE at first sight for John and Lauren when they met over 20 years ago! During their first years together, Lauren pursued a career in Early Childhood Education and began teaching, while John started school at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2006, the two married and John began practicing in 2009 after graduation. The couple had always dreamed of having children, and in 2011 their first son, John Michael, was born. His two brothers, Christian and Logan were not too far behind! Lauren had always felt that God had written HOPE on her heart, and on December 30, 2021, that dream became a reality and Hope Lauren was born! Just over a year later, John and Lauren opened the doors of their practice, Hands of Hope Animal Hospital, on March 27, 2023. What a true joy and blessing it has been to experience these two dreams collide in God’s perfect timing!

What does love mean to you?  

“Love Never Fails…” 

To us, the ultimate definition of love is found in the Bible in 1st Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always HOPES, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 

Love is unconditional; it knows no bounds and isn’t limited by circumstances, appearances, physical limitations, diagnosis, stigmas, or stereotypes. Love is all encompassing and fully accepting no matter what. 


Can you tell us about Hope's journey and how her diagnosis of Trisomy 21 has influenced your perspective on life and your approach to spreading messages of the beauty in differences? 

“HOPE is the conviction that life makes sense, even in a world that doesn’t.”

Shortly after Hope was born, we discovered God created her with more of us in her than even our 3 boys have - He saw fit to give her EXTRA - she was born with extra special genes, having an extra copy of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21). Her unexpected diagnosis came as a complete and total shock to us! This propelled us into a world we had never known and a community that was brand new to us! After taking time to process and unpack what this was going to mean for us and for Hope, we began to recognize what a true gift we’d been given: not only in having the beautiful daughter we’d always prayed for, but also in the way it has completely redefined our definition of beauty, thus opening our eyes to a whole new world! We now see the world through a much better, clearer lens than ever before. Hope has helped teach us that there is so much beauty in our differences, and a diagnosis does not define you!!!

Remarkably, Hope has done extremely well in all areas and is thriving! Although some were quick to give us the “worst case scenario” and declare everything that Hope would not do, she has overcome each and every obstacle thus far, both physically and medically! We continue to be amazed at her progress that has surpassed what we were told she would accomplish. Her therapists, who have been among our biggest cheerleaders along the way, constantly encourage us to see Hope as herself; an individual not limited by the diagnosis of Trisomy 21! Through each step of Hope’s journey we have discovered her potential is truly limitless! We are truly grateful to Dondolo and Catalina for giving her the opportunity to model and help showcase their exquisite Easter collection this season; it has also been a dream come true for us! How encouraging and inspiring it is to partner with such an incredible company who shares our core value system!

What inspired the creation of Hands Of Hope Animal Hospital, and could you tell us more about the mission behind its founding?

“Welcome to the Family” 

For 13 years John was an associate veterinarian for another practice. He knew in order to fulfill his passion and purpose to practice the type of best-medicine care he pursued at the highest level, he would ultimately need to start his own hospital. Although this had been our dream for over 10 years, Hope’s birth definitely took it to the next level, in that it inspired a deeper meaning into how we wanted to connect, and care for the people and the pets of our community. After Hope was born, God brought so many people into our lives to bring us HOPE as we walked this unknown journey, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and special new friends. We wanted to do the same for our patients and their families. What a thrill it has been to welcome them into the Hands of Hope family over the last year! 

Why is it significant for the Hands Of Hope Animal Hospital to bring hope to the community, and what drives your passion for this mission?

“Disappointment is the soil in which HOPE grows.”

Hands of Hope Animal Hospital is privately owned and operated; it is our mission to practice individualized, best-medicine care in a fear-free environment. We exist in order to ensure that all of our patients experience quality of life with their family members, despite a diagnosis or medical condition. Given the inevitable disappointments and unexpected circumstances life can present, there’s an opportunity for HOPE to grow! Our purpose propels us beyond just practicing medicine; we are striving every day to cultivate quality, lasting relationships with our clients, providing HOPE in seemingly hopeless situations. It’s evident that our approach to veterinary medicine is resonating with our community, as our practice was voted the Best of Middle Georgia for 2023! It is truly an honor to serve our community in such a unique, impactful way! 

From the meaningful murals on each wall, to the peanut butter treats behind every exam door, we strive to create an environment that feels more like an extension of our home, than a hospital. Each exam room in our practice is dedicated to one of our children, signifying the importance of the relationships we have with each one of them and the value we place on the bond between our patients and their families. In fact, our hospital logo is a combination of Hope’s handprint and our dog, Nick’s, pawprint. If you look closely, you can see the palmar’s crease Hope has across one of her hands. Interestingly, this was one of the first physical signs that prompted doctors to order testing for Trisomy 21. Integrating our story into every aspect of our practice allows us to connect with our clients in a deeper, more meaningful way. By sharing Hope’s journey, we desire not only to bring healing to our patients, but also HOPE to their families!

For more information, visit






Hands of Hope Animal Hospital 

John Hutchens 

Lauren Moore Hutchens 


John Hutchens

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