An evening at the Veterinary Medical Center

Often times our work and personal lives overlap. Such was the case for me this past week as I spent some quality time with my beagle at the Veterinary Medical Center’s Small Animal Hospital Emergency Care.

While waiting in the examine room to learn about my dog’s test results, I began to wonder about the history of the VMC and the care it provides.

Clinical veterinary work first began at the University in 1888 with the appointment of the University’s first veterinarian, Michael Treacy. For the next 60 years, veterinary medicine was taught and practiced as part of the curriculum of the School of Agriculture. In 1947 the School of Veterinary Medicine was established and later reorganized into the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Veterinary Medical Center grew out of the original veterinary clinics associated with the School of Veterinary Medicine. The clinic on the St Paul campus received state funding to construct new facilities, which opened in 1950. The Veterinary Clinic was to serve as “a hospital for animals just as the University Hospitals on the Minneapolis Campus are devoted to caring for humans. In the hospital, students will be able to observe treatment given by trained University veterinarians to ill animals.” You can read more about the 1950 dedication ceremony in the pamphlet below.

The Veterinary Clinic was reorganized as the Veterinary Hospital in 1969. It was renamed the Veterinary Medical Center in 2003 to better reflect the advanced care and outpatient services it provides.

The Lewis Hospital for Companion Animals is a component of the VMC and was dedicated in 1983. It was named after the MN State Senator Robert Lewis, an advocate for promoting health and welfare in various communities and who was also a trained DVM. There is a plaque honoring Senator Lewis behind the check-in desk above the floor scale.

As for my beagle, he was treated aggressively and released. All signs show him to be in good health. Thank you to all the staff that took great care of him!