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Previous experience working with animals, especially in a veterinary setting, is beneficial when applying for the job of a veterinary receptionist, but is not usually a firm requirement. More important is the desire to work with animals and being comfortable around animals of all breeds and sizes.
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Veterinary receptionist tends to be an entry-level position, but there are significant opportunities for advancement. With time and experience, you can eventually be promoted to office manager or veterinary technician.