The Beauty of a Dream

A Personal Statement from Dr. Garlie

“The Future Belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” (Eleanor Roosevelt) is my favorite quote. It has been a reminder for me to dream big, and is stenciled on the wall in the reception area at Rivertown Animal Hospital.

Rivertown Animal Hospital began as a dream to build my own veterinary practice. My late father was a veterinarian. Growing up in Northfield, Minnesota, we had dogs, cats, horses and farm animals. I rode with my dad to veterinary calls at farms, and watched him care for pets in his clinic.

His stories were filled with humor, reflecting his love and compassion for veterinary medicine. His mentorship instilled in me what it means to be an extraordinary veterinarian and human being.

Established in 1996, Rivertown Animal Hospital fulfilled my dream and has provided veterinary care to companion animals for over 25 years.

Rivertown is known for excellence in veterinary medicine and compassion to our patients and their families. It is also a place where veterinarians and staff are proud to work and value our commitment to the care of animals.

I wish my dad were here today to see the legacy created by his love of veterinary medicine.

Compassionate & Exceptional Care

We treat your pets like family, with the goal to treat each pet as if they were our own. You can rest assured that all our staff members are experienced, well-trained and knowledgeable. Rivertown Animal Hospital, located in Stillwater, Minnesota, is locally owned.

“We continue to be impressed by your practice, by the warmth and professionalism displayed by your entire staff.”

Karen and Mack Reed

More Reviews

An Expert Veterinary Team

Our doctors, technicians, assistants and visiting veterinary specialists are highly trained and remain current on issues and advancements. Rivertown provides training to staff in veterinary care advancements. Our doctors routinely attend continuing education courses. Continuous training ensures your pet receives the best care.

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Ginger Garlie

A 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ginger Garlie established Rivertown Animal Hospital in 1996. She is from Northfield, Minnesota, where her father was a veterinarian and inspired her to follow in his footsteps. Dr. Garlie’s commitment to the quality of care provided at Rivertown reflects her passion and love for animals. She has a special interest in veterinary dentistry and pain management for animals. Away from the hospital, she loves to travel and enjoys hiking, reading and pilates.

Dr. Garlie is a past president (2016–2017) of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) and has been a board member of the MVMA. She also has served on the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Committee.

Dr. Carrie Thorson

Dr. Carrie Thorson values the high-quality care she provides to her patients at Rivertown Animal Hospital. A 2000 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Thorson joined Rivertown in 2006.

With a special interest in internal medicine, she brings her love for veterinary medicine and passion for life-long learning to her daily interactions with the Rivertown team and her patients.

Dr. Thorson shares her life with her husband, daughter and their Golden Retriever named Cooper. She loves baking and enjoys traveling the National Parks with her family.

Dr. Carrie Howe

Dr. Carrie Howe has a passion for veterinary medicine. She was inspired by her veterinarian grandfather to follow in his footsteps. Having worked as a veterinary technician for 15 years and raising two children with her husband, she graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. Shortly after graduation, she joined the team at Rivertown as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Howe has many interests, including providing health and wellness care, addressing nutritional issues and managing overall quality of life for her patients.

In her free time, family is top priority. Together, they enjoy sailing, camping, hiking and downhill skiing.

Dr. Lacey Rutledge

Caring for animals has been a lifelong passion for Dr. Lacey Rutledge. She believes it is a privilege to be entrusted with the care of her patients and to help keep them healthy and happy.

A 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Rutledge joined Rivertown Animal Hospital in the fall of 2021.

Dr. Rutledge is interested in all aspects of veterinary medicine. She enjoys surgery, dentistry and medicine. She loves getting to know all of the wonderful healthy pets that come for wellness visits.

Away from work, Dr. Rutledge and her husband enjoy the outdoors – hiking, camping, skiing and horseback riding.

Practice Manager

Shellie Manke

Shellie joined the Rivertown Management Team in August 2020. Shellie brings 35 years of experience hiring, training and managing people. The most recent five years of her management experience were at a veterinary hospital. She enjoys the challenges and rewards in the practice of veterinary medicine. Shellie has a passion for helping pets live their best life. She rescues pets in need and is currently “mom” to three senior dogs who are now living their “best life” because of Shellie.

Rivertown Team

From left to right: Niki, Certified Veterinary Technician; Megan, Certified Veterinary Technician; Nichole, Veterinary Assistant; Jillian, Veterinary Assistant; Kara, Client Service Representative; Jamie, Veterinary Assistant; Emily, Veterinary Technician; Alex, Certified Veterinary Technician; Megan, Certified Veterinary Technician; Kate, Client Service Representative; Christa, Client Service Representative; Katie, Certified Veterinary Technician; Courtney, Veterinary Technician

Not pictured: Jenna, Veterinary Technician; McKenzi, Veterinary Technician; Michelle, Veterinary Assistant; Drew, Veterinary Assistant; Angela, Veterinary Assistant; Brooke, Veterinary Assistant; Alison, Veterinary Assistant

Virtual Tour

Full-Service Veterinary Care

From dentistry to surgery, Rivertown Animal Hospital offers a full range of services to keep your pet healthy. The majority of your pet’s health needs can be addressed at our facility. If needed, visiting specialists are available to provide speciality services.

Our Services