Monday–Friday: 8:00am–7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am–4:00pm

Garfield Heights Veterinarians

Richard W. Thompson, DVM, Owner

vets in garfield heights

While growing up in Whittier, California, Dr. Richard Thompson's love and respect for animals was engrained at an early age. "My parents motivated me to become a vet," he says. "Our own family pets were always referred to by their names; never just 'the cat' or 'the dog.' This instilled a sense of true companionship with the animals that shared our home."

Living close to Los Angeles, Dr. Thompson had the unique opportunity to work with Hollywood animal trainers during his undergraduate training at California Polytechnic University at Pomona. Dr. Thompson says the job consisted of "walking leopards and wolves, handling eagles and monkeys, working with alligators and pythons, and cleaning a whole lot of cages." After earning his bachelor's degree in animal science, Dr. Thompson attended Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with honors in 1991. While in college, Dr. Thompson was active in the Pre-Veterinary Club and the Poultry Science Club, and was president of the Circle K fraternity.

After practicing at the Avon Lake Animal Clinic, Dr. Thompson purchased The Family Pet Clinic from retiring owner Dr. Harry Bartles in 2000. A few years after joining the practice, Dr. Thompson received an unexpected patient. "An animal trainer was promoting a new TV show," Dr. Thompson explained, "and while traveling through Ohio, his infant chimpanzee's health certificate ran out of date. He called The Family Pet Clinic after having called five others, and was surprised that I was willing and licensed to perform a physical on a baby chimp. Because the anatomy is so similar, I had to think back to the methods our kid's pediatricians used. The chimp was very well behaved and everything went well."

With professional interests in internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, geriatric medicine, and small exotic animal medicine, Dr. Thompson says the most satisfying part of being a veterinarian is "when a sick patient recovers from my actions - it makes it all worth it." Dr. Thompson has two golden retrievers named Riley and Jack; a tortoise shell cat named Tilley; a chinchilla named Chico; an African sulcata tortoise named Shelly; and a beta fish named Carl. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the Veterinary Information Network.

Terri Jean Slezak, DVM

garfield heights, ohio vets

For Associate Veterinarian Terri Jean Slezak, it all started with a poodle.

"I have always felt a special connection with animals," she says, crediting her mother, grandmother and great-grandfather with motivating her to pursue veterinary medicine. That connection was felt early on when, as a child, she was asked to look after Gigi, her neighbor's pet poodle. When her neighbors relocated, her family adopted Gigi as its own. Years later, she says her favorite part of her job is "educating clients on how to better care for their pets."

Dr. Slezak joined The Family Pet Clinic as an associate veterinarian in 1993. She earned her bachelor's degree from Whittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and then later attained her master's of science degree from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Slezak earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 1990. Dr. Slezak is a member of the Cleveland Academy of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio Veterinary Medicine Association, American Veterinary Medicine Association, and the Veterinary Information Network.

Dr. Slezak lives with her husband Philip, two sons Stephen and Peter, and her mixed-breed dog Sparky. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, birding, and mah-jong.

Eric Michael Allie, DVM

veterinarian, garfield heights

Ohio native Dr. Eric Allie joined the team at The Family Pet Clinic in February 2015. He's been interested in helping to care for animals since his early youth, when a family veterinarian set an inspiring example. "As a child I would always go with my parents to take our animals to Dr. Richmond," Dr. Allie explains. "He was always so calm with our animals and they never seemed scared. I knew I wanted to be just like him."

Dr. Allie earned his undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University in 2005, majoring in Biology, and went on to earn his doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, and the Cleveland Academy of Veterinary Medicine. His major professional interest is ophthalmology.

While Dr. Allie enjoys all elements of the work he does with clients in the community and their animals, he says the most satisfying part of being a veterinarian is seeing people's happiness when they know their animals are well taken care of. "I know I've done a really good job when the tails don't stop wagging!" Dr. Allie says.

He is the pet parent to a rescue greyhound named Amhurst and two crazy cats: Finn and Peanut. In his free time Dr. Allie enjoys camping, hiking, backpacking and spending time with his wife Valerie and their son Abram.

Back to Top