The Humane Society of Missouri was founded in 1870 in downtown St. Louis, and the first veterinary clinic opened in 1923. The clinic offered basic care, and just a year later, we were able to equip a full clinic. Rabies was a major concern at the time, and our clinic became one of the first to offer rabies vaccinations in the region. That first year, we provided veterinary care to 800 animals.
We continued to help pets in the St. Louis area, and in 1955, Dr. Suzanne Saueressig joined our team. Dr. Saueressig was the first female veterinarian in Missouri. Shocked by the pet overpopulation problem in the United States, she embarked on a 55-year career with HSMO. In 1966, Dr. Saueressig was promoted to Chief of Staff, and became forever affectionately known as “Chief.” Chief played a major role in developing our practice into a top-notch veterinary clinic, and she inspired a countless number of women to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
By 1972, we had the largest animal hospital in the region. We had 81,000 veterinary visits and performed 17,000 surgeries, 10,000 of those surgeries being spay/neuter.
In 1974, HSMO’s Maryland Heights shelter opened, thanks to funds donated by Mrs. Elizabeth Niemeyer Parrish. The following year the HSMO Auxiliary formed. Equipping the veterinary clinic and laboratory was one of the first projects the auxiliary funded, and in 1980, the axillary funded a spay/neuter clinic at that location.
The St. Louis City location continued to help people and pets, and required more space to meet the demand. In 1996, we broke ground on our current location at 1201 Macklind Avenue and moved in about two years later.
We celebrated in 2005 with our 250,000th spay/neuter surgery. It is estimated that we had prevented over a billion unwanted pets!
In 2013, HSMO’s Veterinary Medical Centers changed its name to the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, better reflecting the practice’s position as one of the largest veterinary practices in the Midwest. Proceeds generated from the clinic continued to help homeless animals at HSMO.
We outgrew our original Maryland Heights location, and in 2017 moved to our state-of-the-art Best Buddy Center at the intersection of Page and Schuetz near Westport Plaza. In addition to our expanded veterinary hospital, we opened our Integrated Veterinary Pain Management Center. We could now offer new and innovative techniques to improve quality of life for pets, including the underwater treadmill, platelet-rich plasma therapy, chiropractic care, weight and conditioning programs, and rehabilitation.
Today we provide veterinary care at our two locations to over 37,000 pets a year and have performed nearly 400,000 spay/neuter surgeries. We strive to make veterinary care accessible and to meet the needs of our patients and pet parents. From drop off appointments, to scheduling online, home delivery of prescriptions, innovative medical care, and more, we are committed to staying in the forefront of veterinary medicine. We look forward to providing the best veterinary care possible for your pet!