Susan McMillan is a sixth generation Chicagoan but left to attend Wayland Academy in Wisconsin in 1976. She then moved many times, from Pennsylvania (Dickinson College, 1979-80) to Washington DC (American University, 1980-82 and George Washington University, 1984-87). She lived and worked in the Washington, DC area for twelve years before leaving the madness to attend the University of Wisconsin - Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine where she received the Academic Leadership Award in 1995, and the Clinical Competency Award upon graduating in 1997. Susan immediately went to work at a thriving four doctor small animal practice in Fairbanks, Alaska where she stayed for five years. Work days were jam-packed with surgery, medicine, ultrasound, x-rays, lab work, sled dog lameness and bush medicine (advice by phone to clients living in villages far off the road system). Nights and weekends on call were filled with emergencies (lots of ‘kicked by moose’ and porcupine quills), thus giving Susan a chance to regularly experience the endless sunlit nights of summer and the northern lights of winter. Susan spent many long hours as a volunteer vet for sled dog races including the Yukon Quest, Quest 250, Junior Quest, and Copper Basin 300. She enjoyed working with teens and rookie back-of-the-pack mushers whose goal was to finish with a healthy, happy team of dogs. Time off was never dull because she had vowed to explore Alaska. Countless hours and miles of hiking, cycling, and snowshoeing the back country of the Interior of Alaska kept her out of trouble. Killian (the wonder dog!) willingly tagged along for many of those adventures.
Upon leaving Alaska, Susan lived in L.A. for about 10 minutes in 2002 and then did some veterinary relief work in San Diego where she launched Petcounselor.com, an on-line veterinary second-opinion venture. In 2003, Susan, Becky and their dog Killian went on a 17,000 mile road trip across America looking for the perfect place to land, and found their way to Vermont. They started Vet To Pet Mobile Veterinary Service in 2005. When it was time to get the business office and inventory out of the house and into its’ own space, it also seemed that Burlington needed a basic storefront veterinary clinic. Voila! The Old North End Veterinary Clinic was opened in November 2008. Susan was also the primary in-house veterinarian for the Humane Society of Chittenden County for 12 years until joining the HSCC Board of Directors in 2014. She received the HSCC June Davis award in 2006 and their Veterinary Partner Award in 2012. She is a Past-President of the Greater Burlington Academy of Veterinary Medicine and is a member of the AVMA, VVMA and HSVMA. She also once each month is on the Charlie, Ernie, and Lisa Radio Show (AM 620) with her vet pals, Millie Armstrong and Peggy Larson and they discuss pet issues, and a whole lot more. Susan has also been a guest on Vermont Edition a couple of times.
For a short time during vet school, Susan was a Special Olympics coach in Madison, Wisconsin. She was a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and volunteered with Wilderness Search and Rescue in Fairbanks. She resigned from search and rescue after spending one very long summer night looking for a missing boy in the hills outside Fairbanks. She later learned she’d encountered the murderer while looking for the boy that night. Yikes, too emotional and creepy. Susan bicycled across the state of Montana, raising $17,000 for AIDS vaccine research in 2001. She wrote for and was the Assistant Editor of Vermont’s Out In The Mountains newspaper for a couple of years. She went to Haiti after the earthquake and was an original board member of the Vermont Medical Response Team in 2010. She was also on the Board of Vermont First and was active in working for equal marriage in Vermont.
Susan and Becky currently live with a whole new crop of critters after losing their long term companions, Killian and Fang. Fury is a twelve year old former acrobatic cat from the Humane Society of Chittenden County. Scoop, is a lanky and strong five year old cat who happens to drool when she is happy and is also from our shelter. Monkey goes most everywhere with Susan. Monkey is a mutt from down south who came up here with Potter’s Angels -- and rescued Susan. The old gang is gone but not forgotten. Many original clinic clients still remember Killian who was a beautiful border collie mix mutt from the Frederick County MD animal shelter, and a once in a lifetime companion and friend. She was the clinic mascot and fell to old age in 2010 at the age of fifteen. Fang, the wonder cat, showed up at Susan’s parent’s house in Peoria IL in 1992. She traveled far and wide and back again, also succumbing to old-age and kidney disease, having lived for 22 years. R.I.P. Killian and Fang!
While Susan enjoys hiking, walking, running, water skiing, snowshoeing, gardening, photography, and drawing, she has actually spent many years just studying. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from American University in 1982 with a BA in Criminal Justice. In 1987, she graduated with a JD from the George Washington University National Law Center, having been the Student Director of the Bankruptcy and Consumer Law clinics for one semester each. After that she worked in consumer protection and was the Courts and Drugs Reference Specialist for the Department of Justice National Criminal Justice Reference Service. On a way more fun note, in 2008 Susan and Becky hiked the Grand Canyon, 24 miles from the South Rim to the North Rim, in 15+ hours. They did it again (from north to south) in 2011 with seven friends, in just under 15 hours. They attempted but did not conquer Mt. Whitney (tallest peak in the lower 48) in 2013. In the winter of 2016, they revisited the Grand Canyon but took their time, hiking down to the bottom where they finally were not in a hurry to get to the other side. This time, they spent three nights at Phantom Ranch before hiking out. They are currently contemplating their next extreme day hike.
Liz, having grown up in NY and CT, first came to Vermont at the age of 18 and has been striving to be a true Vermonter ever since. She came to Vermont to attend Sterling College, in the Northeast Kingdom, where she earned her Associates degree in Rural Resource Management with a focus in Forestry and Wild Areas Management. It was at Sterling she was inspired to follow her dream of being a veterinarian and so she continued on to UCONN to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. It was here that Liz met her husband-to-be, and best friend, John, and they decided to pursue their common goal of being vets in Vermont together. Then it was on to Vet School in Illinois –Liz’s first Midwestern experience-true culture shock for a Northeasterner!
Outside of academia she worked as a Farm Manager at Sterling, a horse and beef farm hand in PA, a horseback riding teacher and counselor at a summer camp in Craftsbury, and a veterinary assistant at various clinics in Vermont, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Australia.
Upon graduating Vet School in 1992, Liz and John, in what felt like a bit of a whirlwind, moved 1000 miles (with 3 dogs, a cat and a horse) started new jobs, planned a wedding, and got married (they spent the evening before their wedding drug testing draft horses together at the Champlain Valley Fair-How romantic!) They both took jobs at a mixed animal practice in Vergennes. Though the plan was to consider starting a family after practicing for 5 years, the universe had other ideas and Son #1 was born in October of ’93, followed 2 1/2 years later by Son #2. Liz cut down to practicing part time, then finally went to full time parenting sometime after John engaged in a PhD program at UVM and Cornell. Somewhere in there they also built a house and barn, which they moved into in 2000.
Liz kept plenty busy with the 2 boys, 3-5 horses (some boarders), 2 dogs, 3 cats, a bearded dragon and a corn snake. In addition to her parenting gig, Liz served as a trustee at Sterling College for 9 years, a trustee at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School for 6 years, taught therapeutic horseback riding for 6 years and was the vet of record for the Addison County Humane society for 2 years. She also did two 120 hour courses in veterinary homeopathy and recently completed her 200 -hour certification as a yoga instructor.
Born and raised in Indiana, Becky is actually a southern Californian at heart. She majored in education and played women’s basketball for Indiana University. She moved from the Midwest as soon as possible after college but is still a closet Colts fan. Becky spent the first half of her adult life in Phoenix, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
After student teaching in Indiana and realizing that the classroom was not for her, Becky started her working career as a wilderness educator. For eight years she ran an outward bound style program for kids in the Phoenix high schools. She organized and guided adventure trips to Colorado, Utah, Hawaii, Mexico, and Europe. Most of the time, she stayed closer to home and taught skiing, back packing, rock climbing, wilderness survival, and lots of old fashioned life lessons in the desert and high desert of Arizona. She also participated in the National Outdoor Leadership School.
After leaving Arizona, Becky began a lifelong career search, tackling every opportunity that came along. She is truly a jack of all trades and has been a small business owner several times over. Becky designed and sold women’s athletic clothing (Fine Line Design), performed interior faux painting (Finely Finished). She has sold cars, water purifiers, and real estate, has studied feng shui, and was a partner in an event coordinating company in Los Angeles (The Dog and Pony Show). Becky has her Commercial Drivers License and has studied acupuncture. From the mid-90s until 2001, Becky traveled extensively for Pallotta Teamworks organizing large scale athletic fund raising events, including many 3-Day Breast Cancer Walks and the AIDS Vaccine Rides. Becky spear headed The Seed Fund which was a small organization dedicated to getting surplus goods from local businesses into the hands of worthy non-profits.>
Becky is a fantastic cook and loves to walk, hike, go to the movies, snow shoe, sew, read, travel and harvest a share at the Intervale Community Farm. She and Susan volunteered as ushers with the Lake Monsters in 2010. She was active in the grass roots effort to achieve equal marriage in Vermont. She has three times hiked the Grand Canyon, most recently hiking rim to rim in 15 hours in September, 2011.
Becky now manages Vet To Pet Mobile and the Old North End Veterinary Clinic. She books appointments, sends reminders, does the finances and taxes, maintains the computers, software, printer and phones, manages the cleaners, the security, the government agencies and the vendors, and is the first and last person every client sees. Now that is a jack of all trades!
Both Becky and Susan visit their parents as often as possible and Becky helps care for her recently widowed father who still lives at their old family home in Indianapolis.
Crystal was born and raised in Vermont. In the late 90’s Crystal moved to Massachusetts and began working for a veterinary hospital in 2000. She started as a receptionist and was fortunate enough to be trained as an assistant and then a veterinary technician. She has been the Head Veterinary Technician at two different hospitals. Her interests are animal behavior, weight management and dentistry.
Crystal has two dogs. Vixen and Jules are both adopted. Miss Vixen appeared when Crystal was working at her first clinic. She had a broken leg from her owners pushing her off a couch. The owners surrendered Vixen to Crystal’s care and she has been her loyal shadow for the past 11 years.
Jules was tied to the door of the Humane Society of Chittenden County and brought into another clinic for care. She was underweight, un-spayed, and missing half of her hair due to a flea allergy. Crystal agreed to foster Jules to get her healthy for adoption but three months later Jules officially became part of Crystal’s family. Jules loves children and babies and is currently her toddler’s best friend.
Crystal is a mom to two boys. When she is not busy changing diapers, playing dinosaurs or trains, Crystal enjoys taking pictures, running, and hiking in the woods. She resides with her partner and boys in Milton.