Spay & Neuter For A Better Future
V. Ray Tritch, D.V.M.
V. Ray Tritch, D.V.M.
Susquehanna Trail Animal Hospital
955 Susquehanna Trail
Watsontown, PA 17777

The programs operated by SUN P.E.T.S. would not be successful, or even possible, if it weren’t for the participation of area veterinarians. V. Ray Tritch, D.V.M., from Susquehanna Trail Animal Hospital in Watsontown, PA, is one of the many veterinarians that have worked closely with our organization for the past twenty years. Along with offering low-cost spaying and neutering for pets, he also hosts low cost rabies clinics and offers special services to Haven to Home and other non-profit organizations in the region that offer low-cost services to pet owners.

Dr. Tritch’s animal hospital is located along the road bearing the same name - Susquehanna Trail, not far off of Route I-180, and not far from Watsontown and Milton. Dr. Tritch operates the small animal clinic with the help of seven staff members. He has been at that location for approximately twenty years. During that time, he has seen an increase in the number of feral cats and dogs roaming the countryside.

“I am not sure what the solution is for controlling the feral ani-mal problem, other than to encourage pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. Hopefully, by helping organizations such as SUN P.E.T.S., succeed in their mission to offer low cost spaying and neutering to pet owners, we can make some kind of impact on the feral population,” Dr. Tritch says.

Dr. Tritch grew up near Millersville, PA, and did his undergraduate work at Millersville College (now Millersville University). “I grew up in a good old German family, where my father followed the rule of telling his children what they would be when they grew up. When I was eight years old, my father told me I was going to be a veterinarian!”

After graduating from Millersville, Dr. Tritch took a job as a teaching assistant at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. During that time he continued his studies and earned a Masters of Sciences degree in Biology with a thesis on Heartworms in Dogs. When he was finished with his degree, he took a job with the local health department, but later decided to return to the University of Bridgeport to take a course in Genetics. It was during that time that he met a man studying Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bologna in Italy. Dr. Tritch said it sounded “intriguing” to him, so he applied to the same school and was accepted. He was married at that time, so he and his wife went off to Bologna. He graduated from the university with a degree in Veterinary Science in 1980 and returned to the States to begin his internship.

Dr. Tritch became an intern at a large animal clinic in Connecticut. He said that most of the work was on horses and that, “You don’t want to make a mistake on a horse in Connecticut, because it is big horse country and most of the owners are lawyered up!” He said he learned a lot during the internship and then applied for a job in Carthage, Illinois where he worked on both large and small animals. He said that he once went to a farm to turn a calf around inside of its mother in order to facilitate a smooth birth when, “Suddenly her water broke and boy, did I ever get a bath! The farmer had a good laugh over that incident.” It was while working in Illinois that Dr. Tritch discovered that he enjoyed working with small animals most of all.

When he opened his practice on Susquehanna Trail, it was for small animals only, and he also offered grooming service. However, he said the grooming service caused more problems than it was worth, so he eliminated that part of his practice. Dr. Tritch said that his favorite part of his practice is talking with pet owners. He also loves the medical challenges that come his way. “I never know what is on the other side of the door,” he said, “and some of the cases are easy and some are not. It reminds me of walking into one of the class exams I had to take in Italy. They were all oral! The good thing about it is that, just like those exams, the animal cases I encounter help build my self-confidence.”

Dr. Tritch said that in his estimate, the advent of the feline leukemia vaccine and the Lyme disease vaccine for dogs, are two of the most important advancements in veterinarian medicine. He also said that when he first encountered a Class 4 Laser machine at a seminar, he was skeptical about its use. However, he changed his mind after a demonstration of the machine on his own arm. He had been suffering from “golfer’s elbow” for a long time, but after it was lasered, the pain disappeared. Dr. Tritch now uses a laser machine to treat dogs and cats that are suffering pain in their joints and muscles.

According to Cindy Crozier, president of SUN P.E.T.S., “Dr. Tritch has been very supportive, generous and cooperative with the organization. He is definitely part of its success story.”