Meet Dr. Sally!
Learn more about East Haven’s founder Dr. Sally below!
Letter to the Editor, Caledonian Record April 2021
Vermont and its Northeast Kingdom are filled with small communities that are defined by their community members. Rural communities like those in the NEK are not only defined by the people, but the people are truly the beating heart of those communities. Because of that special distinction among our communities, it is important to recognize those members that care for others as their vocation and/or profession as those individuals who have dedicated themselves to the well-being of that beating heart.
It is well known that our animal companions, particularly those that share our homes, contribute positively to our mental and emotional wellness in a similar manner to a beloved friend or relative. Veterinarians and the individuals that work with them are the primary community members charged with protecting the health and well-being of our animal companions.
What follows in these paragraphs is a celebration of a community member who is also a caregiver to our pets and, therefore, a caregiver to us and to our community as a whole.
Dr. Sally Schlueter will retire from the practice of veterinary medicine in May of 2021. Those who know Dr. Sally will surely miss her, not only for her expertise in the administration of her profession but for her kindness, her empathetic nature, her inquisitive and inclusive practices, and her adventurous spirit. She is a veterinarian with superior clinical skills who uses the intuition and finesse that it takes to expertly treat your furry family member with the care and respect that you and they deserve. She is also a person that takes pride in her home region and state; a wife who enjoys everyday adventures with her husband Ric, a mother of two who has relished the journey with her boys as they have grown into men, and a grandmother who will relish the next chapter in that journey and a (twin) sister who can maintain close and loving relationships with siblings from across the country. She is a musician, a teacher, a farmer, a trail builder, a forester, and more.
Dr. Sally started her career in veterinary medicine earlier than most. At the age of five, she was riding with the traveling vet and helping out wherever she could. There are many veterinarians who establish their desire to work with animals in early childhood, but there are few who actually practice at that age.
It is well known that veterinarians need to achieve high marks academically, and Dr. Sally was no different than most. Her studies focused on a combination of agronomy, entomology, and plant pathology and eventually brought her to a degree in Integrative Crop Management (also known as Crop Protection). Dr. Sally was the first woman in the history of Kansas State University to receive that degree, but she found her professional calling when she returned to veterinary school at Kansas State at the age of 24 and graduated in 1988.
After leaving vet school, the practice of veterinary medicine took Dr. Sally to several locations in the US and then on an adventure abroad that most veterinarians and most Americans will never experience. It is common for young veterinarians to move about early in their careers as this allows the individual to experience a variety of methods of practicing veterinary medicine and working with a diverse set of practitioners. Following her first years as a vet in the states, Dr. Sally’s journey took her to Egypt, where she set up a one-room small animal practice to perform medicine and surgery for the local pet population. Several times a year, she traveled to the US Embassy in Cairo to perform spays and neuters. She also provided services to the local ASPCA and assisted a local large animal veterinarian in the administration of medicine and surgery to horses. Dr. Sally did all of this while raising two young boys.
In 1994, Dr. Sally’s journey and her personal love for the charms of the NEK, as well as snow and winter, brought her to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. There she successfully aided in the progression of local small animal medicine and surgery by providing reliable care and expertise to the regional community. She and Dr. Craig Calamaio purchased Stetson Animal Hospital and changed the name to Companion Animal Care. Four years later, they started Companion Pet Care in Littleton, NH. In the early 2000s, both of those practices were sold, and Dr. Sally moved to her next project soon afterward.
Dr. Sally opened East Haven Veterinary Service (EHVS) in 2006. She saw the potential in the old East Haven schoolhouse as a sweet and peaceful spot in the world where she could continue the soulful work of healing the community’s companion animals. At first, she traveled regionally in a van equipped for the practice of small animal medicine and surgery. While renovating the schoolhouse, she used the van as part of the practice when people started coming to her in East Haven.
Dr. Sally was able to cultivate a wonderful community of dedicated pet parents and their furry family members whose loyalty and gratitude to her are everlasting. Simultaneously, she spent time in her greenhouse on the property and cultivated the flower beds around the practice making it a jewel in the small East Haven community.
The best and most respected practitioners of medicine (veterinary or otherwise) will always seek to continue learning and using new knowledge to hone their craft. In 2010, looking to expand her offerings as a practitioner and to satisfy her desire to truly treat the whole patient, Dr. Sally sought out the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine for training and certification in Acupuncture and Tui Na Medical Massage. She also pursued the study of Chinese herbal medicine and dietary therapy and has successfully integrated all of these treatment modalities into everyday practice at EHVS.
In 2018, Dr. Sally transferred the responsibility for the future of EHVS to me (Dr. Matt Reimert) and my wife, Nicki. Much like Dr. Sally’s journey to Vermont in 1994, Nicki and I brought our young family to Vermont for a love of the rural and community-oriented NEK. We were grateful to be able to find a practice with so much heart that also provided excellent care to their patients and clients. Without knowing her personally, it was easy for us to recognize not only the “sweet spot” that Dr. Sally had established but the sweet and dedicated person behind it all.
Since the everyday responsibilities for EHVS were transferred, Dr. Sally has thoroughly enjoyed being, in her own words, “just a vet” and focusing her energy on the care of her patients and you, her fellow community members.
There is no doubt that the retirement of Dr. Sally from the practice of veterinary medicine is a loss for us all, but it is with utmost gratitude and sincerity that we wish a great woman, Dr. Sally Schlueter, the best on the next stage in her life’s journey.
– Matt Reimert, VMD