Get to Know Your Lake Elmo Vets on World Veterinary Day

Celebrates World Veterinary Day

April 28th is World Veterinary Day. Every April, we take a day to celebrate how important veterinarians are for the health of not just our pets, but for all animals. Our doctors are a group of curious, committed and passionate people with lifelong love for animals. They are dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pets, through continuing education, high standards, and commitment to ongoing education.

This year on World Veterinary Day, we asked our veterinarians to tell us what inspired their veterinary career. Read on to learn how each of our veterinarians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo got started in their career as advocates, healers, and scientists - a.k.a. veterinarians.

Dr. John

Dr. John Baillie

As a child, I got interested in veterinary medicine because of a old beagle named Penny who would seek the neighborhood veterinarians help for her ear problems. I thought that anyone who got that kind of reaction from his dog must work in a really great profession. After graduation from vet school in 1972, I worked at several practices on a relief basis before starting Cedar Pet Clinic in 1973 in South Minneapolis, and opening the second location in Lake Elmo in 1996. I like to say that being a veterinarian at Cedar Pet Clinic is the only full time job I’ve ever had, and our attitude towards veterinary medicine has always been “we’ll see anything that fits through the door” which has made for a very interesting career treating dogs, cats, and many exotic animals as well. I have guest lectured at the University of Minnesota since 1978, and I am especially proud of the number of employees that have gone on to become veterinarians and continue to practice and care for animals including two of my current associates, Dr. Plantz and Dr, Keller.


Dr. Noemi

Dr. Noemi Plantz

When I was about 10 years old, my cousin and I spent the majority of a summer helping my Aunt Joyce bottle raise a litter of 4 kittens whose mother cat had been hit by a car and died. I picked my favorite kitten, which was a brown tabby with an abnormal eye and named him Tiger. Throughout the summer he flourished and I convinced my mom to let me take him home when he was old enough. He got the goofy eye removed when he was neutered and that one eyed cat lived with me for 19 years. Watching him survive from a situation many kittens wouldn’t have and live a normal life despite only having one eye (and later we realized, probably only one kidney), inspired me to go into veterinary medicine and become a veterinarian. I will never forget those days where I first started to learn the importance of caring for animals.


Dr. Erika

Dr. Erika Olson

I have always been the type of person who loves to understand how things work and why things are the way they are, especially in nature. The more you know about how something works, the easier it is to solve problems when things go wrong. In high school and college I really enjoyed all my biology classes, here was a subject that helped me explore the how and why of the natural world. Veterinary medicine was a natural fit for me as someone with an interest in animals, domestic and non-domestic, and an interest in understanding how things work. The field of veterinary medicine is always changing; there is always a new drug or new test or a new type of equipment to lean about that makes it easier, safer or more efficient for us to provide care for our patients. This is another aspect of veterinary medicine that has always appealed to me. I loved the idea of getting into a field that would always have new things to offer and would constantly give me opportunities to continue to learn and improve.


Dr. Kirstin

Dr. Kirstin Keller

Ever since I was a child, I have always had a love of animals, large or small. At get togethers, you could always find me snuggling with the animals instead of playing with the other kids (or even to this day, socializing with the other adults!) I was never sure I wanted to go into veterinary medicine, because I wasn’t sure I could work somewhere I would see animals hurting. It was not until I started working at Cedar Pet Clinic that I began to understand how much of veterinary medicine is about solving puzzles and helping animals. From that point on, I could not get enough. Every day in veterinary practice brings something different; I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Dr. Charlie

Dr. Charlie Cosimini

As a child I grew up with a bit of a menagerie in my house. Birds, lizards, fish, frogs, rabbits, and dogs all shared the house with my family at one point or another. But as a child I never really thought about being a veterinarian, and it wasn't until high school when I had my first biology class that I became enamored with pursuing a career in science and medicine. Around this time I was reading books by James Herriot, which take place in a veterinary field predominated by cattle and horses, and not the exotic spectrum of life I loved as a child. So for awhile I thought I would work with animals in some other capacity, either as a researcher or zoologist. It wasn't until college when I was inspired by a class on comparative vertebrate anatomy that I realized the best way to work with and help animals directly was to pursue veterinary medicine. As a veterinarian, I could work with all the myriad animals of my childhood and help other families keep their furry, scaly, and feathered friends happy and healthy. After that point I focused exclusively on getting into veterinary school and soon enrolled at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. But the reality of veterinary medicine soon came into focus; there aren't many places where you can really work with the full diversity of life. Fortunately, I did find out about one such place during a lunchtime lecture on exotic animal medicine from Dr. Plantz; Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo, and that's where I am today.


The Best Care for Your Pet

All of our veterinarians at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo are dedicated to providing outstanding care for your pet. Their love of animals and their commitment to delivering top-quality veterinary services is evident at every appointment. Contact us ( to learn more or to book an appointment for your pet.

Photo Credit: didesign021 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
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Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
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(located 2 blocks east of 35E)