Merill Guarneri DVMOwner, Veterinarian
Dr. Merill originally planned on becoming a doctor for humans, although many people told her that she ought to become a veterinarian. When she took a job as a Veterinary Assistant during college, that all changed—Dr. Merill realized that she had found her true calling! Her passion hasn’t wavered since. She’s proud to own and operate Critters & Such Pet Care and provide the animal parents and pets of the area with top-quality veterinary care every single day.
Dr. Merill grew up in Sioux City, Iowa and attended Drake University to earn her chemistry degree in late 1989. After graduating, she moved to Florida and took a Veterinary Assistant job in Destin while planning her path to veterinary school. Next, after gaining acceptance to Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Merill moved back to Ames in the summer of 1990 to earn her Doctorate. She graduated in May of 1994, then launched her career as a veterinarian by signing on at a small-animal practice in Elkader.
On the second day of 1995, Dr. Merill opened her first veterinary practice—also called Critters & Such Pet Care—in Strawberry Point, Iowa. Five years and three children later, she moved to Springfield, Missouri for a time to work in a multi-doctor practice before moving back to northeastern Iowa in late 2000. She would spend the next several years providing small-animal care in a number of practices before deciding to explore practice ownership once again. In August of 2006, she opened Critters & Such Pet Care, and the clinic moved to its current location in March of 2011. Dr. Merill and her team have been here ever since!
Dr. Merill recently finished a post graduate certification course in Veterinary Spinal Manipulative Therapy. She is excited to add this integrative modality to the practice.
Dr. Merill enjoys running, playing golf, reading, crocheting, and training her dogs during her time away from work. She and her husband, Michael, have three grown children—Domenic, who lives and works in Arizona; Mahogani, who is working and living near Madison, WI; and Kaelan, who currently studies at Iowa State University—and also share their lives with several pets.
The furry portion of the family includes two Golden Retrievers, Xavier and Gambit, both named after X-Men characters. Dr. Merill also has 9 cats, including three indoor felines named Yin, Ebony, and Lupin, as well as four outdoor cats who go by, S’mores, Luna Cheese Lovegood, Orange Juice and Hedwig. The feline contingent is rounded out by Critters & Such Pet Care’s very own clinic cats: Fink and Bellatrix.