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Getting to Know: Dr. Heather Stadtherr

January 15, 2013

Here at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center, our staff often gets to know a lot about you throughout the course of your pets’ visits. We would like to turn the tables and give you an opportunity to get to know us better with an ongoing series of posts here introducing our staff one by one. So without further ado: Getting to know the Grand Avenue Veterinary Staff!

First up is Dr. Heather Stadtherr. Dr. Stadtherr attended the University of Minnesota both as an undergraduate (1999 grad) and as a veterinary student at the College of Veterinary Medicine (2005 graduate).

Dr. Stadtherr started out at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center in 1996. In her own words, “Once I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian, I sent out dozens of letters to local vet clinics with hopes of volunteering to get some experience in the field. I spent one day each at 2 clinics and didn’t really click with either place. I got a little nervous that maybe this wasn’t the right choice for me. My third clinic visit was at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center.  I loved it and knew immediately that yes, this was the right choice – I just needed to find the right place to get that experience. I started shadowing at GAVC in 1996 and within a couple months I was hired as a veterinary assistant until I started my senior year of vet school in 2004. After I graduated from vet school, I worked for one year as a vet at another clinic until coming back “home” to GAVC in 2006. I expect to stay here for the rest of my career.”


What made you decide to become a veterinarian?

I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was about 20 years old. Although I loved animals growing up, I was not one of those people who always knew I would be a veterinarian.  I changed my career goals often and was struggling to find my place in life until I had an epiphany while taking several biology courses in college. I realized my passion for animals and science fit perfectly with being a veterinarian. My mom also played a key part when she told me that I was “meant to be a veterinarian” and she gave me tremendous support in accomplishing that goal.


Do you have an area of special interest in veterinary medicine?

Being in general practice, I really enjoy getting to do all sorts of things including surgery, dentistry, internal medicine and basic preventative care and not just specializing in one area. Aside from the medical things that enjoy, my favorite part of veterinary medicine has been meeting some really great people (both co-workers and clients) and forming meaningful relationships over the years. I also really enjoy working with and getting to know animals throughout their entire lives.


Tell us about your pets.

Our family has one dog and four cats. Our dog is an 8 year old Corgi/Jack Russell Terrier named Ziggy. We adopted him when he was one year old and we were his fourth home. He liked to run and run and run and hadn’t found the right home yet. Some training and a fenced in yard helped tremendously and he is now a beloved member of our family. Despite his short legs, he still loves to run and will play fetch with a tennis ball for hours. He is great with our kids and is a perfect dog for our family.

Our kitties are Eli (12), Dexter (10), Gulliver (10) and Josie (9). They are all so different and we love them dearly. Gulliver was an orphaned kitten at 1 week old and we bottle fed and raised him and his two siblings who now live with my brother. He is very social and has become a great cat ambassador and converted many “dog only” people to love cats too.

With 2 kids and 5 animals, there is rarely a dull moment in the Stadtherr household.


What is your favorite indoor and/or outdoor activity?

Indoor: Scrapbooking, and I am excited that this is now something I can do with my 6 year old daughter!

Oudoor – gardening, hiking, and camping.


What is your favorite form of exercise?

Weather permitting, I love to walk and hike, but despite being a native Minnesotan I’ve become wimpy about the weather over the years so I’ve grown to love doing group fitness classes at the Y. I work a lot harder when someone is telling me what to do… a little peer pressure doesn’t hurt.


What sound do you love?

Rain, leaves crunching, my kids laughing.


If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

My age now (37 years old): I’m happy in my career, done with school, have great kids, family and friends. I wouldn’t mind staying this age forever!


What are you reading now?

I am reading several books including the Game of Thrones series, The Twelve and trying to get through a ridiculously large assortment of magazines – veterinary, parenting, gardening and outdoor magazines, all of which are piled on my bed side table. I have good intentions of reading them all sometime soon.


What is the last movie you saw?

In the theater – The Hobbit
At home (on Netflix) – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and my favorite “holiday” movie, Love Actually (which I watch every year while baking Christmas cookies.)

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