Today I’d like you to meet our friend and consulting vet, Dr Paul Kritzinger.
I got to know Dr Kritzinger as the vet for our rescued Lab-mix, Beauty. Moving with my family to North Carolina in 2006, we needed to find a local vet for Beauty’s regular care, and happily, we came across Dr Kritzinger.
After I launched GermanShepherdPlace.com in 2012, Dr Paul agreed to be our go-to professional for the website. Among other things, he fact-checks our health-related content, making sure it’s up to the high standards we set for ourselves (e.g. Healthcare for Your German Shepherd ), and helps me your humble publisher not make a fool of himself when expertise is required beyond my capacities!
Out of Africa
Paul Kritzinger was born in South-West Africa, or, Namibia, as it became upon achieving independence in 1990. He was raised in a family of outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts who spent much time exploring the continent and visiting game reserves and wildlife refuges. This resulted in an initial desire to follow a career in wildlife veterinary services.
However, a number of close encounters with wild animals, including on one occasion fleeing, stark naked, from an angry bull elephant, may have caused second thoughts about a future with wildlife!
The family later moved to Cape Town, South Africa, where Paul attended high school before going on to the University of Pretoria in South Africa for veterinary studies. Upon graduating in 1993, Dr Kritzinger initially practiced in South Africa, treating a variety of wildlife, including elephants, zebras, buffalo and antelope.
First Stop, England
But he soon left for England where he took a position practicing in Ashford, Kent, a rural town some 60 miles from the center of London. In ancient Roman times, the area had been an iron ore mining and smelting center. Then, in the 9th century A.D. the current town began to take shape, initially on land given by its Saxon Lord to people fleeing from wild Viking raiders (something that perhaps stirred empathy in the new arrival from Africa!). Today the town is home to the Ashford International station, a rail hub on the route connecting Britain to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
The six years that Dr.Kritzinger spent in England included a stint in London where, on occasion he treated some of the Queen’s horses and the musician Sting’s dogs.
Destination: United States
In 1999 Dr Kritzinger and his wife Sandy came to the United States. They have a son and daughter, Felix and Jordan, and two rescued pets, a golden retriever Maya and cat, Ribeye. Paul and Sandy are former competitive triathletes who still enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle, including camping in the nearby Appalachian mountains, plus trail running, road cycling and mountain biking.
Dr Kritzinger practices out of the North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital in Cornelius, North Carolina, a town located north of the city of Charlotte. He’s a keen surgeon, and in the course of a diversified practice has provided services for German Shepherd owners including a specialist GSD breeder.
All Creatures Great and Small (But Mainly Small)
Dr Kritzinger’s days of treating wildlife are not entirely behind him, since the animal hospital is periodically called upon to tend to local wildlife including removing fish hooks from turtles’ mouths. The animal hospital has what they call the Healing Fund which is supported by private donations, and helps pay for the treatment of wild animals.
Commenting on his work in a news article, Kritzinger said. “You get to meet interesting people…and… do these fun things as well. There is a lot of joy you get from making animals feel better and making people smile. It’s a very cool thing.”
In the event you live in North Carolina in the proximity of Dr Kritzinger’s practice, and require veterinary services, he is available for appointments and can be reached at www.nmah.com or by phone at 704 892-0207.
This article draws on biographical information contained on the North Mecklenburg Animal Hospital website (see above), and an article by Jackson Sveen for The Herald Weekly, Lake Norman Edition, publication date January 24, 2013