Neumeister Animal Hospital opened its doors in 1951 with the graduation of Dr. William C. Neumeister from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. He was a World War II naval veteran and was part of the first class post-war.
He met Mary Helen Rode while stationed in Port Arthur, Texas. She was a Latin scholar and majored in English and library science at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Texas. They were married and during her husband’s years at vet school, she taught 1st grade and began raising her family.
Upon graduation, they located in Dubuque adjacent to the Grove Drive-in located at the intersection of the then two-lane Hwy 20 and University Ave. JFK Rd. was a gravel road and Kennedy mall did not yet exist.
In 1960, Eisenhower implemented the Interstate Highway System to enhance connectivity and safety during the Cold War years. The construction of the North lane of Hwy 20 passed through the hospital and via a land trade with the DOT, Neumeister Animal Hospital was rebuilt in its current location.
The practice was a mixture of the intermingling of all species with a large concentration of large animal, the radius of the practice extending from Buena Vista to Dickeyville. There were stories of foot races around the barn with the New Melleray Abby young priests suddenly being disrupted by the head of the Abbey and even a visit to Talieson to semen test a bull for the widow of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The three youngest children were the regular kennel help on weekends at the office and witnessed the calving, administration of intravenous medications, and farm yard postmortems in the accompaniment of their father.
The oldest brother Bill returned from his tour as a medic in Vietnam to become a commercial salmon fisherman out of Monterey Bay, California. Now he is retired after fishing for 30 years. His seventh and last boat was the Sun Ra II, the largest wooden hull on the West Coast.
The photo to the left shows Bill with his family.
The Neumeister family has proudly contributed to organizations with special meaning to our family.
Dr. William C. Neumeister served as president of the Tuberculosis Society and initiated testing of students for tuberculosis, inspired to aid in the prevention of further deaths as four of his eight aunts and uncles died of TB by the time they were forty years old. Aunt Pauline spent some of her last days at Sunnycrest Sanatorium for tuberculosis, here in Dubuque.
Mary Helen Neumeister was one of the three women who initiated a program through the YWCA for battered women. She served on the board of directors and board of trustees for many years.
In 2006 the Hospital underwent major renovations and additions.After flying to Boston and to Kansas City to interview several leading animal care facility firms, Dr. Neumeister chose BDA Architecture. BDA specializes exclusively in the planning, design, and construction of animal care facilities, both public and private. With over 700 completed projects in 46 states and 11 countries, BDA is world-renowned for award-winning veterinary architecture.
The on-site work was done by Portzen Construction of Dubuque.
At the front end, three new exam rooms were added and two small exams were converted to a large lift table exam room for a total of four exam rooms.
All new reception/waiting was added, and a special procedures, dental suite, treatment room, isolation ward, and 16 run boarding area were provided as part of the overall renovation.
Recovery, post surgically is monitored in the treatment room, rather than a distant kennel room.
1,700 sf were added to the existing hospital, which increased the total square footage to 6,700 sf.
The changes brought about by the redesign, provided a quiet and fresh-smelling environment, with natural light in all rooms. It is less stressful to our companion animals whose behavior is elicited primarily through smell and hearing rather than visually as with humans.
Special ventilation allows three different pressure zones within the hospital to enable the constant flow of clean air throughout the building.
We have been categorized by the State animal control officer during the annual kennel inspection as unsurpassed in cleanliness in the state of Iowa.