Pelzel is new associate at Minneota Vet Clinic
When she was a little girl, family members called Laura Pelzel "Dr. Doolittle" because of her love for animals on their hobby farm outside of Sleepy Eye.
It's no surprise then that the 25-year-old recent graduate of Iowa State University has become an associate with Dr. Lynn Buysse at the Minneota Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Buysse has been looking for an associate that can take over the practice in a few years when she retires. Buysse's daughter, Alaine, has one more year left of college before she, too, becomes a veterinarian. Ironically, Alaine's husband is from Sleepy Eye, where they currently reside.
So, Dr. Buysse has been in contact with Dr. Pelzel in recent years, planning the fufture of the clinic. Dr. Pelzel recently accepted the job offer here and she and her fiancé, Ross Rohe, moved to Minneota in early May, just days after she graduated from Iowa State University.
"I've known Laura for about eight years," said Dr. Buysse. "She was the maid of honor at Alaine's wedding. Alaine would be too far away to take over my practice some day. So, Laura and I have been talking about this for two years or so."
Dr. Pelzel's first day on the job was May 16.
"I really like it here," Dr. Pelzel said. "I grew up in a small town and so did Ross, and that's what we both like."
Laura and Ross are planning to be married on Feb. 3, 2023.
Dr. Pelzel met a lot of the people she will likely be working for during the Minneota Vet Clinic's 25th anniversary Open House on Thursday, June 2.
While she was still in college, Dr. Pelzel worked at the vet clinic with Dr. Buysse one summer, so she was already familiar with the area.
"Our plan is that Laura will eventually be taking over for me," said Dr. Buysse. "I will likely retire within the next five years. She will be doing mixed animal, much as I have over the years. She is much younger, of course, and able to do more of the large animal which I haven't been able to do in the last few years."
Dr. Pelzel graduated from Sleepy Eye St. Mary's High School in 2015. From there, she went to South Dakota State University for Animal Science and completed her undergraduate work in three years. She then finished four years of veterinary school at Iowa State.
"My mom and my three older sisters are all in the medical field," said Dr. Pelzel. "So, I was originally going into the medical field in some capacity. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to work on humans or animals."
While still in high school, one of Dr. Pelzel's sisters who used to call her "Dr. Doolittle" suggested she shadow at a local vet clinic.
"We lived on a hobby farm south of Sleepy Eye," she explained. "I loved the animals. I was always playing with the baby kittens and my sisters would mock me and call me Dr. Doolittle."
Dr. Pelzel took her sister's advice and job shadowed at the nearby vet clinic in Springfield.
"I watched some surgery being done and I was hooked immediately," she laughed. "I knew that's what I wanted to do."
Dr. Pelzel will work with both small and large animals at the Minneota Vet Clinic, with a special interest in surgery and ophthalmology.
The clinic also has four full-time veterinary nurses, and an office manager.
"Laura is extremely personable and down to earth," said Dr. Buysse. "I think her style of practice will be very similar to mine. I feel like in 25 years we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Minneota Veterinary Clinic."