ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A long time veterinarian in Rockford is retiring.

Dr. David Helland at Alpine Veterinary Hospital opened his practice in July of 1978, and he is now hanging up his equipment and heading into retirement over 40 years later.

Helland has been a part of many groups during his time in the “Forest City.” He said that he was loved the city.

“I tell people, I don’t have clients, I have friends,” Helland said. “Rockford literally fits me very well. I just love this place.”

He said that he is working on projects that do not relate to animals, rather focusing on historical society topics in North Dakota.