Dr.  Dietsch Is the APA’s 2022 Ella Megginson Awardee

It is our pleasure to introduce the 2022 Ella Megginson Awardee, Dr. Dietsch. This award is given annually to an individual or group who embodies the same passion and dedication to helping animals that our founder, Ella Megginson, possessed.

Dr.  Dietsch retired from the APA this year after more than two decades of veterinary service in which she represented the Ella Megginson spirit.

Dr.  Dietsch is a University of Missouri Veterinary College graduate and a native St. Louisan. After graduating from vet school, she worked in a private practice owned by one of the veterinarians at St. Louis Zoo. During those seven years, she treated primarily cats and dogs, as well as mountain lions, monkeys, birds, and reptiles. From there, she was on staff at another local private veterinary hospital. About two decades ago Dr. Dietsch joined the APA team.

In addition to overseeing the health of the dogs and cats housed at the APA Adoption Center, she ran the APA’s Wellness Clinic. During her time at the APA, Dr. Dietsch has cared for thousands of animals. Visitors to the clinic often commented on Dr.  Dietsch’s kindness and bedside manner with their pets. We appreciate everything she has done for the APA. Please join us in celebrating Dr. Dietsch at our upcoming Canine Carnival on 25th!  

Learn more about Dr. Dietsch below!

What made you want to become a veterinarian?

I always loved animals but one incident made me chose veterinary medicine. I was 10 years old when we adopted  our first puppy. The first puppy checkup with the veterinarian sparked the dream.

You joined a male-dominate profession as one of the first female veterinarians in Missouri. What was that experience like?

I did start working for way less the my male counterparts. I seemed to have to work harder to earn respect. Not so much among the veterinary community but with clients. I was also only 25 years old. So with being female and so young, clients assumed I was the vet assistant. With time though I found not only was I accepted but people seemed to like the fact I was a woman. There is somehow the impression that women are more caring and gentle.

You worked at the APA for a long time caring for tens of thousands of pets. What about the APA made you stay for so many years?

I’ve loved working in an environment where the concern was about the animals not the bottom line. Also helping people with the care of their pets when the couldn’t afford a full service vet. Mostly the wonderful people who have made up the staff over the many years I was there.

Describe your favorite memory working for APA and share why it is so special.

Too many too zero in on one. 

You’ve seen the APA through a lot of changes over the years and have played a big part in who we are today. What are you most proud of in terms of our work and how it has changed?

The constant growth and so many changes for the better. So many new programs added to improve not only animal care but improve our relationship with pet owners. Three different times I’ve seen this building go through major transformations. The clinic was originally in the puppy room space. That included surgery.